Hoffman House closing doors amid pandemic, may reopen in Phase 5 of Illinois reopening plan
ROCKFORD — Hoffman House, a longtime Rockford restaurant known for its prime rib, is closing its doors because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Owner Michael Prosser says he is unable to cover his overhead under coronavirus capacity restrictions. He closed the restaurant Monday. He told WREX Tuesday that he hopes to reopen when the state reaches Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan.
The original Hoffman House was founded in 1946 in Madison, Wisconsin, by seven Hoffman brothers. The brothers opened the Rockford location in 1958, inside Don Carter Lanes on East State Street. Prosser’s father began working for the brothers in 1973. The restaurant moved to its current location next to Holiday Inn in 1975.
Michael began working for his father when he was 8, checking coats. The restaurant still follows the original recipes.
As of this report, the state is in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Under Phase 4, indoor dining is open with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity. Venues and meeting spaces are limited 50 people or 50% of overall room capacity. Multiple groups are permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups. This includes activities such as conferences and weddings.