The building is the same, but new management has come to the former Olde Towne Restaurant in Hillsboro with fresh ideas and a business plan for success.
In April, Kelly Joch and her husband, Dave, moved to Hillsboro from Kentucky, and she secured work as a waitress at the former Olde Towne Restaurant on 126 N. Main.
“I just fell in love with the place,” she said.
Prior to their move, the Jochs were in the process of purchasing their own restaurant, but those dreams ended when a herdsman position opened up for Dave at the Klassen Dairy, north of town.
“When I found out the Olde Towne was for sale here, I was very interested,” Kelly Joch said. “But, of course, we had to wait for it to go through foreclosure and all that. We’re finally getting ready to open it as our own.”
Joch said she leased the building from the Tampa State Bank, and former manager Brenda McGuiness was not involved in this venture.
“We are calling it Classics @ Olde Towne and bringing back the emphasis on fun times that were associated with this place,” Joch said. “We’re even using an old original photograph of the place on our advertising, with the men in the old bowler hats out front and the horse-drawn carriages in the street. It’s just so much fun to incorporate the history of this place into our plans for the future.”
She said many new ideas were in the works for the restaurant, which will be officially open for business later this week, possibly Thursday evening or on Friday.
“Right now we are booking Christmas parties and preparing for our invitation only, ‘soft opening’ tomorrow night,” she said. “I’ve got sweet potato biscuits in the oven right now, and homemade potato soup on the stovetop.”
Joch said the addition of a baby grand piano will add a special ambiance and will be played for the special opening Tuesday evening, as well as anytime a player is available.
“I hope to get some Tabor College students interested in playing background music in the future,” she said. “Local talent is welcome and it will be a paid position, plus we hope people will tip our players.”
Joch also said a special grill has been added and her restaurant will be serving Sterling Silver steaks along with other regular menu items. Prime rib will be a Saturday night special, and a Sunday brunch buffet will feature some local favorites. Wednesday evenings will be considered “family night” with special deals for families with children, she said.
Regular hours next week at the restaurant will be from 11 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours on Saturdays will be from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I also plan to deliver home-cooked food for lunch as a new special feature,” she said. “I will be in the kitchen every morning from 9 to 11 Monday through Friday, cooking up meat loaf or chicken with all the fixings. Then I will be faxing a menu to all the local businesses. People can order what they want and we will deliver it right to them, if they want.”
She said two other cooks would assist her in the kitchen.
The restaurant will be open Thanksgiving Day, with a traditional meal with all the sides available from 10:30 a.m.
“This may have to be by reservation only,” she said. “We are planning on a very big crowd and can seat 80 at a time, maybe up to 130.”
She said the restaurant passed all health inspections and was licensed and ready for service.
“I’m a little nervous but very excited to be opening here in Hillsboro and can’t wait to get started,” she said.