After 18 years, owners selling popular eatery
(From left to right) Katelin Schmill, Marilyn Hymel, John Hymel and Hailey Schmill stand behind the counter of Hymel’s Restaurant. The Hymels have owned the eatery for 18 years, but have decided to sell it.
Hymel’s actually began as a service station that had a small deli attached. But after patrons tasted the delicious food sold there, they talked John Hymel and his wife Marilyn into making the entire building a restaurant.
“Things were getting out of hand with the mechanic service aspect, so after hearing from a lot of our customers, we decided to make Hymel’s a restaurant,” John said. “We have stayed pretty busy ever since.”
Because of the restaurant’s location on River Road, it became a popular spot for plant workers in the area, who would stop by daily for hamburgers, roast beef, gumbo and soups.
For the last 18 years, John has served as the primary cook of the restaurant and created all of the daily specials.
“After Katrina, we actually got a lot busier,” John said. “Our business really depends on the plants and it all depends on how much construction is going on in the area and even what the kitchens at the plants are serving that day.
“If they weren’t serving anything good, we would have a packed house for lunch.”
Marilyn said that many of the restaurant’s customers over the years have been extremely loyal, often visiting Hymel’s several times a week.
“Because of them, we were able to be successful for as long as we have,” she said. “The main thing we will miss about the restaurant are the customers. Most of them came in so often that our waitresses would know what they wanted to order the second they came in the door.”
“And they would bring exact change,” Hailey Schmill, a granddaughter of John and Marilyn who works at the restaurant, said.
John and Marilyn have been trying to sell the business for a while and recently found a buyer who says he will keep it a restaurant.
“We were hoping we would get to sell it to someone who would keep it the same,” Marilyn said. “And luckily that’s what happened.”
In fact, John said he has given all of his recipes to the new owner.
“The family that he is from knows how to cook, but I decided to give him all of my recipes,” John said. “I won’t be able to use them anyway.”
The Hymels say that they will still run the restaurant for the next couple of weeks, but after that, the new owner will take over.
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