Words With… Mike Miller Owner, Elevation
Native North Dakotan Mike Miller began his career in the food and beverage industry 20 years ago, with his experience in North Dakota, Minnesota, California and Arizona. Throughout his travels and experiences, he gained knowledge and experience on all parts of the restaurant industry. He also saw firsthand the global shift in society of wanting a good restaurant experience – a philosophy he executes at Elevation.
Mike returned to Minot in 2008 to open the successful Big Time Bistro, a popular restaurant based on fresh ingredient sandwiches in downtown Minot. Six years later, he made the decision to close Big Time Bistro as he was offered the opportunity to be a part of the community in a larger way by opening an upscale casual restaurant at the Minot Country Club.
Elevation is the culmination of his experiences to date and his commitment to the whole dining experience.
After your travels and experience, what made you decide on Minot and on Elevation?
I am originally from the Minot area and while on a visit back home, I realized that Minot held many culinary opportunities that I wanted to be a part of and share my experiences with. With Elevation, the concept of a community complex was certainly a draw for me as I enjoy being a part of something that is community driven.
What was your first thought in terms of what Elevation would require to be a success?
To drive a fresh food, culinary inspired cuisine.
When designing the theme in a culinary sense, how did your previous experience impact your thinking and how did the particulars of Minot and Minot diners impact you?
The fresh food, culinary cuisine is my background and combining that into a Minot community that is a very small town, but a well cultured community.
What was your plan to “elevate” Elevation in the local dining scene?
My plan was to give them an experience. In this case, taking in the view, the decor, the service, and the food – giving the guests an experience instead of just selling food.
Describe the atmosphere you want to maintain at Elevation?
We strive to maintain an upscale casual setting.
Who was responsible for such a spectacular dining room?
The Minot Country Club and Kristen Boen.
What’s your personal favorite dish, or dishes, on the current menu?
The filet with grilled shrimp, topped with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions is my personal favorite on the current menu.
What, if anything, does the public not know about Elevation? Do you feel it’s clear you are open to the public, etc?
I still feel like it is a hidden secret for the general public that is slowly getting out.
Restaurants have been known to open and close pretty quickly here… what are the elements that propel Elevation?
It is the fact that it is community focused and we are always trying to be a part of the community, not just a business in one.
I understand you have a project underway in/near downtown, including a restaurant… can you tell us anything about that yet?
It is still under development and I would appreciate chatting with you in the near future about it.