Popular Midland Restaurant Spreads Powerful Message

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Michael Hochman, the owner of Luigi's Italian Restaurant in Midland lost his wife nearly two years ago when a reckless driver crashed into her car on Loop 250. 

Today, he's doing what he can to spread a very powerful message about not drinking and driving.

"People think it won't happen to them, until it does," Hochman said.

It's been 18 months since Hochma's wife, Patricia, was killed in a car accident, but Hochman hasn't forgotten what he learned from that tragic moment.

"We've got to do away with distracting driving and this is just a start. We've become aware of what a major problem this is, we're doing everything we can to educate people," Hochman said.

That's when he decided to change his menu; starting with the alcohol policy. Luigi's will no longer serve more than two alcoholic drinks to its customers.

"It's a really good idea. He's doing what he can to make a difference and that's respectable," Customer, Patsy Raglin said.

"I heard from a handful of people who disagreed with it, but until they read my wife's story on the back of the menu, they have embraced it," Hochman said.

Patricia's heartbreaking story is on the back of every menu,  accompanied by statistics of just how big an impact drinking or even texting can be behind the wheel.

"It's a first step, some people will not like it and others will, but lives will be saved and I think other businesses should follow," Customer, Mary Jane Holmes said.

While some customers are skeptical of the new alcohol policy, others agree it's a powerful message that can go a long way.

"I saw the menu changed and the statistics and it also surprised me," Customer, Ally Davis said.

While some businesses may worry that limiting their alcohol sales will hurt their revenue, Hochman says that's not his concern.

"We'll lose revenue, but that little revenue we may lose, can never buy a life," Hochman said.

He hopes the change in his menu will help pay tribute to a life he lost too soon.

"This is what my wife would have done. She was a care taker, she was a nurse, a lot of people would have done it too, they're just not aware of it until it happens to them," Hochman said.