If you find yourself in Albuquerque and are feeling a bit peckish as well as a little needy, head over to Tim’s Place, a restaurant which serves a side of hugs with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The owner’s son, Down syndrome sufferer Tim Harris, is full of love and hugs as patrons at the eatery sit down to tuck into a hearty meal.
Since the restaurant opened for business in 2010, the owners claim Tim has given out more than 19,000 hugs. Those hugs are counted on a special “Hug Counter.”
Tim explained, “I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends.”
As well as being the main event, so to speak, at the restaurant, Tim also took part in the Special Olympics and is an accomplished sailor and fisherman.
Keith, Tim’s father, admitted that when he first found out about his son’s condition, he found it hard to accept.
“Our pediatrician asked me if I knew what Down syndrome was, and the world turned black at that moment. Tim is the second of four boys, and when he was growing up, we saw the challenges that his disability presented socially.”
Keith continued, “We started to ponder when he was young about his future and made the choice that we wanted to create a life for him that was as close to typical as possible.”
The restaurant itself does a roaring trade, and Keith believes that’s down to his son’s hugs and love. Tim’s mother, Jeanne, revealed that her son has the ability to make people smile.
“Tim has this unique quality where he is happy literally every day. It’s probably this quality of his that makes him so affectionate towards people. And he’s successfully managed to translate that affection into a working business model. His signature friendly service has proved highly successful – customers simply love visiting Tim’s Place.”
As well as affectionate and loving, Tim is also humble, as he attributes his success to his father.
“He’s my superhero and my inspiration. I love my dad so much,” he said.
[Image credit: timsplace.com]