Accelerate Magazine October 2020

For 34 years, Christina’s Family Restaurant was a go-to family-style diner for the Waukesha community. Recently, the well-known restaurant underwent significant changes, including the ownership. Established in 1986 and named after their only child, Christina's is one of George and Peggy Papagianis' longest standing businesses. As immigrants from Greece, George and Peggy worked hard to open and operate seven businesses throughout their career. However the restaurant now known as The Coop recently underwent a complete renovation and has been passed down to their daughter Christina and son-in-law Nicko Sifnaios. While remodeling and revamping The Coop during the largest statewide shutdown in our history brought a unique set of challenges, there was also a great deal of excitement. One of the first changes to be made was the name. Although honored that her parents named the restaurant after her, Christina wanted to find a way to pass the tradition on to their own five children or her little 'coop.' Nicknames of the five chicks can be found within the restaurant menu as: Gooby’s special, Moose’s sliders, Nini’s panini, Penny’s pancakes and Mia’s chicken tenders. The concept for the rebrand was also based on the family's core value of good quality food, service and unique dishes at a reasonable price. The restaurant provides a place for customers to feel at home. One of the greatest challenges of the restaurant's renovation was accessing materials to keep projects moving forward amid the pandemic. In addition, staffing was minimal, protocols were strict and receiving the necessary licenses and paperwork was delayed. Nicko and his brother Joseph, with the help of their father Cleo, worked together to rollout an entirely new dining experience exclusively featuring breakfast and lunch, and most importantly, a safe and comfortable environment for customers. Employees of The Coop are required to wear masks and to socially distance tables of customers. Sanitation protocols across the entire restaurant have also increased. Condiments are only brought upon request to minimize excessive handling. Menus are disinfected after each use. And a change in hours has provided both increased time for sanitation as well as a better maintained work-life balance. Outdoor seating, curb-side ordering and delivery through Uber Eats, Grub Hub and Doordash are also available for customers who are not yet ready to dine-in. The business of owning a restaurant is no easy task. Yet for this Waukesha family, the strong following from Christina’s and an optimistic outlook for the future have provided the opportunity to carry on the family legacy. • A NEW OPPORTUNITY TO CARRY ON A FAMILY LEGACY WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 12