Iconic Sarasota restaurant to undergo renovations

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SARASOTA-- One of Sarasota's oldest, operating restaurants is set to move forward with a major renovation project. A $500,000 renovation project to be exact.

The Hob Nob opened its doors on U.S. 301 in 1957. Since then, little has changed. The neon signs are still lit, and the restaurant's famous burgers are still juicy.

"It's a landmark," said Cary Spicuzza, the owner. "When anyone identifies certain places in Sarasota, they say it's down the road from the Hob Nob or near the Hob Nob."

Now, after 56-years in business, the restaurant will soon close its doors for its largest renovation project to date.

"Hopefully the word will spread and people will come to the new Hob Nob and see what it's all about," said Stephannie Austin, a waitress.

The restaurant's roof and awning will be replaced. So will the seats. The kitchen will also be revamped, in addition to adding fans and heating lamps. Spicuzza is also going to build a wall around the restaurant.

"The wall is going to protect the patrons. A car drove through and almost hit the counter about 6-weeks ago," said Spicuzza.

Long-time customers like Pam Krone of Sarasota just hope the restaurant doesn't lose its retro feel.

"I like it for what it is, but I'm sure it will still be cool," said Krone. "They would have to do something really bad for me not to come back, like change the food."

The good news for Krone and other loyal patrons is that the menu will not change. Nor will the 1950's theme.

Construction is set to begin at the end of July and should last until late August or early September.