HARTINGTON – Fine dining with the quiet atmosphere of a restaurant has been absent from Hartington’s social scene for several years.
A new business opened last May in the historic Globe Clothing building at the corner of Broadway and Main Street in downtown Hartington. It will fill the missing piece in downtown Hartington. The name The Globe Chophouse honors the historic context of the building.
“The original building was built in 1888 and it was destroyed by fire and this building was built in 1901,” owner Kate Gapinski Lammers said. “We like to talk about history.”
The Globe has been famous for many years as a fine clothing store for women and men and a popular place to rent tuxedos. As times changed, so did needs, and the clothing business became less popular, prompting that side of the business to shut down. The then owner continued to run the tuxedo business until 2015.
Vets Ben and Erin Schroeder then took over the building and renovated the lower level as a meeting place for birthday parties and showers, and the upper level became a home for their family. They also opened a clothing and gift shop featuring items from their TV show, “Heartland Docs”, called Chasin Charlie’s General Store, which the Schroeders later moved down the street to their new investment, the Historic Hartington Hotel.
“I could really see the need for a good restaurant with a nice environment in northeast Nebraska,” Gapinski Lammers said, as she loved the charm of the century-old building.
The defunct business in Hartington sparked Gapinski Lammers, and her love of the food industry and her entrepreneurial spirit inspired her to open a business.
Working closely with her head chef, she develops specials, which include comfort food with a big-city feel, trying to keep up with foods that are trendy but still provide that cozy, small-town feel.
“My favorite menu item is the steak sandwich made with carved New York steak, a creamy garlic and herb dressing with au jus dip,” Gapinski Lammers said.
The restaurant’s future site was purchased in January 2021, and the Schroeders’ renovation made it compatible with Gapinski Lammers’ vision for the new business. All that was missing was a second bathroom and a bar area, built by family and friends.
The food court was another story. The garage used by the Schroeders has been converted into a commercial kitchen. An addition connects it to the Chophouse, and soon the business was ready to open.
The company employs five full-time and seven part-time employees. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday but opens from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch, Thursday evening and Friday and Saturday for dinner. It is also available for events such as office meetings, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties.
Gapinski Lammers graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a general studies degree, specializing in political science, history and gerontology. She has had a passion for hospitality since attending college as a restaurant hostess in the Omaha area. She is the house manager at the Chophouse but fills in whenever needed in the kitchen.
The capacity of the restaurant on the main level and an upper loft is between 70 and 80 customers and she is disappointed when they have to turn away customers when they are full – which happens.
Gapinski Lammers credits the Hartington Chamber of Commerce and the Hartington Economic Development Corp. crucial role in the successful opening of the Chophouse.
“Since living in Hartington, I’ve found that the community is very supportive of local businesses, and there are a lot of people out there who just want to see every business succeed,” Gapinski Lammers said. “We have a very involved chamber.”