Hobart landmark Paul’s Place comes down
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent November 13, 2012 4:18PM
Workers with Ellenberger's Maintenance Services shovel debris as the former Paul's Place restaurant building is demolished along Old Ridge Road in Hobart, Ind. Tuesday November 13, 2012. From left are Heriberto Saavedra, Jesus Saavedra and Perfeto Ramirez. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 15, 2012 6:23AM
HOBART — Friends joined Cheryl Roper and her brother, Robert Ames, as they snapped photos Tuesday of workers demolishing Paul’s Place, the restaurant their father, Paul Ames, opened more than 50 years ago that had long served as a popular gathering spot for residents.
“Before there was Burger King, before McDonald’s and all the other fast-food restaurants, this was the hangout in Hobart,” Roper said.
“It’s a very emotional day for me,” she said. “My dad built this restaurant, and I spent many hours down here working.”
She said family friends also were taking pictures.
“It’s a big deal to them, too,” said Roper, who lives in Lake Station.
Roper’s stepmother, Angie Ames, closed the restaurant in June 2011 at age 82 and retired. The property was purchased by Rees Funeral Home, which has a location across the street, at 600 W. Old Ridge Road.
Josh Krause, one of the managers of Rees Funeral Home, said the property will be used for additional parking.
“I don’t know if we’ll develop it right away. This is a first step,” Krause said.
He said they’ll eventually do some sealing and striping on the lot and place a sign for the funeral home there.
On Facebook, where Roper and others have posted photos of the demolition, both current and former Hobart residents expressed their sorrow at losing the building that was a large part of their lives and shared their own memories.
One person talked about how he ate there every Friday night with his family. Another said it provided her first job. One woman met her husband there many years ago. Another recalled the famous bean soup served up by the Ames family.
Krause was among the mourners.
“We’re sad to see Paul’s Place gone, too,” he said.
When interviewed just before closing the restaurant, Angie Ames said she would miss the people, but was ready to retire.
However, while Paul’s Place is gone, the family’s famous bean soup is still available at Ellney’s Bakery & Catering, located down the street from the restaurant. Ellney’s is owned by Ames’ family members and Ames is helping out, making the soup for carry-out.