Nearing one year in town, restaurant is a family affair

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By Shane Jones
The Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Family Tree Cafe is a restaurant located in the heart of DeWitt. The inside is set up like an old-fashioned restaurant from the fifties.

The Family Tree Cafe is fitting well in downtown DeWitt. Photo by Brendan Wilner

The Family Tree Cafe is fitting well in downtown DeWitt. Photo by Brendan Wilner

Greeting and starting and a conversation is owner Tim Russell. Working his way around the room carrying out conversations and running the restaurant, he evens find time to play a game of peek-a-boo with a young infant child.

“Well, I used to do automotive design work until I lost my job in 2008. Then I got involved with a neighbor and his partner that owned four Denny’s and I worked for them for about five and a half years,” he said. “On April 21, 2015 we opened as a restaurant.”

Actually, the building where Family Tree Cafe is at 129 S. Bridge St. used to be a Ford dealership and a party store during the early 20th Century. A picture in a hallway before the restrooms shows what the building looked like a long time ago and not much has changed except instead of cars, people now can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

“Well, we named it Family Tree because it is owned by myself, my brother Steve and two sisters Ann and Sue. When we had decided on one name, a few days later our youngest sister Sue had called and said she had a new name and it kind of stuck with us,” Russell said. “We’re kind of an extended family to those people that come in. We want to be very welcoming and serve really good food at a reasonable rate.

Unlike the times now where there are walls covered in big screens and people bantering about the last call a referee made during a game, Family Tree Cafe is a place where there is a few select flat screen TVs but also each wall has pictures or something connected to the word “family.” It is a change up for people and according to Russell it is exactly the way himself and his siblings envisioned it.

“I just love the restaurant. The people are amazing and the workers are too. We like to see the repeat custumers come in. Especially with the small community of DeWitt, we remember who comes in and out,” said restaurant manager and family friend Michelle Evans.

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