Mike "Bossman" Hardin, Owner Of Hodad's, Dies At Age 56

February 6, 2015

The San Diego community is mourning the loss of a local legend. The news of Mike "Bossman" Hardin's death spread in the late evening on February 5, 2015. The owner of the iconic Hodad's burger restaurants was 56 years of age. Both Hodad's locations will remain closed through Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, but plan to reopen Sunday.

Many members of the community gathered in front of Hodad’s in Ocean Beach early Friday morning to mourn the death of Mike Hardin. A post on the Hodad's website notified patrons of his passing: "Hodad’s is closed...The Hodad’s family is completely devastated by the news of Mike Hardin’s untimely passing. We will remain closed until Sunday...This is for both the location in Ocean Beach and our location in downtown San Diego. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers. We will be open at 11am on Sunday Feb 8th". The restaurant had already planned to be closed on Saturday in respect for employee, Kyle Witkowski, who recently died in a car crash.

Hardin, known to his friends simply as "Bossman", had lived in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach since 1973 when his parents, Byron and Virginia Hardin, opened the first Hodad's location. The Hardin's had previously owned a burger place in El Cajon called "Hardin's Barrel", that they opened in 1969. In 1991, after several moves, Bossman and his partner Teresa "Terry" Rhodes opened Hodad's at its current location in the heart of Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue. The burger shop has since expanded to a second venue in downtown's East Village in 2011 and a third in Petco Park in 2012.

Bossman is survived by his two children, Shane and Lexi.