Larry Hobbs comes out of retirement again to reestablish Hobb'e's

Chairs and tables fill Hobb"e"s new Platte River Mall location, less than two years after its owner Larry Hobbs retired. The restaurant, popular for over two decades and known for its homemade food, is set to open in the first week of December.

A popular restaurant for more than two decades in North Platte will open next month in a new location, less than two years after it closed.

Larry Hobbs is coming out of retirement for a second time and reestablishing Hobb“e”s, a restaurant that featured homemade items, from the hamburger buns to the pies. The eatery will be located in the Platte River Mall.

“Well, I’m not really good at retirement,” Hobbs, 78, said. “I was becoming a couch potato.”

Emily Collins, the mall manager, said the goal is for Hobb“e”s to open the first week of December.

“That’s the target date. I think we will be ready by then,” Hobbs said.

The restaurant will take over the spot previously occupied by Donna’s Kitchen, just across from Riddle’s Jewelry.

Donna Cross had opened the eatery there in late September, but it closed in October. Collins said illness was a factor in Cross’ decision to shut down the business, which featured muffins, rolls, pies, wraps and sandwiches, soups and salads.

“Donna called me and asked if I wanted to take over (the location),” Hobbs said. “She had a bad back and just couldn’t handle it.”

Hobb“e”s will offer a menu similar to what Donna’s Kitchen offered in its run at the mall. Hobbs said the items will be homemade and the eatery will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Hobbs opened the original Hobb“e”s restaurant in 1990 at 217 E. Sixth St. It closed in 2012 after he retired, but three years later he reopened the business

He retired again at the end of 2017 and Rachel and Rick Heglin took over the location and opened R&R Eclectic Eats in the spring of 2018. That eatery closed its doors on Sept. 27 in part as the owners stated a desire to spend more time with their family.

“It’s basically what I know,” Hobbs said of his restaurant experience.

Hobbs has been in the service industry most of his life, as his mother operated two restaurants in the 1950s. Family has played a big part in Hobbs’ business ventures as well. His wife, Linda, worked in the former versions of the restaurant, as did the couple’s daughters and grandchildren.

He said there might be some assistance from his grandchildren again, but the family involvement — like the restaurant overall — will be scaled back this time.

“I’m not going to need too much help here. It’s not going to be like it was downtown,” Hobbs said. “I’ll have two or three people out front and a couple in the kitchen and myself. That’s about all I’ll need, I think.”

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