Hof's Hut

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Type Private
Founded  1951 (1951-MM)
Founder(s) Harold Hofman
Headquarters Signal Hill, California
Number of locations 4
Website www.hofshut.com

Hof's Hut is a southern California home-style eatery and 1950s coffee shop-style restaurant chain that specializes in comfort foods and baked goods such as pies. It is considered a cultural landmark and was founded by Harold Hofman in 1951.[1] It is headquartered in Signal Hill, California.

History[edit]

Hofman started out with a burger stand on the beach in the 1940s at 5th Place in Long Beach serving "Hofburgers" for 15 cents.[2] The first Hof's Hut opened on September 16, 1951, in Belmont Shore by Harold Hofman, the same day his son and current owner Craig Hofman was born.[1][3] In 1975 the chain opened its 9th restaurant,[4] and in 1993 the chain introduced vegetarian burgers.[5]

George Kosanovich tended bar at the Hof's Hut in Bixby Knolls for 40 years and while there witnessed president John F. Kennedy getting gunned down in Dallas in 1963 on the television and watched the "fuzzy images" of the first lunar landing.[6]

Opposition to smoking ban[edit]

Following his parents in the family business, Hofman was managing 15 restaurants and 1,400 employees as of 2001 from Hof's headquarters in Los Alamitos. In 1993, Hof's Hut operated 4 restaurants in Long Beach and opposed a smoking ban applied to cocktail sections which serve food. The ban was ultimately passed.[7]

Robbery[edit]

In 1987, the Hof's Hut on Crenshaw Boulevard was the target of armed robbers. $23,000 total was taken from the restaurant, one of several eateries hit.[8]

Lucille's Smokehouse[edit]

Facing competitive pressures, Hofman started the Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ chain that has taken over some Hof's Hut locations. Competition from Starbucks, newer casual eatery chains with more exciting atmospheres, and breakfast nooks pressured Hof's Hut at the start of the 21st century. After various experiments modifying the format at some locations, owner Craig Hofman hit on the Lucille's Smokehouse concept and has been establishing that chain while reducing the number of Hof's Hut from a peak of 18 to less than 10.[9] Lucille's Smokehouse replaced the original Hof's Hutt Belmont Shore location in 2003.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b HOF'S HUT CELEBRATES 50 YEARS IN L.B. September 25, 2001, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)
  2. ^ Hof's Hut website
  3. ^ Michael David Smith Hof's Hut Hits 50 Years Old, Celebrates All Month Long September 6, 2001 Page: 6A Grunion Gazette, The (Long Beach, CA)
  4. ^ Chain Opens 9th Hof's Hut November 16, 1975 Page: G15 Section: PART VII Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ PM VEGETARIAN BURGERS FIND NEW MARKET August 19, 1993, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)
  6. ^ HOF'S HUT TO HAIL A SMILE March 27, 2000, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)
  7. ^ Rick Holguin Stronger Law Against Smoking Nears Final Approval Health: Amid concerns about the effects of secondhand smoke, the City Council voted 8-0 to prohibit smoking in restaurants and restrict it in other places. page 1 July 22, 1993 Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ James Rainey 2 Gunmen Sought in Series of Restaurant Heists November 12, 1987 Page: 12 Metro Section; 2; Zones Desk Los Angeles Times, South Bay Edition
  9. ^ Tiffany Montgomery From hut to roadhouse Hof's Hut owner turns his attention to growing his latest venture, Lucille's. May 18, 2005 The Orange County Register
  10. ^ Al Rudi Date Smoke by the water March 6, 2003 Publication: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA)
  11. ^ JABBERWOCKY ABOUT THE HUT May 30, 2002, Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°48′18″N 118°09′38″W / 33.8049°N 118.1606°W / 33.8049; -118.1606