LaJose Hotel, LLC
They were easy to talk to, easy to get along with, nice people–very encouraging and supportive of us moving forward. If we would need anything or have questions about anything, all we’d need to do is pick up the phone and call.
Patricia Fields makes a delicious 50/50 burger from a custom-ground mix of beef and bacon. “Everybody who’s had ’em has loved ’em,” she says. She and Brent “Butch” Hartzfeld parlayed the 50/50 burger and other “down home” offerings–plus great customer service–into success at Butch’s 101 Pit Stop, his existing restaurant/bar business in Curwensville. A for-sale sign led them into LaJose Hotel, a bar & grill located deep in the PA Wilds. There they observed steady customers, but also underutilitized rooms and outdated equipment. And out back? A piece of paradise. “To sit out on the patio and look toward the woods, to me is a relaxing thing,” says Patty. “All you see is the field and trees.”
Previously a bar/restaurant employee, this time Patty aimed to be a co-owner. A banker referred the couple to The Progress Fund, which loaned $95,000 toward the purchase of the business.
“This is the first time my name is on a business,” says Patty. She and Butch are planning a total revamp of the late-19th-century building, which will increase table space, enhance the patio and facilitate new menu items: soups and chilis, chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, steaks and, of course, the 50/50 burger. “The only way you can know what it tastes like,” she teases, “is to try one.”View Story as PDF