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Social Issues
The Hugs Are Free At Tim’s Place, A Restaurant Owned By A Young Man With Down Syndrome
March 2, 2013
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When you go out for food, it's nice to eat at a place with a positive atmosphere. And as far as positivity is concerned, Tim's Place is hard to beat.

Tim's Place is a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico that serves "breakfast, lunch and hugs." It's owned and run by Tim Harris, a young man with Down syndrome.

Tim's parents Keith and Jeannie say they brought up Tim and this three brothers with high expectations. Seems like it's paid off.

All the boys are successful, but Tim may be doing the best of any of them: he lives on his own and he's got his own restaurant.

"He works for me," Tim told a CBS News reporter, pointing at his brother Dan, who is his Operations Manager.

As far as his parents know, Tim is the only person with Down syndrome in the U.S. who owns a restaurant. And things are going great: profits are up and there are expansion plans in the works.

That free hug thing is real, too: you can order a hug at any time. And even if you don't, Tim is pretty likely to give you one. According to an electronic counter on the wall, Tim has doled out more than 32,000 warm embraces so far.

And Tim's not just a successful business owner. He also graduated from Eastern New Mexico University, where he lived in a dorm on campus. He's an accomplished sailor and offshore fisherman.

And he's won medals at Special Olympics events (more than Michael Phelps, he says). Plus, he plays basketball, volleyball, poly hockey, track and field and golf.

In the video at the top, Tim says this about living with a disability: "I do not let my disability crush the dreams. People with disabilities, they can do anything they set their minds to. We're special. We are a gift to the world."


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A Little Boy With Down Syndrome Is The Newest TV Sensation In Britain After Appearing In A Christmas Ad

Hey Canada: It's National Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Meet Nicholas Popowich


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