Suzanne Demers is one of the many longtime Methuen Family Restaurant employees., VALLEY DISPATCH/GAYLE SIMONE
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METHUEN FAMILY, RESTAURANT

246 Broadway, Methuen

Open seven days a Week,

6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Visa, Mastercard accepted

BY GAYLE SIMONE

valley dispatch staff

METHUEN — Homemade food, large portions, reasonable prices and friendly service are just a few of the reasons Methuen Family Restaurant has been successful for the past 15 years.

Nick Katsoulis started in the restaurant business when he was about 14 or 15 as a dishwasher at Eddie’s Diner, which was owned by his father, Demetrios, and his Uncle Nick.

“I worked there all through college too,” Katsoulis said. “I would go in on Sundays and make the toast as my uncle worked the grill.”

When Katsoulis was 18, there was a passing of the spatula so to speak. He moved over to the grill and his uncle made the toast.

When Katsoulis graduated from college, with a degree in computer science, he went to work at his father’s new restaurant, Jimmy’s in Braintree.

“My father could no longer do the day-to-day business,” Katsoulis explained. “I ran the restaurant for six years before I sold it.”

In July of 1990, Katsoulis bought the space on Broadway.

“It’s funny, it used to be a Dairy Queen,” Katsoulis said. “I still have people that come in looking for banana splits.”

Open seven days a week and serving breakfast all day are just a few of things that keep his regulars coming in.

“We have some people that come in two or three (times) a day,” Katsoulis said. “And they order the same thing all the time so we are actually cooking their food before they even sit down. They treat us well so we are going to treat them well in return.”

One of the most-sought-after dishes is corn beef and cabbage, especially on the Irish holiday.

“It is crazy in here St. Patrick’s Day with that dish,” Katsoulis said. “We have it as a special every Thursday. But we sell a ton of it that one day every year.”

Katsoulis also credits his employees for the restaurant’s success.

“Three of them have been with me from the beginning,” Katsoulis said. “Most of the others have been here for at least 10 years.”

One of his cooks, Tom Cwik, has not only been with him from day one, but he also worked with him at Eddies.

“Tom started as a dishwasher, the same as me,” Katsoulis said. “When I made the move up here so did he. His wife and daughter also work here.”

Katsoulis said he is inspired to stay here because of the community and his employees.

“I live in town. We know a lot of people. From our kids playing in sports to neighbors; I’m part of the community,” Katsoulis said. “A lot of my wait staff and cooks have been able to buy houses because of their jobs here. It makes me feel good to know that I have had a hand in that.”

To expand, Katsoulis bought the business next to the restaurant and plans on opening a pizza and sub shop.

As it is, Katsoulis works seven days a week.

“I’m here every day,” Katsoulis said. “I don’t really have a day off. I just don’t work on the line (cooking) on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Those days are bill paying, ordering food and stuff like that.”

The only day Methuen Family Restaurant does not open for business is Christmas. On the other holidays they are open for breakfast only.

“I feel bad making them work a full day,” Katsoulis said. “We have a deal for the Fourth of July. If it rains, we are open all day, if not — breakfast only.”

Katsoulis’ 14-year-old son, Christopher, worked as a busboy last summer and Katsoulis would love to open a restaurant with him.

“When my father was alive he would say, ‘I wish I was younger, so we could open 10 restaurants together,’” Katsoulis said. “I would love to do that with my son, but he has aspirations of being a NHL player.”