KENNETH REESE has purchased the former Diane’s Country Kitchen in Morrice. Reese is shown with his son, Keaton and his realtor, Morgan Beilfuss of The Home Office Realty, following the sale.
Reese has plans to reopen the restaurant later this year, though an exact date has not been set.
Kenneth Reese, an Owosso native, is pleased to announce he has purchased the former Diane’s Country Kitchen on N. Main Street in Morrice. Diane Turner, the owner, had died suddenly in December 2019 at just 55-years-old. The Morrice community was saddened by the loss of Turner and the popular eatery.
Reese is hoping to reintroduce the restaurant for the community, with plans to “incorporate as much local produce and meat from the Morrice and Perry area as I can. I hope to help bring money back into the community and provide a fresh farm-to-table experience for my customers.”
Reese lives in Owosso, graduated from Owosso High School and has two children, ages seven and 17. He has 35 years experience in the restaurant business, having assisted his sister and brother-in-law as a teenager in their Owosso businesses, which included the downtown Big Boy, Country Ranch on M-21 and Oliver’s on Exchange Street. His sister, Karen, died in 2011, but he has remained in contact with his brother-in-law, Dan, and recalling “the gold old days of when we were all together,” he has decided to rename his Morrice restaurant to honor his sister. The new restaurant will now be called the Country Ranch Family Restaurant.
“Those were happy times, even though we might not have realized it at the time,” shared Reese, talking about his sister. “I want to pay tribute to her.”
In discussing the former Diane’s Country Kitchen site, Reese said he has about 2,200-square-feet of space to work with. He thinks seating, during normal times, is set at about 85 to 90. His initial improvement plans start with updating the kitchen, which needs new flooring, electrical work and some equipment updates. He is not certain on an opening date, but estimates it might be in late summer.
Reese is particularly grateful for the assistance of his realtor, Morgan Beilfuss, from The Home Office Realty in Owosso. He shared he has been looking for a restaurant for about four years, but had “never come across anything that just fit until this opportunity came along. Morgan has been really helpful, helping me maneuver through red tape. I would certainly work with her again.”
In discussing Morrice, Reese offered that “everybody knows everybody and everybody is very friendly. That community really loves that restaurant. I have already received a lot of support from the local community.”
Reese describes his menu plan as “American comfort food,” sharing he will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner meal options. “It was thee breakfast place out there,” he said. “I plan to bring that back.”
“I am hoping for the best. It takes a certain attitude to buy a restaurant during a pandemic,” Reese said. “I am hoping this will provide a better future for me and my family and for everyone involved.”