For Hobee’s first and only remaining franchise restaurant, it was a one-two punch.
Franchise owner Michael Lashen already was facing a major transition because of redevelopment plans at the Oaks Center in Cupertino, where the restaurant has served up breakfasts, lunches, dinners — and that famous blueberry coffee cake — to residents and De Anza College students since the late 1980s.
And then coronavirus hit.
“Since it seemed likely that the restaurant would not make a full recovery from the pandemic before having to shut down again for demolition, Michael opted to permanently close,” a statement on the Hobee’s site said.
Plans by KT Urban call for bulldozing the center and replacing it with a mixed-use project of housing and retail called Westport Cupertino.
Hobee’s owners Camille and and Daniel Chijate said of the team at their Stevens Creek Boulevard franchise: “This is certainly a major loss for the Hobee’s community and the City of Cupertino, where the restaurant achieved iconic status. For nearly 34 years, Hobee’s Cupertino established itself as a favorite of De Anza College students, local tech workers and South Bay families.
“Michael – along with former partners Gwil Evans and Gordon von Richter – made Hobee’s history as the first to open a franchised location. The venture was an instant success, reaching number one in sales volume for nearly a decade and remaining near the top during its entire run.”
Jose Luis Aguilar had been the kitchen manager at this location.
According to the company, the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce honored Lashen as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2003 and the restaurant as Outstanding Mid-Size Business in 2012.
Some employees had been at this Cupertino location for 15 years or more. “Hopefully, it’s of some consolation that many of these familiar faces currently — or will in the future — work at other Hobee’s locations,” the company announced.
Five company-owned Hobee’s are still going strong. All are offering takeout, delivery and outdoor dining during this coronavirus era, and nationwide shipping of the blueberry coffee cake is available.
The addresses of those restaurants are: North San Jose (680 River Oaks Parkway); Sunnyvale (800 W. Ahwahnee Ave.); Mountain View (2312 Central Expressway); Palo Alto (4224 El Camino Real); and Belmont/Redwood Shores (1101 Shoreway Road).
Source: Thanks https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/07/20/redevelopment-coronavirus-end-33-year-run-for-hobees-cupertino-restaurant/