CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Not many places are both famous for milkshakes and health food, but not everyone is Tommy Fello.
He's the owner of the beloved restaurant Tommy's located in Coventry Village, a storefront he opened back in 1972. This week, he is celebrating 50 years in business, a feat he attributes to his loyal customers.
"This area adopted me when I was 19 years old," Tommy told us. "They backed me 100%."
They backed him when his original storefront burned down in the 1980s and supported him throughout the pandemic when, at one point, he was days away from having to close shop.
"I wouldn't be in business if it weren't for this neighborhood," he said.
It's loyal fan base built on his customer-driven menu. Tommy's is known for pleasing all palates and dietary needs, including serving gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes.
But if your diet doesn't restrict you from lactose, Tommy's milkshakes are a staple. He has been making them the same way since he was in his teens when he was a soda jerk at a Coventry drugstore.
A love of food and people. It's a business plan that has kept Tommy going for a half-century.
"Time flies when you're having a good time," he gushed, "and I love doing what I'm doing."
Tommy's is located at 1824 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. They are open daily starting at noon.