By: Tom Duggan – May, 2012
Kostas and Angela Mitsopoulos bought Methuen Family Restaurant in February of 2006 after a fairy tale meeting and courtship that started the day they met in 2003, the day that Kostas Mitsopoulos Arrived in America.
I was born here in the United States but went back to Greece when I was very little. I met Angela the day I arrived in the America,” Kostas told the Valley Patriot.
“Yeah,” Angela laughed, “I met him the first day he came here. We had a mutual friend from Greece that was going to school with me at UMASS, Lowell. He introduced us and that was it.” That was in 2003, by 2007 we were married in Greece.
Kostas said he had done a number of jobs from construction to restaurant work before buying Methuen Family Restaurant but always wanted to own his own business. “I worked for a pizza place in Lawrence, Bothers Pizza, it’s on Lawrence Street. Angela was working at Methuen Family Restaurant as a waitress when her boss told her he wanted to sell the business.”
“I worked for the previous owner,” Angela chimed in. “He said he was looking for someone to buy it. The previous owner had owned it for about 20 years. He had taken over when his father passed away. I worked for him for about a year or two and he knew that my father had owned a restaurant. I was really familiar with this side of the business, waiting tables and dealing with the customers. My husband had just come here from Greece and he was working for someone else. I know it’s something he always wanted, he always had it in his mind that he wanted to work for himself and open his own restauant and be successful.
“So we said YES,” Kostas said.
“It’s not easy when you take over a business,” Kostas continued. Most businesses don’t make it in the first few years but I wanted to own a business. It’s what I wanted to do. I leaned the business and worked in the business for many years and a lot of people come to this country and they end up working for someone else their whole life. They end up washing dishes and bussing tables and I didn’t want that to be me. If I can own my own business, that’s freedom, that’s how you make a success in America.”
Angela said that the culture of the food business in Greece is very different than in the US.
“Everything in Greece is so laid back. When you go to a restaurant they don’t rush. They don’t come to your table right away. Everything is very leisurely there. Everyone is taking their time. You go out in Greece for food and it’s a whole day thing. But here, everyone is in a hurry everyone has someplace to be and most people don’t want to wait for their food or their coffee, so it’s very different. There, the food doesn’t come out when its done it comes when they are ready to bring it to you.”
One Big Happy Family… Restaurant
Kostas and Angela say what they liked most about buying the restaurant was the concept of a family restaurant. The couple have two children, ages two and a half years old and fifteen months old. “and one on the way,” Angela revealed.
People like coming here because everybody knows it s a family restaurant. People always say we are like family to them. We have loyal customers who come every day some twice a day and some people come once a week with their family. People come back not just because of the good food but the service and the waitresses and everyone here knows the customers by name.
Even in a bad econmy we are surviving. When we bought the business things were much beter off with this economy we aren’t rich but we are doing well, people are very loyal because they know we give them great service.”