Frumpy Joe's plans to close at the end of June

By Theo Tate, Montgomery Standard
Posted 6/20/24

The restaurant, known for its fried chicken, roast beef and sirloin steak, will be closing at the end of the month.

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Frumpy Joe's plans to close at the end of June


For more than 30 years, Frumpy Joe’s Food and Drink was a staple in the Jonesburg community. But at the end of this month, the family-owned business that is famous for its fried chicken, roast beef and sirloin steak, will be shutting down.

Management made the announcement of Frumpy Joe’s closing on its Facebook page on June 12. Due to the passing of owner Mike Hochhalter in January, the family decided not to stay in the restaurant business.

It was kind of a family decision,” said Tom Larner, Hochhalter’s grandson and the restaurant manager. “If we were to try to continue it on, we would have to close for a while because with our licenses expiring, it would take time to get all new documents drawn up. We don’t necessarily want Frumpy’s to go away. We would love for someone else to take it over and still see it because it’s been here for 34 years.”

Larner said he first learned about the closing on June 9.

They had a sit down talk and it was kind of like, ‘This is what it is.’ My grandfather passed away a few months ago and everything is in his name, including the liquor license and the business license,” Larner said. “My family was ready to start a new chapter.”

Larner has been working at Frumpy Joe’s for five years. He said he is ready to move on to other things.

I think it was a good time to close the chapter,” Larner said. “I just had twins myself. They’re 3 now. They’re going to need me to be present more. They’re going to have events. I don’t want to be tied down.”

Frumpy Joe’s was first open in 1990. Joe Garrett was the restaurant’s first owner and ran it for 10 years.

Hochhalter, who grew up in High Hill, worked for Mastercard International for more than 35 years before taking over as owner at Frumpy Joe’s several years ago.

He got closer to retirement age,” Larner said. “He just wanted something to do. So he bought this place and kind of bragged that he had it. Two years into him owning it, the family started to realize that he was suffering from dementia. A stroke was the catalyst for that. When his illness started to form, my mom took over as power of attorney and she took over the main run of it.”

Larner said the restaurant has gotten plenty of feedback from patrons since the announcement of the closing. There are signs posted on the restaurant doors about the closing.

We got a wave of support,” Larner said. “There were a lot of people coming in and showing their love. It’s one of those things you don’t really know how to break the news to somebody. I let my staff know and I wanted to give them time before I released it to the world. After I released it on Facebook and put the signs up, I was getting text messages and calls from a lot of people who were concerned. There was a wave of love on Facebook.”

Larner said Frumpy Joe’s took time to give back to the community. On the first Wednesday of each month, the restaurant makes a donation to Jonesburg Elementary School.

One time (the school librarian) told me that one of the kids there at the school wrote that their favorite thing to do is come to Frumpy Joe’s and eat,” Larner said. “That just warmed my heart. We love making food that people love.”

An official closing date is not yet determined. Larner said the restaurant will continue to bring happiness to the patrons during its final days of business.

We’re going to have fun with it,” Larner said. “That’s all this place has been for me for five years. It’s been nothing but fun and love.”

Jonesburg, Frumpy Joe's