Opera House Cafe Set to Open Monday in Brookville

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — If it seems like his head is spinning when you first meet Jon Hoak, please excuse him, he’s been a little busy lately.

Hoak is a 2012 graduate of Brookville Area High School and a 2013 grad of the Indiana University of Pa.’s Academy of Culinary Arts.

He interned at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina before returning to the area as the sous chef at the Wayside Inn in Lucinda. Then, became the head chef at the Gold Eagle Inn from 2015 to 2016.

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But – on Monday, Hoak will officially begin his grandest undertaking, running The Opera House Cafe in downtown Brookville.

“It’s been crazy,” Hoak said. “There’s a lot of work getting things ready, but I’ve had great help from my family and friends.”

Hoak said it was his family that encouraged him to take over what was known as Coffee Cakes, formerly owned and operated by Heather Baughman. Before that, it was McCabe’s Drugstore, a Main Street institution in Brookville for decades.

“My mom is a great cook, and my grandmother was, too, and it was something that we enjoyed doing together,” Jon said.

6:3:16 jon hoak's grandma
Jon’s grandmother, Judy Kalchthaler, died of Cancer on February 7, 2015. She was from Greenville, in Hempfield Township, and was the head of the business office at Greenville Hospital. She was also an owner of Flo’s Candy Shop in Brookville.

Jon, the youngest son of Gene and Barb Hoak, of Brookville, said he chose the name because of the history of the building, which still houses the original opera house, although it has been closed for about 100 years.

“We’re going to have a different kind of menu. There will be to-go lunches, a full coffee service, more food options than before, lots of desserts, as well as muffins and bagels,” Jon said.

6:3:16 opera house cafe

Some of the sandwiches include Smoked Salmon Salad, Eggplant Supreme, and Larry’s Cheesesteak. On the small plate menu are Chef Jon’s Lobster Mac and Cheese and Southwestern skirt steak.

Jon believes the location on Main Street is excellent.

“We’ve got the Town Square going in across the street, we have the rails to trails nearby, so things are looking good here,” Hoak said.

There will also be Sunday brunch in the future, and Jon will also operate Grandma Judy’s Catering Service.

Hoak and his girlfriend, Mandy, will be running The Opera House.

Their hours of operation are 7:00 a.m.to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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