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Cherry Tree dining hall to close
Catering will be done out of Dickey's
After eight years, Cherry Tree catering is closing its dinning and meeting room on West Henderson Avenue, next to Galaxy 9 Theater. The dinning room will close Sept. 1.
Owner Ed Phillips, who runs Cherry Tree with his wife Claudia, said the catering portion will still be available.
“We are shutting down the facility, but hanging onto the name,” said Ed Phillips.
They will move the catering operations to their other restaurant, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Main Street, as he has the equipment there needed to do off-site catering.
“We can go to someone’s home, set up a full kitchen, and do catering there,” said Phillips.
He cites the economy as a major reason for the move.
“It is not economically feasible for us any longer to maintain. It’s not working out. Overall, it’s time to shut down,” he said.
Another reason for the move is personal. Phillips has been working for 70 years and needs a rest.
“I’m trying to pace myself out of business and get more time off,” he said.
However, Dickey’s and Cherry Tree will be managed by Monica Tinker, the current general manager of Dickey’s.
As to the rumors that he is looking at new locations, presumably the old Oak Pit on North Main Street, he is adamant.
“False. For now, no. However, things always have a way of changing,” he said.
For years, Cherry Tree has provided a meeting place for clubs such as the Porterville Breakfast Lion’s Club. Now that the building will be closing down they will have to find a new place. At least two other clubs are in similar positions.
Lion’s Club Secretary Norman Carpenter said the club is investigating other locations.
“We’re going to different places over the next few weeks and will decide in August,” said Carpenter, who added that because of the size of their club, they have 64 total members with 35-38 people who meet regularly, there were not many places to consider. They have looked at the Country Cafe on West Olive Avenue, and will look at the Elks Club at 386 N. Main St. and Charlie’s at 1531 North Main.
Carpenter said the final decision will be based on a vote of the members.
At Dickey’s, business is good.
“Dickey’s is doing fine. I’m happy with the way it’s going and I hope it continues and keepsgrowing. We intend to give back to the community with Dickey’s, we’re not just dumping the community,” said Phillips.
Though the menu is set by corporate offices, according to Phillips, he plans on offering some options or local menu items. They also help with fundraising by having schools sell tickets for a lunch or dinner for $10 which includes a sandwich, side, and chips. The profit is split 50/50.
“It is quite a benefit for them, and an opportunity to raise money,” he said.