Hoops Sports Bar, Restaurant & Catering closed its doors for the final time Thursday afternoon. The current owner, Karl Reichold, closed the kitchen at 2 p.m. Thursday and kept the bar open for the rest of the day so that customers could come by and say goodbye.
The past year was obviously tough on restaurants, and Reichold says that the loss of revenue ultimately led to having to close the business that he owned for 18 years.
“I took possession of the business on January 31, 2002, and I am closing the business on Jan. 31, 2020,” Reichold said. “The circumstance that there was with us was being closed for four months and only being to do carry out, which was very unlucrative, and then the government giving us money but then telling us we could only spend the money in a certain way didn’t help the bottom line at all. After nine months of losing $9,000 a month. There is just no more money anywhere to keep it going … When COVID hit, it really took an effect, and not only on me. To go from $20,000 a week in sales to $200 or $300 a week – it just ate up the money so fast.
“With everything that is going on, unfortunately, I don’t foresee it getting any better in the near future,” he added. “I have to take care of myself. It is almost impossible to even find employees right now. The ones I have are wonderful, and there are not near enough of them.”
Reichold says that the business is now for sale.
“And I am selling everything,” he said. “The restaurant, the catering part – it all goes together.
“I am pretty much done in this business,” he added. “I don’t foresee it coming back any time in the near future, unfortunately. But maybe, with me closing, that will keep some other restaurants from having to close.”
Reichold bought the business from Phyllis Lowery in 2002 after she ran it for 12 years.
“She is the one who changed the name to Hoops,” Reichold said. “It was Pizza Plus, and it was another pizza joint. But, way back when, it was an open-air market by the name of Trade Winds.”
Clinton County will miss Hoops not only for its food and memories made there, but also for the things it did for the community.
“We have always used Hoops to help the community when we can,” Reichold said. “We did Special People’s Day for numerous years and Christmas at Parkview for numerous years. We have done many, many biker rides to help out in different situations … When it comes down to it, I love Clinton County.
“We raised $10,000 for the Lagoons at one time, and that was primarily because of Jim Strode,” he remembered. “He headed up the one for the Lagoons, and it turned into an absolute monster. He did a great job of that.”
Reichold says he will miss his Hoops family.
“When you go into work and see the same people every day in as far as customers, it really warms your hearts,” Reichold said. “When I bought the restaurant, I had customers who would come in with their little children. Then I would (cater) their wedding 15 or 18 years later. It is just really cool to watch the people that I served grow up – and the other ones grow old, I guess, as we all do… It is almost unbearable to even think about it. It is amazing in 18 years how many good, great customers have died, and they really become part of your family when your family is basically your business.”
And there are many patrons of Hoops that will miss the restaurant.
“Had many memories at Hoops,” Jerrod Griffin said. “Great people, great service, great food – even had a couple truck club meets at Hoops.”
“I always like going to Hoops,” Alexis Rex said. “The owner is a great guy. I will miss the brownie desert.”
“Very sad to see another small business die,” William Malady said. “It was a good place to eat, but not enough people support small business. I’m sorry that we didn’t go to Frankfort more times supporting him and his establishment.”
Kala Brown’s favorite memory of Hoops involves her grandmother and a motorcycle.
“My entire family went there, especially throughout the summer,” Brown said. “My grandma was a wild firecracker, and we loved her spirit. One day at Hoops, she seen a motorcycle sitting at the back entrance. She decided to get on the bike and have my mom take her picture… The owner of the bike knew my family and was laughing and smiling telling them to get a good picture. Then all of the women started getting on and taking their picture. A good memory.
“My uncle had the picture of my grandma framed and brought it to the owner, Karl, and he hung it up in the bar side,” she continued. “My grandma has since passed. It was an awesome thing to walk into Hoops and sit by my grandma’s picture and feel like I was having breakfast with her. Hoops will always have a special spot in our family’s heart, and we are sad to see it go.”
Reichold thanked his longtime kitchen manager, Tom Leach.
“He has been with me for at least 12 years if not 13,” Reichold said. “He has just been a great sounding board and just a very true employee.
“It is bittersweet, but it is just another hiccup in life,” he added. “You can’t get down about it. You can only just go forward.”