FREEPORT (WREX) — Making a restaurant feel like home is easier said than done, according to Greg Miller.
"When you walk in its a quiet, relaxing place you can have some food or drinks, talk with you friends," says the owner of This Is It Eatery.
"I think everybody is ready to get out and be with people, smile and have a good time."
Miller and his wife, Sheila, bought the restaurant in 2017 and have worked hard to create the casual and comfortable atmosphere its known for. Though Miller says its all thanks to Sheila and their staff.
"My wife runs it while I stay home and play farmer during the day," says Miller. "They don't trust me to do anything except maybe bust tables, but that's as good as it gets."
The farmers-turned-restaurant-owners say it was an adventure they never saw coming, until the right set of circumstances opened up. A friend approached them about buying the business, they went into it together, but things ended up working out differently.
"Somethings changed and he wasn't able to be a part of it anymore," says Miller.
"So we hit the ground running doing something we've never done before."
He says the last four years have been a fun and exciting challenge, and their success comes from the community.
"It's been quite a ride," says Miller, "we're blessed with a lot of friends and a lot of support through the pandemic."
They learned everything about how to run a restaurant from trial-and-error, bringing in experienced chefs and learning on the job. Through all the stumbling blocks they've thrived and created a place where people can connect.
"People just want to come in and have a little bit of quiet and be able to get together, laugh."
Miller says the last year was a trying one for the restaurant, their family and the entire region, but he has good reason to believe this isn't it for the Pretzel City.
"Freeport's coming back and getting a lot of pride of what we do have, all the great things downtown," he says. "I never thought we'd be apart of it but I am so glad we are."
This It Is Eatery is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Click here for more information on Stephenson County Restaurant Week happening through May 1.