BROOKSVILLE — The doors at Huddle House, the "Any Meal, Any Time" diner-style restaurant opened in early March, are now closed. Pervasive roof leaks are said to be the culprit.
"Repairs are being made," said Sidney Thompson, public relations spokesperson for the franchise holder. "It’s an extensive job."
Early this week, only minor cleanup appeared to be underway, a broom and bucket sitting outside the door, a number of filled trash bags inside. A sign on the door states, "Sorry we are temporarily closed due to water damage. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Conversely, the restaurant’s Facebook page states it is closed permanently. Manager Scott Kenny could not be reached for comment.
No construction repair plans have been submitted to the city of Brooksville, said community development director Bill Geiger. Depending on the extent of construction needed, permits may not be required, he noted.
The interior of the building at 1170 S Broad St., formerly a Pizza Hut, had been extensively remodeled to provide 86 seats for Huddle House.
"They’ve had problems since day one," said frequent customer and local resident George Hawkins. Often, he said he’d seen ceiling tiles removed and buckets set beneath to catch leaking rainwater.
Eating breakfast there three to four times a week, Hawkins said he’d become acquainted with the wait staff and knows that some of the 20-odd employees are currently seeking jobs elsewhere.
According to Hernando County property records, the building is owned by HH Valdosta Holding LLC of Lincoln, Neb. The franchise owner is Mike Lokhandwala of Atlanta. He also opened Huddle House franchises in Inverness and Crystal River last year and owns 11 locations overall.