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November 23, 2012

Hardy's Bar-B-Que won't change under new owners

Tender meat, tangy sauce, JoJo potatoes, fried okra and more have made John Hardy's Bar-B-Que a Med City favorite since its first opened in 1972.
Ed Pompeian, who owned the two Hardy's restaurants from 1988 to 2000, knows that the flavorful food and the experienced staff are what brings people back again and again to the homey barbecue joints.

That's why the Rochester Realtor and developer has no plans to change anything, now that he has once again taken the helm of Rochester's popular southern eateries.
"It has a good thing going that I'd like to keep that going. We want to keep it running just as it is," he says. "I don't see any reason to change it."

That means the name, the food and the staff of about 50 employees will remain unchanged under Pompeian's leadership. The pair of Rochester eateries are located at 929 W. Frontage Road and 1940 South Broadway.

He took over the restaurants on Nov. 9 along with minority owners, Dave Hanson and Red Courtney. Pompeian was approached about once again driving John Hardy's Bar-B-Que following the recent, unexpected death of former owner John Brockman. Brockman bought the business in 2000.

With two weeks of his being being approached, the deal was done.

It wasn't a hard sell. He says it is still as good of an operation as it was when he previously bought the original from the Hardy family in 1988. He and his partners, Tom Berg, Donald Jendersee, John Michael Ajouri and Norm Gillette launched the South Broadway location that same year.

"Most of the management  and a lot of the staff are same ones who worked for us before," Pompeian says. "It is a good team."

Speaking of good teams, he is also happy with how the ownership team worked out. His minority partners from Rochester have the right experiences to help with Hardy's. Hanson owns many Perkins restaurants in the region and Courtney has long been a key leader of Rochester Meats.

"It's kind of a perfect marriage," Pompeian says.


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