Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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January 17, 2013

New Greensburg eatery open for business

Greensburg — Angela Hall is accepting orders.

The owner and operator of Greensburg’s newest eatery — Just Loafin’ — opened her restaurant Jan. 2.

Hall sat down with the Daily News for a brief chat Thursday afternoon, just after lunch rush.

“We’ve been very pleased with business so far,” she said.

Before opening her business, Hall was a teller at Napoleon State Bank. About three years ago, she started college at Purdue, working on a degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.

“Those classes really got me thinking about what I wanted to do,” she explained. “I’ve wanted to open my own restaurant for a long time, and the classes gave me a good foundation to move forward. It seemed like the right time.”

For Hall, the right time was one class short of earning an Associates degree and a handful of classes from a Bachelor’s. She’d like to eventually complete both, but right now, even a single class would be too much.

“I’m putting everything I’ve got into making this place successful,” she said. “And I just don’t have time right now.”

Thankfully, she’s got plenty of help. Her three children — two boys and one girl — work around the restaurant, as does her husband Jeremy.

“My oldest son is in the back doing dishes right now,” Hall pointed out. “The other two are in school, but they always help after school.”

To date, Hall has experienced significantly heavier crowds at lunch compared to dinner.

“The lunch crowd just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” she said. “We haven’t seen near as many people at dinner, and we’re thinking about ways to change that.”

Hall’s menu is heavy on sandwiches, salads and wraps, which, she conceded, probably plays a role in the heavier lunch crowd.

“We’re thinking about running a nightly special at dinner,” she explained. “For instance, we might make Mondays Baked Spaghetti Night and Tuesday’s Meatloaf Night and so forth. But nothing’s decided yet.”

A nightly dinner special would be in addition to the weekly special Hall already runs.

The first week of operation, she featured Ruebens; the second week, the special was homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese; while Ham, beans and cornbread are this week’s feature. Next week, Hall be featuring Beef Manhattan.

She emphasized that, though she might eventually feature a daily dinner special, she otherwise prefers weekly specials.

“Weekly specials are better for spreading word-of-mouth interest,” she explained. “If you miss the special on Monday, no problem; you can still get it on Tuesday or Thursday or Friday.”

“Plus,” she continued, “a weekly special cuts down on food costs.”

Hall values her customers for more than just their business, she said, explaining that her menu has partially been shaped by customer suggestion.

“We featured the ham, bean and cornbread last week,” she explained, “because a guy came in the first week requesting that.”

Hall has also added one particularly popular item because from a customer request: Lemon Gooey Cake. The sweet, gooey treat has made a fine addition to Hall’s ever-changing assortment of cookies, brownies, pies and cakes.

“I don’t have any other name for it,” she said. “We had two customers come in one day and request something sweet with lemon in it. We’ve been selling it ever since.”

Hall welcomed any and all suggestions from the community.

“I love to cook and make good food,” she said, “and I love to make people happy with my food. If you’ve got a suggestion we want to hear it. We’re glad to do customized requests, but you never know, your suggestion might just become a regular part of our menu.”

What ever Hall adds to the menu, it will be homemade, she added — as is almost everything on the menu now.

“We make everything in store from scratch wherever possible,” she said. “I experimented with baking my own bread at first, but doing so would just take up too much of my time. If we did our own bread, we wouldn’t have time for anything else; we’d be spending our days kneading and rising, kneading and rising and baking.”

Hall refuses to add a deep fryer to her kitchen, though. She wants her menu to be as healthy as it is tasty.

“If you want something greasy and deep fried,” she said, “you’ll have to go somewhere else. There’s already plenty of other places in town where to buy that kind of food.”

Just Loafin’ has already found a fan in Melanie Maxwell, Decatur County’s director of tourism.

Maxwell tried the establishment Thursday afternoon for the first time and was favorably impressed. In fact, it was Maxwell who alerted the Daily News to the new eatery.

“Everything I had was just amazing,” Maxwell exclaimed. “The noodles in the chicken soup are made from scratch, and the chocolate chip cookies tasted fresh from the oven.”

“I’d been seeing the sign out front and was wondering if they were open for lunch yet,” she continued. “So I decided to try it. I’m glad I did. Everything was so fresh.”

Just Loafin’ is located at 826 North Michigan Avenue and is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 222-2253.

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.

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