World News

How this family went from cooking at powwows to owning Gage Park Diner in Hamilton

How this family went from cooking at powwows to owning Gage Park Diner in Hamilton

At first glance, the Gage Park Diner looks like any other Main Street storefront in Hamilton. 

But the small restaurant, with colourful curtains framing the window and retro lettering across the glass, has become an Mohawk-owned community hub over the past six to seven years.

If you ask anyone who works there what their favourite thing about the restaurant is, they’ll all say the same word — family.

“Two ladies might be talking to the server and the server might say something, and someone over in that far right corner might pipe up and say something — and the next thing you know these two tables become friends,” said owner Christine Cayuga.

Christine, from Six Nations of the Grand River, lives in the city and has been running the diner at 975 Main St. E. since 2016.

The Gage Park Diner is located on Main Street, just across from Gage Park. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

The diner is known for its all day breakfast but also has selections on the menu like sweetgrass tea, hominy corn and bison burgers.

The front page of each menu is also different, each with a unique drawing done by kids who have eaten there.

Christine may not be a world-renowned chef, but people who attend the Soaring Spirits powwow know all about the Cayuga family’s cooking.

“We’ve done all this kind of work our entire lives,” said Tiffany Greene, Christine’s niece, who also works at the diner. 

“That’s how it started,” said Amanda Cayuga, Christine’s daughter.

Soaring Spirits is an annual event full of dances, singing, ceremonies and more. It is being held this year on June 25 and 26 at Battlefield Park in Stoney Creek. 

“It’s a really big thing for us, I’m glad it’s taking place,” Christine said.

‘We realized we were good at it’

She and her family have been involved in every single Soaring Spirits powwow.

“We started to cook there, offering corn soup, ham and scone and strawberry juice,” Christine said.

However, the family won’t be there this year because they’re attending a celebration of life.

From left: Christine, her daughter Amanda, and her niece Tiffany are some of the familiar faces at the diner. They say they want to operate the diner until “the wheels fall off.” (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Over the years, as they continued providing food at the powwow, the Cayuga family started catering and cooking for other events and groups in the area.

“We realized we were good at it, she’s really good at it,” Amanda said, pointing to her mom.

Christine and Tiffany were both working at the restaurant…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CBC | Top Stories News…