New Albany Huddle House sees big changes in design

Huddle House has recently undergone a lot of renovations. The remodel took 10 days to complete from start to finish, which included knocking out the walls, gutting the place, expanding the size of the building, painting walls, adding more tables and chairs, and doing a complete redesign of the restaurant.

Al Bonfanti, director of operations foe the Huddle House of New Albany, said,” This Huddle House is over 20 years old and we decided that it should be remodeled. We went through two or three changes before we picked a look. We looked into it very seriously and we wanted a look that will last a long time.”
The Huddle House in New Albany has the EVO design, which stands for evolution. This restaurant is the only one in this region with this design.There are eight regions in the country for Huddle House restaurants. And, this restaurant is the second highest volume store in this region, with Senatobia having the highest volume store.
“The EVO design can be chosen in three steps. You can choose to remodel the outside of the restaurant, you can choose to remodel the inside of the restaurant and bump out, and you can choose to knock the walls down and pushed the store out. We decided to go with all three steps for the EVO design for this restaurant,” said Bonfanti.
“When a store’s contract is up, the store has an option of doing a remodel. We wanted to do something here to show how much we appreciate the business of the customers in this town and we wanted to make a positive impact on the community as well,” said Bonfanti.
In addition to the restaurant’s remodel, the menu was changed too. Pot roast, chicken and dumplings, milkshakes, pancakes, chicken pot pie, and more was added. This restaurant has the same menu that all of the other restaurants have, but there is an additional menu that is only available at restaurants with the EVO design. This menu adds different flavored pancakes and has daily specials. Chicken pot pie is the most popular menu item from the new EVO menu.
Two televisions are added to the design, local New Albany memorabilia is on the wall, the history of Huddle House is in wallpaper near the bathrooms, and more seats were added to accommodate more customers.
Before the remodel, the restaurant could seat 68 people. After David Farmer of Farmer Construction was done with the construction and the remodel, the restaurant can now seat approximately 95 people. The counter stools were removed, a semi-circle booth was added in the corner, and additional tables and chairs were added.
No parking spaces were lost in the construction, but the sidewalk in the front was removed and  handicapped spaces was added in front of the restaurant.
Bonfanti said that Huddle House got it’s name because after football games, people would come to the restaurant and huddle together and eat.
He said that most of the customers that come to the New Albany Huddle House are regulars.
“That’s what we really shoot for at this restaurant are ties to the community. These are not customers – they are like family to us. We even have framed pictures of customers hanging in the restaurant,” said Bonfanti.
There are 25 employees that work at this restaurant.
Rickey Lawson, district manager, said, “We really appreciate our customers and want to thank them for sticking with us through this remodel and we hope to serve them as well as we did before the remodel.”
Kevin Cobb is the store manager and Taft Little and Mark Little are co-owners of this restaurant.
The restaurant plans to hold a customer appreciation day ceremony soon. Huddle House is open 24 hours a day, 265 days a year.

About Chris Elkins

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