Signal Hill-based Hof’s Hut Restaurants, Inc., owner of Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery and Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que chains, announced March 13 that it has changed its name to Hofman Hospitality Group as the company rolls out a third restaurant brand called Spin Neapolitan Pizza, which will soon come to Southern California.
The family-run corporation made the announcement just weeks after closing the Hof’s Hut at 6257 E. 2nd St., which was adjacent to Pacific Coast Highway and had been a mainstay in Long Beach along the Alamitos Bay marina for more than 50 years.
The company now has five Hof’s Hut locations: two in Long Beach (one in Los Altos and another in Bixby Knolls) and locations in Los Alamitos, Buena Park and Torrance.
According to a corporate statement, the name change was made to “reflect the company’s expansion,” after inking a deal last year to become the first franchise partner with a Kansas City-based artisan-pizza restaurant company that is now being rolled out in the SoCal market.
“As our restaurant business continues to grow and incorporate additional concepts into our portfolio, it made logical sense that our corporate name reflect that growth,” said Craig Hofman, owner and president of the Hofman Hospitality Group, who was recently named “entrepreneur of the year” by the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Hofman is being honored for the recognition during a luncheon on April 11 at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.
Hof’s Hut was first established in 1951 after Hofman’s parents first opened the eatery serving pies and American fare on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The company opened the first Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que on the same street in 1999 and now has 16 locations in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company plans to open additional Lucille’s locations this year in Concord, Calif. and Las Vegas.
Last year, Hofman signed on as the first franchise partner of Spin Neapolitan Pizza, which first opened in 2005 and now has five locations in the greater Kansas City area. According to a company statement, Spin is known for its “artisan food made from fresh ingredients without the gourmet price, premium wines and community involvement.”
Co-owners Gail and Richard Lozoff and Edwin Brownell first started the restaurant and are now looking to expand into the Los Angeles-area market. The owners also developed Bagel & Bagel, which also started in Kansas City and eventually became Einstein Bros. Bagels.
Hofman Hospitality Group plans to develop 35 Spin locations in Southern California within the next 10 years.
In a press release about the partnership, Hofman stated that he initially wanted to make the Spin pizza concept his own but decided to join Spin as a franchise partner instead.
“Their great pizzas and salads were so good that I did not think I could improve the recipes,” he stated. “The culture of quality and excellence that Ed, Gail and Richard have created fits well with our core values for operating recipes.”
Spin owners added that franchising the concept makes it easier to expand restaurants into populated markets in hopes of building a national brand.
Regarding whether Hofman plans to add a Spin location to the site of the former Hof’s Hut on 2nd Street near PCH, Brad Hofman, son of Craig Hofman, would not comment, however he said the company is still in negotiations with property owner Watt Companies after being unable to come to terms on a lease agreement.
“We have not signed anything yet,” he said. “It’s something I’m not at liberty to talk about.”
Plans for the site that have already been announced include replacing the closed Albertson’s with a Gelson’s market and swapping the City National Bank with a CVS Pharmacy.