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Freeland favorite shutters its doors
In the midst of this past Saturday’s rush, Gerry and Angele Woolery looked at each other and knew the day had finally come.
The couple had run Gerry’s Kitchen on Main Street in Freeland for 10 years, and it was time to hang up their aprons and pick up the proverbial fishing pole.
The decision to close, which went into effect Sunday, was made solely out of a desire to “enjoy the fruit of our labors” and each other’s company. Rumors that he closed suddenly for health reasons are not true, he said.
“We’re healthy and happy,” he said. “We just thought it was time.”
For many in the Freeland area, Gerry’s Kitchen will be sorely missed.
“Everybody is absolutely distraught,” said Joanna Snow Cruse, a regular customer.
The eatery was more than a restaurant, it was a gathering place for Freeland residents. People went there for great food, to hang out with friends and the Woolerys themselves. Gerry Woolery would often mingle with his customers, catching up on the latest and greatest, she said.
“Boy, I’ll miss him,” Cruse said.
Chet Ross, president of the Freeland Chamber of Commerce, said the closure of Gerry’s Kitchen is a loss for the Freeland area. It was a popular restaurant with a loyal customer base, and though there are other favorites in town, it was the kind of business every community wants — successful and a draw for the area.
“We need more restaurants, more variety — losing one is hard,” Ross.
It was gratifying to build the restaurant from scratch, Gerry Woolery said. They got to know many of their customers well, and felt the business mattered.
“We sorta felt like we fed Freeland,” he said.
Gerry Woolery isn’t quite ready for full retirement, however, and is thinking about reviving his old catering business. It’s a way to keep cooking but also allows more time for his other passions, such as automobile restoration.
Gerry’s Kitchen sold gift certificates. For a refund, call 360-331-4818.
The building is available for lease and, according to Gerry Woolery, the owner is hoping to fill it with another restaurant.