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Video: Milwaukee Family Restaurant Owners Celebrate 50 Years In Business

WISCONSIN — Most restaurants do not survive their first three years in business.

Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant on N. 20th St. and W. Atkinson Ave. in Milwaukee is celebrating 50!

Their secret ingredients to success are Hilda and Willie Perkins.

“We tried to treat everybody the way we would wanna be treated,” Hilda said.


We found die-hard customers who knew so much about the business.

“They first started on 19th and Atkinson,” said one customer.

Hilda explained they had just 12 stools at their first location.

The restaurant is now being run by the second generation. Over the past decade, their daughter-in-law Cherry has kept the machine running. Her husband Will Perkins Jr. passed away from lung cancer in 2010.

“(People) ask me sometimes, ‘What’s the key to how well you do this?’ (I tell them) I prepare everything I do with lots of love,” said Cherry Welch-Perkins.

Customers tell Cherry the food tastes like their mom’s cooking, “That is so touching to me.”

Famous faces from the Packers, Bucks and Hollywood have flocked to their front doors.

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No matter who walks in, every customer knows they are treated the same.

Cherry’s advice for future entrepreneurs: “Stay focused. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Live your dream!”

The Perkinses will officially celebrate their 50th anniversary of business in May.

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