New Lola’s Restaurant welcomes its guestsVinnie Mustafoski does not want customers at his new family restaurant. He wants guests.
By: By Julia Ybarra-Young, New Richmond News
Vinnie Mustafoski does not want customers at his new family restaurant. He wants guests.
“This is our house,” he said, using his hand to indicate the restaurant. “We don’t have ‘customers’ in our house – they are guests and family.”
Although Mustafoski, 28, spends seven days a week at the restaurant from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., he is not being literal about the restaurant being his house.
Spending time talking with him, it is evident that he has a good handle on his priorities.
“Family comes first,” he smiled. “I’ve got to take care of them, and I have a son on the way – he’ll be born in January.”
Mustafoski and his wife, Gzime, 26, hail from Macedonia, Greece. His father had a restaurant there for 40 years before retiring. His parents still live in Greece, but they have relatives in Wisconsin and Alaska.
Mustafski and his wife went to Anchorage, Alaska to visit relatives when he was asked to help a cousin with his restaurant. After starting as a delivery person, he began learning the kitchen routineand liked it.
“I used to cook for myself all the time,” he laughed, “but never large orders. But I love to cook so I learned quickly. I love the restaurant and meeting good people.”
He was so adept that he took over the restaurant and ran it for eight years.
However, they decided to move to Wisconsin after visiting some relatives in Rice Lake. Several of his relatives have restaurants in the area – River Falls, Ladysmith, Altoona.
“Alaska was too cold all the time,” he said.
So the family of four moved from Alaska just over two weeks ago. Within a week, they heard that the former New Richmond Family Restaurant building at 118 Homestead Drive was available.
“I talked to the landlords and we set up a restaurant in one week,” said Mustafoski. “I brought my cooks from Alaska because I know they are good.”
The grand opening was Monday, Aug. 8, where they offered 50 percent off their meals. Mustafoski said they had people waiting in line for up to an hour to get inside.
“We had a blast that day,” he beamed. “We served the best we could – we served about 1,000 people that day.”
The menu is American-style family fare, although there are a few special touches such as the Greek omelet and all-day breakfast.
Stephanie, one of the waitresses who has been working at 118 Homestead Drive for 21 years under different owners, said that the new menu “doesn’t even compare” to previous menus.
“There is so much more variety on the dinner menu and the breakfast all day is a great feature,” she said. “The homemade pies are a big seller.”
Gzime works at the restaurant in the afternoons, and she brings their daughters with her. Mustafoski said that one of the things that attracted them to New Richmond was the new schools that were built.
“I want my girls to have a better school and a better future,” he said. “There are nice, beautiful people here and I hope we have a good future with this community.”
As for the name of the restaurant, he said that he hopes it’s the first of many.
“Lola is my first daughter, my first happiness,” he began. “Both I love with all my heart. I hope God will help me open another restaurant for Fiona and she will run it when she is older.”
For more information about Lola’s Restaurant, call 715-246-3600.