Meet the Owners, Justin & Lisa Hubbartt (Don’t forget Rolen and Miss Pebbles too) 🙂
Hello there! We are the Hubbartt family and are excited to say we are the new owners of Hubbartt’s Downtown Diner (formerly Downtown Diner). We thought we would introduce ourselves and tell you a little about us.
Justin is a Mattoon native, born and raised, and spent his childhood with his sister and cousins, creating many memories around town. After high school, Justin was off to the Navy in Jacksonville, FL. There he stayed until 2005 and then returned back to his hometown. Justin is now a Navy veteran and works for the State of Illinois as his day job, while coming in on the weekends to chat with all the customers. His take on the diner is, “This is just fun!!!” He loves mingling and customers know his presence when they hear his fun-loving distinct laugh. 🙂
Lisa was born and partially raised in Morris, Illinois, but has lived in Mattoon since 1996 where she relocated with her parents. Lisa grew up in a large Italian-Irish family with her five older brothers, some of them also in the restaurant business. She is currently a registered nurse (RN), and has put her nursing career on hold to run the diner on a daily basis. Prior to becoming an RN, Lisa worked at Mattoon’s historic Gill’s restaurant where she first fell in love with the diner atmosphere. “My favorite part of owing Hubbartt’s DD is the fact that many of my customers were once my customers at Gills years ago. I missed my people. :)”
We both went to Mattoon High School (Go Greenwave!), and graduated in 2001. We knew each other at the time, but did not connect up until after Justin returned home from the military. We started dating in 2005 and married in September of 2013 at our country home.
Both of us have grown up with food being a big part of life. Justin learned to love home cooked meals at his Grandpa and Grandma Hubbartt’s farm where you definitely never left hungry with homemade rolls and yummy sweets. Mmmmm! The Tinnea side of the family is no stranger to good home cookin’ either. Granny made some of the best salmon patties ever, and Justin remembers making regular trips to Knowles Cafeteria which is a historical part of Hubbartt’s Downtown Diner. The Raciti (Lisa’s maiden name) family was definitely no stranger to good home-cooked meals either. Mama Raciti not only cooked for all 6 kids, but usually multiple friends were tagging along as well. Whether it was a normal weekday meal, Sunday’s Pasta Dinner, or family parties, nobody ever left hungry at the Raciti household. Visiting Grandma Marie’s house in Iowa was also a family tradition at most holidays where all of the Raciti children learned to garden and pick fresh fruits from the many trees and bushes that lined the property. Fresh fruit pies were granny’s specialty, and those recipes are being carried on here at Hubbartt’s Downtown Diner.
Justin and I love to find new “treasures.” This is what we call those awesome small-town restaurants…nothing fancy, but tons of charm and amazing food. Within our travels, we always search for these places, and we hope that we can make our diner one of those “must-visit” restaurants for Mattoon as well! We pride ourselves in making our food from scratch as much as possible and hope you love it as much as we do.
Thank you all for visiting!!!!