Business

Good Times arrive in Oak Harbor

Scott Wotring slices a fresh tomato for a white Tuscan white pizza, made in the Sicilian style. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Scott Wotring slices a fresh tomato for a white Tuscan white pizza, made in the Sicilian style.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Scott and Miki Wotring are in for “Good Times.”

The new Oak Harbor eatery is open for business and offering common fare in an uncommon way.

“My buffet concept is a little different,” Scott said of his restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The eatery resembles a pizza, pasta and salad buffet, but Scott makes many of the dishes fresh upon request in the open kitchen, where he hopes to add a table and flat screen TV.

“I want people to see what a clean kitchen I have,” he said.

Scott cooks eggs to order and flash cooks the days’ selection of pastas on demand. Pizza preferences are noted at the door and taken to the kitchen.

Good Times caters to all kinds of pizza lovers, offering three kinds of homemade dough, low carb crust and over 60 different toppings. In a few weeks, the Wotrings will offer a selection of gluten-free fare.

“My goal is to be totally unique of any other kind of pizza or buffet,” Scott said.

Scott’s conveyor belt-style ovens can turn out 120 pizzas an hour, he said, sliding a macaroni and cheese pizza onto the slow-moving metal belt. A bubbly Tuscan white pizza rolls of the rack on the oven’s other side, ready for its debut.

“I took a full service restaurant and buffet and mixed them together,” Scott said.

The restaurant business isn’t new to Scott. He’s been working with food and nutrition for 25 years and opened 26 restaurants for other companies.

After six years of Navy life, Scott took up residence as a wine expert for Elegant Dining in Virginia Beach, worked with Red Lobster and received training from German chefs, among other food and nutrition-related positions. Most recently, the Wotrings returned to the Northwest for Scott’s food service job with Microsoft.

But Scott’s unanticipated layoff this March opened up doors to a host of new opportunities.

Miki put a positive spin on the situation.

“Let’s turn our lemons into lemonade,” she said of their predicament.

By May 21 the Wotrings found a space to rent at the former Island Cafe location; spruced up the interior; turned the kitchen into a tip-top pizza producing facility; and opened their doors to the community just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The name “Good Times,” was fitting, said Miki. Whenever she’s felt frustrated or facing difficulty, Scott would always say, “Good times.” During those moments, Miki didn’t appreciate the light- hearted humor, but while the two brainstormed a name for their new endeavor, Miki’s first thought was “Good Times.”

“We’ve been through a lot together” she said. “The name just seemed right.”

Decorated by clocks of all shapes and sizes, the eatery’s decor also plays into the name. For a bit of Good Time trivia, take a close look at the timepiece in the restaurant’s logo. The pizza-inspired clock reads 1:47, the time of day the Wotrings signed their business license for Good Times.

Good Times is located among the Harborside Village shops at 830 SE Pioneer Way.

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