Hob Nob Hill stays true to its old-fashioned roots
by Kai Oliver-Kurtin
Published - 06/02/11 - 10:38 AM | 7739 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hob Hob Hill and Rudfords have been a family affair for the Kachas. Their daughter works at the restaurant in Banker’s Hill, while their son helps run Rudfords.
Hob Hob Hill and Rudfords have been a family affair for the Kachas. Their daughter works at the restaurant in Banker’s Hill, while their son helps run Rudfords.
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Walking through the doors of Hob Nob Hill is like turning the clock back to a time when people had their coffee while seated at the lunch counter, and waitresses in heavily starched A-line dresses served up home-cooked food. A San Diego institution since 1944, Hob Nob Hill sits on the corner of Juniper Street and First Avenue in Bankers Hill, and has kept a consistent, old-fashioned American menu throughout its 67 years in business.

“When we purchased the restaurant in 1993,” said owners Jeff and Tania Kacha, “we agreed not to change anything.”

The original owner Harold Hoersch sold the business after his wife Dorothy died, but wanted to make sure its integrity would not be compromised. Now in his 90s, Hoersch still frequents the restaurant, dropping in when his favorite daily specials are available.

Similar to the food, the Hob Nob Hill staff has remained unchanged over the last few decades — many have been employed there for more than 20 and 30 years.

“Visiting the restaurant is like going back in time,” said Tania. “When we first took over we noticed most of the customers were regulars, but there’s been a big generation flow and now we’re starting to see a younger trend, many of whom are children of the regulars.”

The Kachas started out in the restaurant business in 1987 working side-by-side to run a coffee shop. Previously they were owners of the Broken Yolk Cafe, but it only took one trip to Hob Nob Hill to make them dream of eventually owning the landmark establishment.

Helping drive business to the restaurant was chef Guy Fieri, host of the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” who featured Hob Nob Hill during his “Just Like Yesterday” episode. Originally airing in 2009, the show has brought many new customers from near and far to try out the restaurant.

Serving only homemade food, Hob Nob Hill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with favorites including chicken and dumplings, cured corn beef and steamed cabbage, breakfast omelets, cinnamon-swirled French toast and fresh-baked pastries, including coffee cake and muffins.

The Kachas also own Rudfords Restaurant in North Park, a 24-hour coffee shop known for its home-style cooking since 1949. For more information, visit www.hobnobhill.com.
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