North Iowa Re-Opens: Mary Jo’s Hobo House is Getting Back to Business

An iconic Britt breakfast and lunch restaurant is hitting its stride again after enduring the pandemic. Mary Jo’s Hobo House has reopened their dining room under specific guidelines set down by the state. To get to this point was not easy according to owner Mary Jo Hughes.

Hughes had to be creative and innovative. She also had to almost go into survival mode to get through the pandemic and near shutdown by the state.

There were bright spots such as her weekend business which remained fairly steady.

Regardless, the pandemic and resulting near shutdown took its toll. It became the proverbial feast to famine story that no one wants to experience.

Hughes began to worry about the future of her business. More than two decades of hard work seemed to be sifting through her hands like sand. She was getting no financial help from the state or federal government although she had applied for three grants, and so she had to rely on herself and whatever sales she could get. She went from making over 600 pots of coffee in one month to just eight.

Now she works harder than ever to bring back the base of customers that once was, but she knows what she faces in this challenge.

Mary Jo’s Hobo House is open for breakfast and lunch and is located at 72 Main Avenue S. in Britt.

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