By Brian Swartz
Weekly Staff Editor
BREWER — So many people have discovered the good food and friendly service at Steve’s Family Restaurant that proprietor Steve Gott recently expanded his hours. For a restaurant that opened just two months ago, that’s a good business indicator.
Gott, who has “been working in a restaurant since I was 15,” owned four other restaurants before opening his namesake eatery on Saturday, Feb. 16. He enjoys the restaurant trade, which to him means providing “good, old-fashioned home-cooking, family dining, [and] a friendly atmosphere.”
“That’s what we set out to do here, and we’ve accomplished that,” Gott said.
Located at 518 South Main St. (near the Cianbro Corp. traffic light), Steve’s Family Restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, until customer demand recently led Gott to add hours. Now the restaurant is open 6 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday; 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 6 a.m.-3 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
“I like to catch some of the local night crowd,” Gott said, explaining why he stays open into the wee hours those two days. “There aren’t many places to go to eat at that time of the day in this area.”
Steve’s Family’s Restaurant has “a great location, lots of traffic,” Gott said. Capable of seating approximately 60 people, the restaurant is busy throughout the week, especially at breakfast and lunch.
Gott relies on a talented staff. “I’m the chef,” he said, and his daughter, Cassandra Parker, is the kitchen manager. She has worked in restaurants and kitchens for the last 12 years. Among the restaurant’s 12 employees are line cooks and wait staff.
Steve’s Family Restaurant features an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. “I serve breakfast all day long,” Gott said, referring to a menu that includes the Welders Special, the Café Scrambler, the Farmer’s Breakfast (and its veggie counterpart), and the Maine Street. French toast, omelets and pancakes round out the breakfast menu, which is especially popular on weekends; “Saturday is a big breakfast day, and Sunday is basically ‘Breakfast Day’ here,” Gott said.
“What’s popular? Omelets on weekends,” he commented. “Eggs Benedict is a huge seller. We just got a waffle iron, and waffles are a hit now.”
“You can reasonably eat here for under $10 [per person] for breakfast,” Gott said.
The lunch menu features salads, sandwiches, burgers, and such hot meals as a fish-and-chip platter, the popular spaghetti and meatballs, fish chowder, fried scallops and meatloaf, which “has become quite a hit,” Gott said.
He offers daily lunch specials, such as pasta on Wednesday, prime rib on Thursday, and “an all-you-can-eat haddock fish fry” on Friday. “Saturday will be the traditional baked beans with roast pork or baked ham,” Gott said.
Pastries are also popular at Steve’s Family Restaurant; the menu includes cinnamon buns, crème puffs, various muffins, scones, and whoopie pies.
The restaurant offers free on-site parking and free wifi; “see us for the password,” Gott said. He encourages customers to relax and use the wifi to surf the Internet “while enjoying a meal with us.”
Although most customers “are local, [from] Bangor and Brewer,” Steve’s Family Restaurant is attracting attention from people living in Bucksport, Orrington and elsewhere, according to Gott. “We’re seeing a lot of younger people dining here,” he said.
On this particular sunny, but cool and windy April morning, Lori Holmes of Brewer had ordered the Welders Special (two eggs, two bacon slices, two link sausages, toast, and for her order two buttermilk pancakes). “I just found out about it three weeks ago,” she said just before Gott served her breakfast. “I fell in love with the service and the food. Steve likes to come around and say ‘hi.’
“The coffee is good. That’s a ‘plus’ in my book,” she said.
“It’s a nice place. It has a family atmosphere,” said Marty Palasz of Tennessee. He had ordered the hamburger platter.
Nearby eight women sat four to a side at aligned tables. Janet Tourigny of Brewer had met six other friends at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast, and Beth Hopkins of Illinois had accompanied her mother while visiting in the Bangor-Brewer area.
The women chatted and laughed as a server checked and filled coffee cups. Breakfast soon arrived; just before she started eating, Tourigny said, “I like the convenience and good food, good service here.”
For information about Steve’s Family Restaurant, call 989-2828 or 659-8499 (cell).