Visalia’s Hometown Buffet on the sales block

John Lindt

10,000-square foot Hometown Buffet restaurant on Mooney Boulevard is up for sale for $2 million

VISALIA – One of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic has been restaurants, no matter the size. And now stalwart establishment, Hometown Buffet is on the sales block for $2 million according to the real estate company marketing the property.

The big Mooney Boulevard restaurant is closed and investors have been invited to tour the 2.2-acre property. Agent Shane Anderson of Commercial Retail Associates says he would not be surprised if the 10,000-square foot building with a large parking lot is converted to some other use besides dining.

That would not be surprising in that big restaurants and particularly all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants have had a tough time during the past year because food is served in line with little social distancing. Indoor buffet eateries are typically crowded where serving ladles and spoons are shared with people visiting serving trays of food multiple times. The “shared germ” perception has impacted salad bars, Indian and Chinese buffets as well.

Hometown Buffet in Clovis closed a few years ago as did the location in San Luis Obispo.

Hometown Buffet is operated by Texas-based Ovation Brands who has gone through several bankruptcies. The company runs Tahoe Joe’s steakhouse with a location in Visalia.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the Ovation buffet style restaurants “temporally” closed in March 2020. Five locations re opened as “AYCE Marketplaces” in summer 2020. As of January 15, 2021, all Old Country, Hometown, and Ryan’s Buffet locations are permanently closed, and nearly all have been auctioned off by Auction Nation.

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