Local Restaraunt to Change Image

Family Kitchen under new ownership, name changes today

For years, one of Muncie's most well-known and frequently-visited restaurants for Ball State students has been the Family Kitchen, 1617 N. Wheeling Ave. New ownership is now in the process of changing several key aspects of the familiar eating spot.

The new restaurant, "Stars & Stripes" named by its new owner, Chris Kotsiovos, will be different from the Family Kitchen in regard to hours of operation, menu and the overall appearance of the restaurant.

Ownership of the Family Kitchen was destined to change hands regardless of the events of Sept. 11, according to new manager Tom Kitsos. The new name, however, is intended to appeal to the local community in order to rally support.

"It kind of seems like the time to be supportive," Kitsos said. "It is always good to be united."

The current exterior sign is scheduled to be removed today in order to install the new sign which, according to Kotsiovos, will be 10 feet lower than the previous sign and will be lighted in order to increase visibility to passing motorists and pedestrians.

Ownership officially changed hands on Dec. 1, 2001, but not all changes have been implemented as of yet. Remodeling of the interior to include an abundance of red, white and blue covering the seats and other surfaces of the restaurant is the next step and a grand-opening celebration is planned before Summer 2002, according to Kitsos.

"I only hope that the colors aren't too loud and I hope that they can adapt if patriotism is only a passing fad," senior Lucas Turner said.

According to Kitsos, the new menu will be smaller yet more diverse with the addition of items such as a new Philly cheese-steak sandwich and some assorted Greek items.

Breakfast specials will also be regularly offered. Prices will remain similar to the previous establishment, with items such as a $10 T-bone steak being the most expensive item. Physically, the menu now has a large American flag on the front cover, tying in with the overall theme of the restaurant.

New hours are now 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and will remain 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays only. Sundays, the restaurant will close at 9 p.m.

Food servers at Stars and Stripes are now required to wear black dress pants and white dress shirts. The addition of red, white and blue ties is being considered by Kotsiovos.

"It's a good thing that new ownership is making these changes. I, as a long-time customer, wasn't treated well by unprofessional staff in the past and felt that the restaurant and kitchen facilities were dangerously unclean," Turner said.


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