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By Austin Andre
The village of Hardin will have some changes made to its list of local businesses this month, as their Subway has closed down this week.
Owners, Dennis and Beth Kronable, have run the business for 20 years, establishing a much beloved spot for families and customers alike over their long tenure. The restaurant’s last day of business was Tuesday, Nov. 22.
The Kronables cited a few reasons for throwing in the towel on the shop, with the main ones being personal obligations.
“We wanted to retire and spend more time with the family,” Beth said. “We’ve done it for 20 years and we’re ready to take a break.”
Despite their parting, the Kronables expressed gratitude and immense appreciation for the business they’ve received the last two decades. Business has been good for them as well, with over 150-200 sandwiches being made per day, even over the past few weeks, despite the impending closure.
“We’re really gonna miss the customers and all the business we’ve had these years,” Beth said. “Everyday people have told us how much they appreciated us. People are in tears about it.”
Apart from making sandwiches and other popular items, the Subway served as a vital lifeline in the flood of 2019, as it was the only restaurant open. Staff members would put prepared food on a boat and take it to those in need, providing much appreciated support to those most affected. It also served as a place where families would routinely come together to enjoy themselves and others.
“I feel like I’ve raised 200 kids,” said Beth. “I’m gonna miss it. I’ve been there 20 years.”
However, while the Subway itself will be closing, it does not mean the building will be left deserted. Subway staff member, Enresto Cuevas, will be opening his own sandwich shop in place of the closing business.
The Happy Belly Deli will be the new sandwich shop in town, yet Cuevas plans on keeping things how they were.
“We’re gonna keep it how it is, but add new items like pulled pork and sloppy Joes, things like that,” Cuevas said. “I don’t wanna make much changes.”
As described, menu items will be relatively similar, but there will be slight variations and additions to the food selections as the biggest changes will be to the interior and design.
Cuevas expressed an optimistic outlook on taking the place of the former shop, with little worries in regards to revenue or reception.
“We feel good about it, I’ve been there everyday for the last 8 months,” Cuevas said. “So far everybody is excited about it and ready.”
No opening day has been announced as of writing, but it is expected to be within the next few weeks. Aside from the sandwich shop, Cuevas also plans on opening a Mexican restaurant in town as well.
“It’ll be a simple menu, maybe four to five things total,” said Cuevas. “It’ll be authentic Mexican though.”
Cuevas plans to work on the restaurant as soon as possible, most likely whenever the Deli is complete. No name has been decided for the restaurant yet, as it will still be months before it opens. Some details are in the works however, such as a small seating area and potentially an outdoor area as well since Cuevas plans on making it mainly a carry out and drive thru establishment.
“It’ll be exciting for the county to have a Mexican place,” said Cuevas. “My main focus is on the deli though. Dennis and Beth are ready to retire and I’m ready to get in there.”
The Kronables have no worries in regards to the business. According to them, Cuevas has been a trusted employee for many years.
“The business will be fine with Ernesto,” Beth said. “They’ll be able to add to it and give everything a fresh look.”
Despite the sadness of a much beloved establishment closing, locals are excited to welcome the Happy Belly Deli to Hardin and all it has to offer. The restaurant plans to continue the great things its predecessor has accomplished over its 20 year operation. While the name may change, the dedication to service and customers’ well-being will not, according to Cuevas.