My family is from Capri Macedonia. My great grandpa, Chris Acevski, was the first to come to the United States. They came from a poor place from sleeping on dirt floor and bathing in a river everyday. They had to grow all the vegetables, raise cows, pigs, and chickens to produce eggs to survive. life wasn’t easy back then. They had a American dream they wanted to achieve. He wanted to see what else was in store for them, to make better money, to support our family and seek opportunity and try different things. The restaurant business was always something they all had interest in. When they came to the United States, most of them couldn't speak a lick of English, but over the years my family has adapted to the language and picked up on the American life style.
Our first restaurant was called Chris’s Cafe, located down in the flats of Mansfield, then relocated to West Fourth Street years later in the eighties, which is no longer in business. Home style cooking was provided, a special was served for every day of the week. We served homemade goulash, meat potatoes, green beans, and peas. Everyone knew Chris’s by their famous goulash. Steak, fried Chicken, and a Choice of potato were also everyone’s favorite. Uncle john’s is another of our family owned restaurants. It’s been around since the late 1950’s. Uncle Johns is very much alike Chris’s Cafe, provided the same type of cooking. We just won an award for best All American restaurant in our area. In fact we are know for steaks and our cheeseburger’s, hand cut french fries and our nicely shaved home fries. The fillet, Sirloin steak tips and our New York strip are famous in Mansfield.
We are also famous of our Fried chicken, and our hot pepper salad that is shown below. We have a few different types of burgers which everyone loves. Cheesesteak cheese burger, Ruben burger, Gorgonzola burger, Cyclops burger, and the Italian stallion are famous here at Uncle John’s. None of our hand cut steaks, or our burgers are weighed in ounces, so everyone gets what they pay for. The burgers are so big that you can barely fit it in your mouth. All of the burgers are cooked to our guests request.
Our hand cut steaks are another item everyone likes. We do have a variety of steaks, from sirloin tips, T-bone, fillets, and my favorite the New York strip. Our best seller is our Sirloin tips. All of our steaks are hand cut and never weighed. All of our meat is bought in town, in bigger quantity. Steaks and burgers are cooked on a flat top grill, sired to perfection. We don’t season are steaks, just cooked on the flat-top with a little oil. Steaks are cook to the temperature requested by our guest. Dinners include a choice of potato and house salad with a mixture of lettuce and tomatoes and a few slices of bread and butter.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a family owned restaurant can have its ups and downs. Some of the advantages we face are making our own decisions, running the place the way we want. Having people tell you what to do everyday can be stressful on one. The way we prepare everything goes smoothly because we are repeating it everyday. From being out in the dinning room serving, to cooking the food that is ordered. Having a set schedule is helpful. My families restaurant is pretty good with being stable. Being Committed to going to work everyday will run a successful business. Being in a small of a business a lot of people know your business. If the food isn’t prepared right and it keeps occurring, everyone will talk and then the business gets a bad reputation. So always being on your toes , have everything on schedule, everything in line is what makes returning customers and make’s a business reputation successful.
Some disadvantages of owning a family owned business are on going but a few we face are family conflict, people not showing up, and most of all situations are handled differently. Family conflict is a big one, seeing family everyday can get stressful sometimes, most will understand this. Some days are better than others. When people call off, it just makes it harder for the others working that day. Making the orders and going to the store everyday, my uncles says its a pain but its what keeps the business running.
Some of my experiences i’ve had working at Uncle Johns are good ones, relying on other co-workers to help you out and relying on the kitchen to get the food out. I served, buss tables and worked in the kitchen. My favorite was being a server, nothing like having regulars request you to take care of them. Subculture changed by redoing the menu adding and getting rid of some items. We updated the interior about 5 years ago, the dinning room and the kitchen. Outsiders perceive the subculture by knowing the foods prepared. Regulars in Mansfield come more than once a week. Member’s and participants become skilled by the training we provide. Waiters are trained on the floor by people that have been doing it for years. Cooks are trained by my Uncle Nick, the owner of Uncle Johns. The way we do things at Uncle Johns are repetitive. From waiting on tables to prep work in the kitchen. Prep work is what keeps the business alive. From keeping the floor (dining room) clean to prepping all the food that is severed all day long.
The journey of owning a family owned business has its up and downs. A lot of required work is mandatory. To be successful and run a restaurant, there is a lot of work to be done. Blood, sweat and tears is poured into our family business for over 60 years and counting. Come join us at Uncle Johns today, and get a big juicy, greasy cheeseburger or a nicely sired New York Strip steak.