A friend (of a certain age) recently asked Boots Ellett Jr., Did anybody ever tell you that you look just like your daddy? The answer: Every day. The friend then said, Well, did anybody ever tell you that he had the best cheeseburgers and the best streaks and the best prime rib in town? The answer was the same: Every day. And then came the addendum: But they didnt have to tell me. I was there. I was part of it. Boots Ellett Jr. is the son of the late Boots Ellett, a brawny lineman who played football at Huntsville High School in the late 1940s and early 1950s, then played at the University of Alabama from 1952-56. After an Army hitch and a brief fling in the Canadian Football League, the senior Ellett returned to his hometown and opened a restaurant called Boots near the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Governors Drive. A car rental business now occupies the spot along an access road next to the Parkway, but from 1961 until 1995, Boots Restaurant was Huntsvilles most iconic gathering spot, especially for the sports-minded crowd. It was like Cheers, said Mickey Ellis, the former food editor of The Huntsville Times, in a 2009 newspaper story. Everybody knew your name, and everybody knew Boots. It was just the place to go. In 1990, Boots Sr. was inducted into the second class of the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. And now Boots Jr. joins the same exclusive club, and with equally worthy credentials as his father. The younger Ellett was a two-time All-City football lineman at Huntsville High School in the late 1980s. He also participated in wrestling and in track & field, receiving the schools All-Sports Award. Offered a football scholarship at Livingston (now the University of West Alabama), he became a mainstay of the Tigers front line, starting at right offensive tackle as a true freshman. During his college career, he was named the teams player of the week nine times and was voted team captain seven times. Boots was a big man with exceptional agility, and he became a dominant player, said former Livingston coach Sam McCorkle. I like it when people compare me to my father, Boots said, because hes the person who had the most impact on my athletic accomplishments. He was a man who had an unbelievable striving to be the best. He always said that character, hard work and determination are the foundation for success. I also like it when people mention the restaurant. I spent many hours working at the family business. We did every job that no one else wanted to do, but it was necessary for the success of the business. Growing up and watching my father work hard and hold onto those core values led to the success that he had in life and in business. It was truly a family business, too, as Boots Jr.s mother, Joyce, pointed out. He learned at an early age what hard, dirty work was, she said. Sweeping, mopping, cutting croutons, everything. Both our children could open and close the restaurant, if needed. Lynne was at UNA and shed come home on weekends and open and close the restaurant to allow my husband and me to go to the Livingston games. Boots Ellett Jr. is now the Project Manager at H. C. Blake Company in Huntsville. He and his wife, Suzan McKenzie Ellett, have three children: Boots III, Tabory and Mary McKenzie.