Bob Hoppman’s penchant for marketing has served him well in his 35 years in the restaurant business. As owner of Paducah’s Pasta House Company, Bob records his own signature radio commercials, offers attractive “frequent diner” incentives, and trains employees to greet customers as old friends.
And it may be marketing savvy that prompted Bob to move the Pasta House from its long-time Kentucky Oaks Mall location to Jordan’s Crossing, a strip center built last year near the Cinemark Theatre. In explaining his decision to move, Bob says business was leveling off at the restaurant after 16 years at the mall, and he feared further decline. The move was apparently a good decision. Business is booming with greater seating capacity and a full bar area. Wireless capability is available throughout the dining area and a separate meeting room seats 36.
Bob and his wife, Lisa, have lived in Paducah consistently for the last eight years, after several moves between Cape Girardeau, Nashville, and Paducah, with Bob opening stores elsewhere for the Pasta House Company’s home office, based in St. Louis. Bob has worked in some capacity with the Pasta House Company for the past 25 years.
Although the restaurant business is notorious for high rates of employee turnover, the Pasta House boasts that, of the 52 employees who moved from the old location to the new, at least 10 have been employed for six or more years and another 10 have been employed for three years or longer. Approximately 20 additional employees were hired when the restaurant moved to its current location.
Bob is grateful to Paducah Bank for helping make the move possible. “They helped us to open our new restaurant last August with a construction loan. They are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, and friendly,” he says of Paducah Bank employees. “We bank at the Strawberry Hill Branch and Branch Manager Renae Crane and her staff are extremely pleasant to do business with.” An active community member, Bob is president of the Paducah Hospitality Association, a board member for the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, a member of the West Kentucky Wine Grower’s Association, and a member of the area Eagle Scout Board of Review Committee. (And yes, he is an Eagle Scout himself.) In keeping with the Chamber of Commerce’s “Buy Local” campaign and Bob’s own “love for the vine,” The Pasta House Company is exclusively selling wines from Paducah’s Purple Toad Winery. Wine tastings feature Bob and a local celebrity as guest bartender and are held each Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at the restaurant.
Bob says there are no definite plans, but it’s not likely that the newest Pasta House location will be the last in our area. He is considering various possibilities, including a downtown restaurant location, or a Lone Oak location for a “Pasta Pronto” – Pasta House’s version of fast food, which is currently being test marketed in St. Louis.
Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain. Bob Hoppmann serves Paducah well.