Photo by Dillon Daigger
Heidi Criddle, at right, with waitress Brandi Burns.
Photo by George Lauby
The former Hobb’E’s restaurant at the Parkade Plaza in downtown North Platte is now under new ownership. On Feb. 3, it reopened as Heidi’s Restaurant Catering and Bakery, under owner Heidi Criddle.
The restaurant closed Feb. 1-2 for minor renovations. The walls were repainted and new country-themed décor added. The lattice arch in the western section of the restaurant was removed, giving the dining area a more open feel, Criddle said.
She said patrons can expect to see images of chickens, cows, farmers, etc. when they walk in the newly-renovated restaurant.
“It’s going to be one of those hometown mom-and-pop kind of places,” she said. “We want people to be comfortable and at home here.”
The food and prices will remain mostly the same and homemade sweets will be baked fresh daily, Criddle said. Among them are pie, cheesecake, cookies and cinnamon rolls. She said she may also start baking doughnuts and bread if things go well.
Criddle said Heidi’s will be glad to cater when requested in advance.
Criddle and her husband Neal managed a restaurant in South Dakota before moving to North Platte in 1998. Neal worked as a policeman for awhile in North Platte, but for the last nine years, Criddle said she and her husband have mostly managed a home-catering service out of their house. She said it was enjoyable, but she wanted to expand and open her own restaurant.
Business hours will remain the same and most of the current employees are staying, Criddle said.
Starting Feb. 20, Heidi’s will also offer a Sunday breakfast buffet from 9-2 p.m.
A grand opening will be held at a to-be-determined date in March, when Criddle’s son returns from Afghanistan. She said she plans to hold a pancake feed at $1 a plate.
Lotta fine people
Outgoing owner Larry Hobbs has operated the restaurant for 21 years, and they were all good years, he said.
“It’s been real good to me,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of fine people.”
Hobbs grew up in restaurants. His mother cooked at the Skelly Inn at the corner of Jeffers and Rodeo Road in the late 1950s, then bought the Frontier Café at 3400 Rodeo Road where Larry worked into the early 1960s.
From age 16 until he graduated from high school, Larry did a lot of cooking with his mom.
“I grew up making everything from scratch,” he said. “We’ve always made our own bread and hamburger buns.”
Fresh bread was a tradition that Hobbes kept throughout his career.
Larry Hobbes also loves to make music. After high school, from 1968-72, he went on the road with his buddy Howard Hunt. They played as a duo in lounges and clubs throughout the area. In 1972, he opened his own restaurant in Grand Island, where he performed with his wife Linda.
He returned to North Platte and eventually opened Hobb’E’s. Over the years he has operated the Crab Leg for the Elk’s Club, managed the Country Club for a couple years and in 2005 he moved the Crab Leg to the Royal Colonial Inn, then sold it.
Through the years, he’s been in the kitchen nearly every day, making breads and buns. On Sunday, he did bookwork.
Now, he plans to “fly off into the sunset,” he said, doing “whatever my wife tells me to do.”
Feb. 1 was the first day since 1958 that there was not a Hobbs making bread in a North Platte restaurant, he said.