Friday was the last day for Hobber’s Highway 99 Bar and Grill, at least under current ownership.
Owner, Jon Beberg, who took over the bar just outside St. Peter two years ago, decided it was time to shut it down, despite originally having a five-year plan for the space. He said the building had some issues he wasn’t privy to beforehand, and it wasn’t worth keeping things going.
“It’s just a business decision to make,” he said. “Business was great. We had the best food around. I just decided it was time to move on.”
Beberg plans to continue his catering business, Jonny’s BBQ, but now solely out of a food trailer, which he could tow across the country with his truck. Beberg said he has weddings and parties booked out for the next four years, and he’ll be taking the show on the road.
“The catering business is already full-fledged,” he said. “I’ll have a food trailer. It’s better than a food truck; you don’t break down. I’m traveling the country, doing NASCAR events, professional fishing events; I have a lot of connections down south. It’s that time of my life; I’m in my 50s; I just want to enjoy myself.”
As for the Hobber’s building, Beberg presently still owns it, but will likely be looking to sell. He didn’t have any ideas of what would be next for it.
Before Beberg, the business was owned for seven years by Mike Hobday and Ann Mervin, siblings, and it was named Hobber’s after Hobday’s nickname.
Beberg added some new items to the menu and said he always got good reception for the food. It’s the regulars he’ll miss from the job.
“We had good, loyal customers that appreciate good food,” he said. “That would be what I miss the most. I enjoy cooking for people. That’s why I got into this.”
Hobber’s may have had been impacted by Hwy. 99 bridge closures over the last several years, with access to the bar closed off from St. Peter for several weeks in some years. The bar is located outside of St. Peter limits in Le Sueur County. Just to the west, also in Le Sueur County, the old Whiskey River building has been shut down for a few years but will reopen soon as Neisen’s Riverside Sports Bar.