Hodad’s to open downtown
by Debbie Hatch
Published - 08/05/10 - 10:30 AM | 4018 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hodad’s owners are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the Ocean Beach location with a new version of the eatery downtown at 10th Avenue and Broadway Street. 	 Photo by Paul Hansen
Hodad’s owners are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the Ocean Beach location with a new version of the eatery downtown at 10th Avenue and Broadway Street. Photo by Paul Hansen
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In 1969, Byron and Virginia Hardin opened Hodad’s burger joint at the end of Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach. After a few moves, it landed in its current location at 5010 Newport Ave.

Now, a second location is being readied for unveiling downtown.

The current owners are Mike “Boss Man” Hardin and Teri Rhodes. Jeremy Diem is the manager at Hodad’s. He said the downtown location is expected to open in “Septober.” This is his quirky way of saying the official opening date is not known because the location is still under construction.

The team at Hodad’s originally wanted to open a restaurant in Carlsbad and almost did, but a miscommunication over a building ended that dream.

“We are a beach thing for sure,” Diem said.

However, Obecians know how packed Hodad’s can be, and Diem hopes that adding a second location will alleviate some to the congestion.

The new digs are on the east side of downtown at 10th Avenue and Broadway Street.

The team is excited about the new restaurant, Diem said.

“It was an empty shell,” Diem said of the new building. “We are building it from scratch.”

He looks forward to working in a restaurant designed with precise planning and thoughtful consideration about the little details that go into the everyday flow of Hodad’s kitchen.

The owners sat all the employees down and asked them what would help them do their jobs better. The feedback came in and the team is trying to incorporate it in the design of the new structure.

“Our employees are our number one asset,” he said. “If you have happy employees, you have a smooth, well-run restaurant,” Diem said.

“Mike always said that he hires people that wouldn’t be hired somewhere else,” Diem joked.

However, the plan works. Diem said the restaurant has a loyal staff of hard workers who care about the business.

“We have a really good family [staff],” he said.

Diem pointed out that just because it will not be at the beach, does not mean that it will not be the same Hodad’s.

The atmosphere will grow in the same manner as that of the Ocean Beach restaurant.

“Everything in the restaurant is decorated by the customers,” Diem said.

Hodad’s walls are covered in license plates, photos, bicycles; whatever a customer brings in can end up on the wall.

“We aren’t bringing the beach to downtown,” Diem said. “We are bringing Hodad’s.”

Hodad’s has been recognized many times for its delicious burgers. It has been highlighted on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri, as well as having been named one of the top five burger joints in the country by CNN.

For the exact opening date, visit www.hodadies.com in “Septober.”
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