More than a family business — Restless Oaks is a wonderful memory

SARAH SMELTZ/THE EXPRESS Some of the staff at Restless Oaks took a few minutes to pose for this photo. From left, front, are Jim Maguire, Donna Timblin, Rachel Hanna, Lori Maguire; back, Patty Andrus, Debbie Johnson, Jaron Schadt and Matt Overdorf.

McELHATTAN — Sometimes a family business is more than just those two words. It isn’t just about family and it isn’t just about a business.

Restless Oaks Restaurant is an example of how far you can stretch the definitions of those two words.

Family first, as Jim and Shirley Maguire started this business back in 1984, and recently sold the business to their oldest son Jim and daughter-in-law Lori.

Throughout the years, countless children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews have been not just family, but employees.

In that same stretch, valued employees that have been working for the Maguire family for more than 20 years, are now considered family. This relationship has been built not just with those on the payroll, but with the familiar faces that walk through the door each day.

SARAH SMELTZ/THE EXPRESS Some of the staff at Restless Oaks took a few minutes to pose for this photo. From left, front, are Jim Maguire, Donna Timblin, Rachel Hanna, Lori Maguire; back, Patty Andrus, Debbie Johnson, Jaron Schadt and Matt Overdorf.

There are the “regulars” who meet at the same tables every week and friendships that are started at the counter and kept up to date on the lives of one another.

Nothing makes the owners happier than watching this family grow. They welcome new faces and hope that everyone finds their favorite table, cozies up to the warm fireplace and takes an annual picture by the impressive 16-foot tall Christmas tree.

They want to see guests added to the tattered list of names and phone numbers kept behind the register filled with customer favorites, so they can call you when they have your preferred home made soup or that delicious pot pie you might be craving.

This family business takes a personal twist as it invests in those who call who the log cabin restaurant more than a gathering place, but a place to build memories. The family smiles as they overhear the stories of the guys who sit at the “Liars Table” every day at lunch time and focus more on storytelling and laughter than on actual facts and accuracy. Every family has a story, and at Restless Oaks, theirs has been woven through a family, a building, a business and those who have passed through our doors and felt at home.

Though the Restless Oaks is a business, it is also so much more.

SARAH SMELTZ/THE EXPRESS Some of the staff at Restless Oaks took a few minutes to pose for this photo. From left, front, are Jim Maguire, Donna Timblin, Rachel Hanna, Lori Maguire; back, Patty Andrus, Debbie Johnson, Jaron Schadt and Matt Overdorf.

The Maguire family has made it not just a place to fill your belly, but a place to take in the history of our area, a showcase for antiques, and a place that honors traditions of days gone by. In keeping with their personal goal of recognizing our strong history and our unique story to our area, the gift shop sells books that cover the history of Clinton County, topics like prohibition and story books by local authors.

The Maguire family places emphasis on its heritage but also takes joy in celebrating music and sharing it with others. You can frequently find family members sitting around having a jam session with the former owner Shirley playing the harmonica, her best friend Deanna Mundrick playing the guitar, her son Bob playing the spoons and current owner Jim singing along.

Restless Oaks started out as a little restaurant to compliment a bed and breakfast and has grown into so much more. Each fall it is a host to the Hooskow Chainsaw Carving Festival. This is an entirely free event, done in collaboration with Jeff Donoughe and Saars Tree Service to bring recognition to a skill less recognized and the art created as a result.

It showcases so much talent, invites people to our area and pays homage to our rich logging history, and brings recognition to some very talented artists. While enjoying the carvers and the large bonfire that burns throughout the festival, you can take a break in the newly constructed pavilion complete with fireplace and carvings incorporated right into the construction. The unique landscaping, beautiful building and separate parking lot is a wonderful addition to the property. We hope for it to be a place to hold events and to expand our ability to accommodate our growing family, inside and out, that most people know as Restless Oaks Restaurant.

COMMENTS