Joey’s Restaurant owner decides to forgo sale – Eagle News Online

TOWN OF DEWITT – Deciding against selling his property off Carrier Circle, local restauranteur Joey DeCuffa has chosen to delay retirement and resume the normal operation of his popular namesake business.
The 1.55-acre plot housing the classic-style dining spot Joey’s Italian Restaurant, its casual upstairs counterpart Pronto Joey’s and the leased-out next-door bakery Big MaMa’s Cheesecakes was put up for sale just before the arrival of spring this year.
Soon thereafter, DeCuffa announced to his employees and Facebook following that he had planned to retire and transfer the reins to a buyer who would maintain his business’ legacy.
After weighing out his options, the restaurant owner ultimately turned down a multitude of bids cast during the recent online auction held through the real estate platform Ten-X, revealing that he felt it was “not the right time or market climate” for an exchange of the key.
He also blames the federal government for withholding funds that could have been used for further restaurant revitalization, a boost that would have made him feel more secure to sell had that proposal not been voted down.
Between that “big blow,” hiring challenges, and inflation, DeCuffa said he was “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Additionally, he started to resist the idea of relinquishing his role as owner.
“I really thought twice about it,” he said. “I didn’t want to risk somebody coming in and changing things, so we’re just gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Situated at 6594 Thompson Road in DeWitt, the Joey’s eateries have been owned and operated by DeCuffa since the grand opening in 1982.
Through the decades, he’s depended on friends and various family members to help out with shifts, including his brothers, his daughter and his in-laws.
“What can I say? It’s been a long time, but this place has been good to me, and my employees are very loyal,” DeCuffa said. “I feel an obligation to them.”
Offering dine-in, curbside pickup and catering services, the combination of Italian restaurants serves fresh-made pasta, veal, poultry, beef and seafood dishes as well as sandwiches, burgers, pizza, soups and salads.
Presenting a selection of individual slices and full cheesecakes, Big MaMa’s lists flavors such as white chocolate raspberry, apple spice and chocolate peanut butter.

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