Hobo’s will open soon in Trenton’s old boarding house

By Carrie A. Mizell
Gilchrist County residents have been talking about the opening of Trenton’s Olde Boarding House restaurant with great anticipation over the last year.

The wait may soon be over as Glenn and Rebecca Gavitt prepare to open “Hobo’s” within the next two to three weeks. A home-style restaurant, Hobo’s will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, along with breakfast on the weekends.
“We just started hiring this week, so our opening date will depend on how long it takes to hire the right people,” said Rebecca Gavitt.
The Gavitts plan to hire 30 people, which will include four cooks, kitchen and wait staff to prepare a versatile menu of dishes that will include steak, seafood and fried chicken.
Unlike the Olde Boarding House Restaurant, Hobo’s will not have a buffet, but the owners will offer a salad bar and nightly specials during the week.
“It will be table service, all you can eat dinner specials,” Rebecca Gavitt explained.
The restaurant’s dinner menu will feature a range of reasonably priced meals, starting around $9.
A lunch menu will be available during the middle of the day and it will consist of typical lunch fare along with express meals, such as soup and salad bar that can be ordered, prepared and paid for quickly for patrons on a limited lunch break from work.
Hobo’s will also offer curbside service at a pick up door that has been installed on the south side of the restaurant.
The Gavitts have been working on transforming the restaurant for nearly a year and a half. When they purchased the property, which was formerly Petrello’s, it had rotten floors and desperately needed a complete overhaul.
“We didn’t want to tear it down,” Rebecca Gavitt explained, “because we’ve always loved the building.”
Instead, the couple took their time meticulously working to restore the building, which took a year and a half. When it opens as Hobo’s, the new restaurant will have new electrical, plumbing and air conditioning. Five layers of ceiling have been removed to reveal the boardinghouse’s original beadboard ceiling. Other original items, like the original tin tiles that were on the roof have been installed in one section of the restaurant’s ceiling. Glenn, himself, built the booths and tables inside the restaurant as the couple did much of the work themselves.
“We just wanted to take our time and do it right,” Glenn Gavitt said. “It’s been a long haul.”
Five years ago, the Gavitts opened Chompers, a popular eat-in and drive-thru restaurant in Fanning Springs. With a background in the restaurant business, Glenn and Rebecca have wanted to own Trenton’s old boarding house, circa 1920, and run it as a restaurant for some time.
“Before Petrello’s came in we looked at it,” Glenn Gavitt said. “But it was just too much money then.”
The economy changed everything for the couple, who moved to Gilchrist County from Marathon, Florida in 2004 to be closer to their two daughters who live in the area.
“We’re excited to see it open,” Rebecca Gavitt said.
Hopefully the community will be as well.