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Here’s How Restaurateur Andie Hubka Is Making It Work in the Midst of a Pandemic

Written By: Crystal Harrell Outdoor Dining
Photography Provided By: Andie Hubka

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants across Greater Palm Springs have taken every recommended precaution to keep their staff and guests safe—this includes Andie Hubka, owner of Tu Madres Cantina & Grill, Heirloom Craft Kitchen and Cork & Fork. Hubka has reduced capacity, increased outdoor dining and implemented scheduled hand washing and  mandatory mask policies at all three of her eating establishments. A “safe to work” program has also been created for the employees, which outlines measures to follow if they are feeling ill.

“Local businesses, specifically family-owned restaurants, make up a huge part of the GDP in the US and employ millions of people in this country. They are truly the backbone of our economy, and without them, we will surely be a nation in struggle,” says Hubka. “Our family has worked super hard for many years to create these unique restaurants, and together, we were employing over 100 people in our community before this happened.” Hubka opened Cork & Fork in 2013, five years later opened Heirloom Craft Kitchen and Tu Madres Cantina & Grill debuted in January of this year. She has plans to open parking lot patios at all of her restaurant locations. 

Cork & Fork in La Quinta features creative plates, ranging from classic comfort food to exotic fusions, and Hubka’s personal favorite dish is the goat cheese bruschetta. At Heirloom Craft Kitchen in Indio, signature dishes featuring local and organic produce are served along with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Hubka recommends the big taco salad with Impossible Meat. And at Tu Madres in Indio, you’ll find a flavorful blend of Mexican staples; Hubka considers the shrimp taquito appetizer as the best choice on the menu.

“We are always trying to grow and change, and our restaurants reflect that, so we are consistently rotating dishes and menus seasonally and offering new and exciting food trends,” explains Hubka. “I hope to expand on the concepts we have in place here and perhaps bring our healthy fast-casual concept of Heirloom Craft Kitchen to markets outside of the desert. Everyone always tells us they want an Heirloom in their town!”

Along with a majority of restaurants during the pandemic, Hubka has lost a tremendous amount of business without the ability to offer dine-in service during the summer. She had transitioned to takeout and delivery, but there is a 10% to 15% increase in cost because of the need for high-quality packaging as well as the huge cut that is taken by the third-party delivery services—upwards of 30%. 

“We are so lucky and blessed that our customers have really supported us during this time, and we are excited about the future. Thanks to the weather cooling down, we can expand our outdoor seating into our parking lots. Also, the recent allowance for limited in-person dining has been so helpful, and we really hope our county will continue to allow it,” states Hubka.

So no matter where you find yourself this fall, a trip to one of Hubka’s established eateries is always a good idea. Stop by Tu Madres in Indio for Baja-style cuisine and killer margaritas, Heirloom Craft Kitchen for delicious vegan bites or Cork & Fork in La Quinta for tasty and shareable small plates. With each restaurant’s expanded patio seating, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your meal safely!

Outdoor Dining

Tu Madres Cantina & Grill
49990 Jefferson St, Ste 110
Indio, CA 92201
Heirloom Craft Kitchen
49990 Jefferson St, Ste 100
Indio, CA 92201
Cork & Fork
47875 Caleo Bay Dr, Ste A106
La Quinta, CA 92253