Big Hoffa’s coming to town


The tea and biscuits that used to be served at Helio’s Tea Room at 220 E. Main St. soon will be replaced with the ribs and pulled pork of Big Hoffa’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.

Owner Adam Hoffman, 37, jumped at the chance to open his second Big Hoffa’s when the opportunity arose. He has another Main Street restaurant in Westfield already.

“I love this city,” he said. “I love the way they welcome businesses.”

Hoffman said his restaurant will be open sometime in late fall – he hopes.

“There is a lot do,” he said. “It would have been easier to tear down the building and start over, but we wanted to keep the integrity of the building, and pay homage and respect to the past and to the city of Carmel.”

Hoffman added that he didn’t want anything fancy because that’s not what Big Hoffa’s is about.

“That’s not our style at Hoffa’s,” he said. “Everything here is family style, and we are family-run.”

Hoffman’s cousin, Noah Kline, owns the business with him. He said Kline will manage the Westfield restaurant when Hoffman moves to the Carmel site. They will both continue to create the unique specialities that make Hoffa’s, well, special.

“Our specialties separate us from the traditional barbecue places,” he said. “We take months to create them in our test kitchens and we find inspirations from all around.”

The latest: the El Segndo, a combination of jasmine rice, topped with French fries, spicy mayonnaise, mac and cheese, pulled pork, cilantro, onions and a lime wedge.

The Carmel location will seat 60 to 80 inside and about 40 to 50 outdoors. Hoffman said he didn’t know whether the facility would serve alcohol. He also isn’t sure about the hours. He doesn’t have a local telephone number but his Westfield restaurant can be reached at 867-0077.

However, he is certain about the smoker that will be built in the rear of the site.

“It will hold thousands of pounds of meat,” he said. “It’s where all of our meat will be cooked.”

Also scheduled to open on Carmel’s Main Street is Agave Bar and Grill, a Mexican restaurant slated to open Aug. 1 in the site of the former Sonata Cafe, 31 E. Main St., which officially closed July 20.

Agave General Manger Alejandro Fernandez said the restaurant will offer alcoholic beverages and will keep the art theme Sonata was known for.

The restaurant, which will offer traditional Mexican fare with a slightly different twist, according to Fernandez, will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 438-0613.

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