Founded in 1962, Hodak’s Restaurant & Bar began as a tavern nestled on the corner of 14th and Emmett. There, owners Tony and Helen would sporadically bring in the misses’ chicken to serve the customers. As fate would have it, the recipe won over the crowd, and a fine tradition was set in motion.
|With the expansion of the highway, Hodak’s was relocated to 18th and Russell, where it resided only a few years before moving permanently to Gravois and McNair, in lieu of a second wave of road construction.|
|The early nineties yielded to a fresh start under new ownership, whose vision for Hodak’s brought forth a decade of acquisitions and revisions. The first of these came in 1994, with the purchase of the neighboring Heimberger Trucking Company, as well as a paint shop on McNair and Cushing, which was demolished to make way for the first of four parking lots.|
|It was decided the following year that a banquet room would be erected above the old Heimberger building to cater special occasions. Shortly thereafter, the need for a second dining area arose, to accommodate Hodak’s growing patronage. Designs revolved around an antiqued blacksmith forge that has stood since its conception in the late 1800’s. To bridge the once-disconnected buildings, skylights and polished glass blocks were incorporated in the construction of an arched waiting hall that created a seamless restaurant floor.|
|Hodak’s greatest renovations would not occur until September of 2000. During the course of a month, the restaurant received a complete facelift, including a graduated kitchen and office space, additional and refurbished restroom accommodations, and a more comfortable, relaxed design incorporated into the dining areas and bar, from the hanging stained glass lamps, down to the plush-seated booths.|
|The latest acquisition took place in 2002, when the restaurant transformed the corner previously housing the Roy Schmidt Company into an enclosed parking lot. The wrought iron gates displaying the “H” emblem welcome travelers from a fair distance.|
Despite these radical changes, one thing remains unscathed at Hodak’s: the desire to serve you, the customer, great meals at affordable prices in a nonchalant atmosphere. So, whether you’re out with the family, or having lunch with the coworkers, stop on by Hodak’s, have a seat, and try our famous chicken, voted St. Louis’ best chicken since 1991!
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