EXCLUSIVE: Hurtsboro's City Grill Cafe to reopen following tragi - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Hurtsboro's City Grill Cafe to reopen following tragic death of beloved owner

Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton) Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton)

HURTSBORO, AL (WTVM) -  A family-owned restaurant in Hurtsboro, Alabama since 1954 was turned upside down when a man walked inside and shot and killed the owner and a customer in the early hours of a March morning.

Today, the family says it’s time to start a new chapter and continue the legacy of the café's owner, Donnie Hughes.

“The City Grill is a staple of the community. It’s a meeting place for the community and where everyone comes together at the roundtable," said  Angel Hughes, daughter of Donnie Hughes.

Angel Hughes is picking up the pieces and re-opening the doors to a café that’s been in the family for over 60 years.

“It’s really special to me. My grandmother started this and my dad took over in the 80s," Angle Hughes said.

Donnie Hughes is a name that echoes throughout Hurtsboro. He tragically had his life taken when Walter Thomas shot and killed him inside his café on a March morning. It's a tragic scenario the Hughes family is familiar with.

“A similar thing happened to my grandfather. He owned a convenience store in 82 and the same similar thing happened to him. Two men went in and opened fire and killed my grandfather. It’s really hard on us because its like we are reliving everything again," said Angel Hughes.

Today, pictures hang on the wall of who many say was a loving man who never let anyone go hungry and would provide the men and women in blue with a meal on the house.

“He loved everybody here. He was an amazing father, grandfather, husband, and son," Angle Hughes mentioned.

Angel Hughes said the community has rallied behind her to keep this staple open. Hunters from Louisiana who regular this community along with the local church are pitching in to re-vitalize the cafe.

In a town of good people comes good help. Angel Hughes says her family has an infinite amount of thanks for all who are working to keep her dad's memory alive.

“I’m overwhelmed. There’s still so much good left here," said Angle Hughes. “Everywhere you go here its like there's a part of my dad. It just reminds us every day just how much my dad loved this town and how much this town means to my family.”

Mornings at 5 a.m. is when Donnie Hughes is said to open his cafe and at that time this coming Monday is when the family says they'll be back in business.

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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