Tim Hofer talks Flatlanders, brisket and neighbors
What does a farmer, a franchise owner and a reinvented bar and grill owner have in common? Well, everything, because Tim Hofer is each one of these things and more. This former silent partner of Shenanigans opens up to us about what it means to be a flatlander and why he created a unique restaurant in our community.
From a small farm southwest of Mina, Hofer looked out across the landscape and considered building a new bar and grill that featured ever-popular craft beer taps. He had watched Aberdeen grow and expand after owning Shenanigans for 14-years, and he wanted to do something new.
“I was searching for a new concept,” Hofer explains, “and a new location. I wanted to be in the northernmost east side of town, closer to the rooftops, to clientele in neighborhoods, and offer them homemade food and great beer. I wanted to be their neighborhood bar and grill.”
And it was looking out over that prairie that the name came to him.
Hofer says, “I’ve always considered myself a flatlander – that’s what we are here. You can tell that by looking out your window. So I named the restaurant after the neighborhood people we serve – we’re Flatlanders.”
It was important to Hofer that the new restaurant offer homemade recipes, so with the help of chefs, he set about the task of creating a menu with recipes made from scratch.
“All of our food is from scratch here,” Hofer says with pride. “Take our French dip, for example. We start with a cut of beef and we season it and slow roast it. Then we slice it fresh. It isn’t a manufactured product. Our soups, sauces, everything – it’s all homemade, and I’m very proud of that.”
At Flatlanders, the number one priority is to satisfy customers in every aspect. That’s why Hofer has created a core staff that he feels confident can do that on a daily basis.
He explains, “I have a wonderful general manager, a fantastic kitchen manager and a solid nucleus of staff that people who come in here enjoy seeing. And we serve food our customers enjoy and we offer different dishes they can’t get anywhere else, so they keep coming back.”
Among Flatlanders’ signature items are The Flatlander Brisket Burger, a juicy half-pound in-house ground and marinated beef brisket; a spin on the traditional Chicken Picatta, served over homemade mashed potatoes; and their 7-ounce house-cut black angus sirloin Steak Oscar, topped with wild-caught lump crab, asparagus, and house-made béarnaise sauce.
We were able to sample each of these dishes, and they are truly as delectable as the proud owner boasts. Thankfully, they are also offered on the menu year-round, so swing by this neighborhood bar and grill and try them all. You won’t be disappointed.