Vinnie's Family Restaurant to open in Eagle Valley neighborhood
A new family restaurant with ties that go back to a Chicago establishment in the 1970s will open in Woodbury's Eagle Valley neighborhood.
Vinnie's Family Restaurant has taken over the former Tinucci's space near the intersection of Woodbury Drive and Valley Creek Road.
Owner Vinnie Mustafoski, a Wisconsin resident who plans to move to Woodbury, said he's eager to open the family-friendly restaurant serving all American comfort food.
Mustafoski's extended family of about 100 members have all owned or worked in restaurants all over the nation - starting in downtown Chicago in 1972 all the way to Alaska and ending currently in various cities of Wisconsin.
"Every guy from the family, he owns his owns restaurant, but we help each other out," he said.
Mustafoski said he first planned to look at a spot in Baldwin, Wis., but when his Realtor mentioned the Woodbury location he decided to go for it and open the family's first Minnesota establishment.
"We came and checked it out with my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my wife. I really fell in love with the restaurant," Mustafoski said. "We signed the papers, made the deal and here I am right now just working today to put in the carpet."
As he finished up the final touches last week he said the former space was geared toward a buffet-style setting.
He changed it up a bit to accommodate the sit-down concept. He plans to serve breakfast all day, homemade sandwiches, soups and burgers for lunch and fried chicken, mashed potatoes, ribs, steaks and shrimp for dinner.
The Albanian native said he wants to focus on foods that families grew up eating, though he will bring a little bit of Greek to the table with gyros and Greek omelets.
"Everything that we learned in the kitchen is from our family," Mustafoski said.
Vinnie's Family Restaurant will seat 96 inside with additional space on the patio in the summertime.
The restaurant joins others food service establishments in the same area, including Angelina's Kitchen right across the parking lot and the neighborhood Italian restaurant Carmine's, located down the road on Woodbury Drive.
"Competition, it never bothers me. I hope we have more competition," Mustafoski said. "Competition makes you better."
He vows to make the restaurant an easy-going environment, never calling patrons "customers" and only referring to them as "family."
"We want them to feel comfortable, feel like it's home," he said.
After moving around the country for years with three kids - each one born in a different state - Mustafoski said he hopes Woodbury will be his last destination.
Vinnie's Family Restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Hours may change depending on the demand.