Landmark business launches Go Fund Me campaign | Local News
MILTON — The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far reaching across the country, and around the world. The hospitality industry — even in the Susquehanna River Valley — has been particularly hard hit.
In an effort to help keep its doors open, a landmark Milton-area business has launched a Go Fund Me campaign.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alicia Hoffman purchased the Arrowhead Restaurant, located along Route 405 just north of Milton.
This pandemic impacted restaurants with food, supply, and employee shortages. Regular and new customers stopped venturing out and clientele changed because of the pandemic. Older customers especially stopped coming out as much.
“We had to shut down when COVID, but the take-out window got us through and allowed us to continue business,” Hoffman recalled. “We did what we could to keep the business going during that hard time.
“To this day, we have problems with employee shortages, food shortages and inflation,” she continued. “I racked my brain for a months and the only thing that came to my mind was to ask the community for help. I can’t do this by myself so that’s why I did a Go Fund Me page, to reach out to the community. I don’t want to see the restaurant close and I’ll fight all the way to the end.”
While donations to through the Go Fund Me page are encouraged, Hoffman is hopeful patrons will continue to patronize the business.
“The biggest thing people can do is come in and have a meal,” she said. “I’m asking the community to help keep this icon going.”
According to Hoffman, the business first opened its doors June 1, 1947. It was first owned and operated by James and Edna Schell, who originally called it Red Arrow before changing the name.
Ownership eventually transferred to Patty Hackenberg, who began working at the restaurant when she was 16. She passed away in 2015.
Hoffman has felt a sense of responsibility to keep the business bustling.
“I do everything, daily operations product ordering , scheduling, hiring, community relations, cooking,” she said.
The restaurant’s most famous item is its “Pig in a Blanket” sandwich, a deep-fried pork tenderloin, topped with a choice of marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. It can also include mustard, ketchup, relish and onions.
Many in the community spent their teen years hanging out at the restaurant. Customers who remember those days often come in and share their stories, and Hoffman enjoys hearing them.
“The stories from back in the ’50s and ’60s, when teens came and guys would bring their cars and drag race them out front,” she said, while recounting the stories. “You can see the expression on the face (of those telling the stories), and the happiness.”
A sense of community can be felt and seen in the restaurant itself. Displayed on the walls is memorabilia many people have donated from over the years. There’s dream catchers, old newspaper articles, paintings, photographs and a Native doll display that represents many different tribes.
“I have some customers that stop in just to see the display on the walls,” Hoffman said. “It’s almost like a little history museum, something that makes the restaurant stand out.”
Bethany See contributed to this article.