Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Emsworth Gets a Place to Have Breakfast

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Emsworth Gets a Place to Have Breakfast

Article excerpt

Unlike many who dive headfirst into the restaurant biz with a place of their own, Kevin Wisniewski is not a professional cook. That's not to say that the Emsworth native doesn't know his way around a commercial kitchen, especially when it comes to breakfast.

Having worked as a morning cook for a chain of family restaurants, Mr. Wisniewski can sling hash -- not to mention fry an egg or flip a pancake or, if you're more in the mood for lunch, grill a burger -- with the best of 'em. Just ask his family of five, for whom he's cooked hundreds of early-morning meals over the years.

A lifelong resident (and 1991 graduate) of the Avonworth School District, he also has his finger on the pulse of the North Boroughs' culinary scene. And what it was telling him and his wife, Rachel, an agent with Stonebridge Real Estate, was that people longed for a local place where they could eat a cooked-to-order breakfast.

Emsworth isn't exactly a desert when it comes to eating out -- you can find Chinese at House of Lee, wings at The Emsworth Inn and upscale Italian at Cafe Notte -- but its restaurants hardly cater to the breakfast crowd. Other than The Fire Escape coffee shop on Church Avenue in neighboring Ben Avon, where early risers can pair a bagel or pastry with a cup of La Prima coffee, "There's not any options for sit-down in the morning," he says of the tiny communities that line Route 65 between Sewickley and Bellevue.

An opportunity was there for the taking.

Still, Mr. Wisniewski admits he's taking something of a gamble in opening Chev & Rachel's Family Diner at 233 Center Ave. in Emsworth, the first eatery in recent borough history to crack open its doors at the crack of dawn (6:30 a.m. weekdays).

While he worked at Shannopin Country Club for 20 years after graduating high school, it always was as a front-of-the-house person. And his time behind the grill at King's Family Restaurant? It really only amounted to a few months of training, says Mr. Wisniewski, who took the job after a career change in 2011 with Norfolk Southern didn't go as expected.

"I was going to become a train conductor, but I hated it," he explains. …

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