Warmth, hospitality drive new Turners Falls brunch restaurant

Owner Jill Fishman of the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls with customers William Seibert and Michaelangelo Wescott.

Owner Jill Fishman of the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls with customers William Seibert and Michaelangelo Wescott. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Patrons get their picture taken at the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls.

Patrons get their picture taken at the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Owners and staff of the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls.

Owners and staff of the Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls.

Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Adrian Catao and Jill Fishman with their daughter Rory Catao, 7½, at Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls.

Adrian Catao and Jill Fishman with their daughter Rory Catao, 7½, at Dreamhouse restaurant on Third Street in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By ERIN-LEIGH HOFFMAN

Staff Writer

Published: 06-20-2024 10:50 AM

Modified: 06-20-2024 10:57 AM


TURNERS FALLS — With the June 13 opening of Dreamhouse, a brunch restaurant and bar, owner Jill Fishman of Colrain is living her dream.

“It’s always been on the back burner,” Fishman said. “It wasn’t until right around the beginning of the year that I started thinking seriously about actually doing it.”

Fishman has been involved in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years. She opened Dreamhouse, located in the former home of the Five Eyed Fox restaurant on Third Street, in an effort to retain the parts of the industry that she loves.

“I love the warmth, I love hospitality, I love engaging with people and being able to serve them and give someone an incredible experience that’s so fulfilling and meaningful,” Fishman explained. “At the end of a shift, when you’ve accomplished that goal, there’s nothing like it.”

While maintaining the restaurant’s goals of warmth and hospitality, Fishman also wants to make changes for her staff in a post-pandemic economy. She believes that with the cost of living and the state of the economy, “Nobody’s doing things that they don’t feel 100% about. No one’s spending their energy on things that don’t matter to them. No one’s spending money callously.”

With this in mind, Fishman said she is committed to paying all her employees a livable wage with benefits.

“Because of the model we’ve created, the staff is really invested in the success of this restaurant,” Fishman said, “and not just in the amount of dollars they’re gonna walk out with every day.”

A 20% tip is also incorporated into every check automatically. This decision comes from the desire to help customers know specifically what they will be spending each time they’re at the restaurant without any surprise fees.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Alleged hit-and-run crash in Greenfield sends one to hospital
Tito’s Taqueria fined by U.S. Department of Labor for overtime, tip violations
Two firms eye First National Bank in Greenfield for reuse
‘No one like him’: Family, friends remember late historian at ice cream social in his honor
Invasive species mile-a-minute vine found again in Buckland
Franklin County transitions to new interoperable radio system

Fishman expressed that being in a queer relationship in a town that has been accepting toward her family meant there was more desire for her to give back to the community with a space like Dreamhouse, which prides itself on acceptance and social justice. Labeling on one of the restaurant’s windows reads “queer-woman owned.” A Black Lives Matter banner is posted above the main entrance and a Pride flag hangs on the front porch.

“That made sense for us as a family, and we think it makes sense for consumers who are like, ‘Yeah, we want to support a queer business. We want to support a business working toward racial and social justice.’ So we wanted to put that out into the world,” Fishman said.

Waitress Christina Cottrill said that she is excited to be working in a place where her work is appreciated.

“I’m just very happy to be in a workplace where I know all of my time is not being taken for granted,” Cottrill said. “Everyone who is working here wants to work, and that’s so rare.”

Cottrill also expressed that she’s looking forward to creating a space for Turners Falls locals to get together.

“A lot of people just need a place to chill, have a mimosa or a coffee or a sandwich, or just a chat,” Cottrill said.

Dreamhouse, located at 37 Third St. in Turners Falls, is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday though Monday. Menus and event announcements are available on the business’ Instagram page @dreamhouserestaurant.

Erin-Leigh Hoffman can be reached at ehoffman@recorder.com or 413-930-4231.