“Why do I love truckers? They’re so brave! I’m afraid to drive more than an hour from my house, and they drive from one end of the country to the other!” That’s the perspective of Tina Butler, the manager since 1988 of the Globe Restaurant at Truck World in Hubbard, Ohio – Ohio’s largest truck stop. “I’m so excited to see most of the truckers when they come in,” Tina said, then in a half-whisper added, “and a few I’m happy to see when they leave — it’s just like family, you know.”
Appreciation for truckers extends not only through the decades, but also from the Globe Restaurant to the parking lot and Hubbard community. In terms of food, truckers sit down in the restaurant for the Globe’s famous buffets, the Sunday one featuring barbequed spare ribs, roasted chicken, perogies and . . . stuffed peppers. “We stuff them here and make our own sauce. In fact, we make all our own food,” said Tina. Its Christmas Day buffet will feature spiced rum, honey-and-pineapple glazed ham, garlic-and-thyme marinated fried chicken and, of course, the infamous green bean casserole. Holiday cheer is also spread with the Globe’s beautiful holiday decorations, created by the grandson of another manager, Sue Grexa.
Thanks to Sue, who has vacationed in New Orleans every year for 20 years, the Grammy-Award winning musician Dwayne Dopsie and his band – the Zydeco Hellraisers – travel from Louisiana to the parking lot of Truck World for its annual Boogaloo Festival. This “Driver Appreciation Day” is held every August and features other live bands, food, alcohol – “plus we give away at least 600 t-shirts,” said Tina. “It’s a three-day party!”
In addition to showing truckers its appreciation, the Globe Restaurant also shows its appreciation to the local community. Once a year, the restaurant holds a benefit spaghetti dinner with all the proceeds going to the Hubbard Fire Department.
“I’ve met so many truckers over the years,” said Tina. “I’m terrible with names, but I never forget a face. Some truckers stop once a year like I was their daughter. We catch up on our lives and talk and talk. Yep, I’m a gabber, but when you talk with a trucker, you talk with someone you seem to have known all your life. They’re special.”