Milaca landmark eatery gets new owners

Photo by Jeffrey Hage, Union-Times
John and Emily Hoffman, pictured above, have purchased Hobnetti’s Restaurant in Milaca. The restaurant, a long time tradition in Milaca, was started in 1981 by Etta Hobbick.

Milaca – Giving a nod to the past while being “new and improved” is the goal of the new owners of the Hobnetti’s restaurant.

“It’s an adventure, but I just love it,” said Emily Hoffman, who is joined by her husband, John, in this endeavor.
A family of five children, ranging from ages 7-14 years, will also be involved helping in this business effort, located at 110 Central.
It was a family connection who first asked the Hoffmans to run the restaurant business for them.
However, John decided, “We will just own this business,” becoming owners of the name and company by purchasing the restaurant from Karen Christensen, of Milaca.
Christensen had been in business for the past eight years; her mother Etta Hobbick founded Hobnetti’s back in 1981.
The new owners, who make their home in rural Ogilvie, will be leasing the building from Glen Johnson, of Foreston.
Offer new look
Being shut down for a short period allowed for the needed transition and remodeling time.
Emily said the new surroundings offer a “rustic look,” using corrugated tin from an old barn for the walls.
The booths are pretty much the same, however they have changed up the tables and chairs to give customers a different look.
While there is still work to do, Emily said, “We will keep the remodeling going.”
The connection for Emily and Hobnetti’s goes back several years, dating from 2000 to 2005, when she was first employed as a manager and a cook.
On June 26 Emily opened the doors for the first time as owner.
Menu changes
No immediate changes are being planned for the menu.
“We will be keeping everything the same, but are bringing back real ice cream shakes,” Emily said.
Pizza, a staple item on the menu, is something customers love, she said, and that will also continue to be served.
With 10-15 employees on the payroll, the restaurant will operate from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Current plans call for the doors to be open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
Delivery set
Emily also noted they will be doing delivery once again.
As a matter of fact, it was John who was called into action to get the deliveries off the ground.
“He (John) owns his own business as a diesel mechanic, but he has been a great help and has bent over backwards to get us going,” Emily said.
Plans also call to continue with hoagie sandwiches and salads, both popular items, while bringing featured specials back.
“I love to cook and will be spending time in the kitchen,” Emily said.
She said lately she has been filling in on both shifts.
At the moment there are no plans for a grand opening; however, the family will attempt to work in an opening celebration some time before the kids go back to school.