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Michigan’s Finest Native Meals: D’Nicio Lounge Serves Softballs West of Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MI — When brothers Temo and Artemio Perez opened D’Nicio Salon in 2007 in West Kalamazoo, they knew they had been taking a chance.

“The financial system was unhealthy in 2007,” stated Temo Perez. “Lots of people stated ‘do not do it’ due to the financial system. Nonetheless, every part in life is only a guess. Simply try to discover out what works.

They moved into the restaurant previously generally known as The Parlor at 6880 W. Predominant St., added their late father’s title, D’Nicio, to the awning and a full menu of Greek, American and Mexican, whereas maintaining the ice cream and old style restaurant decor. The guess is profitable for the brothers.

It did not damage, Temo Perez stated, that whereas the financial system was down, so had been meals prices. And it was a ko serving inexpensive, home-style cooking, highlighted by gyros, coney canines, Greek salads and a wholesome choice of breakfast gadgets which can be all the time served all through the day. And, after all, there was the ice cream.

The restaurant was the second opened by the brothers, who first opened a Greek restaurant generally known as D’Nicio’s — with out the lounge and due to this fact with out ice cream — in Battle Creek in 2002.

This restaurant closed a number of years after the West Predominant Avenue location opened, however in 2017 the Perez brothers had been again in enterprise in Battle Creek by opening the doorways to a second D’Nicio’s Parlor, at 1275 E Columbia Ave. ., which mimicked what they cooked in Oshtemo Township on the Menard Mall.

“We had wished to open a Mexican restaurant, however neither of us knew the best way to prepare dinner a number of conventional Mexican meals,” stated Perez, who spent the primary 15 years of his life within the Mexican metropolis of Morelia, about 185 miles north. ‘west. from Mexico Metropolis, earlier than transferring to Orlando, Florida together with his household as a youngster.

After his brother Artemio met and married a lady from Michigan, Temo Perez adopted his brother and sister-in-law to Jackson, the place plans had been lastly put in place for what would develop into the D’Nicio Salon.

“We labored at a restaurant in Jackson that did a number of Greek meals, and we knew the best way to do it, which led us to open the primary restaurant,” stated Temo Perez, now 45. “My brother additionally knew the proprietor on the Parlor in Jackson, which has been round for over 100 years, so we purchased that place and took an opportunity.”

Much like Jackson’s unique Parlor, diners on the Perez brothers’ Oshtemo Township restaurant can try the Dare To Be Nice 21-Scoop Problem. And in the event that they end all the dish — consisting of 21 “softball-sized” scoops of ice cream and topped with nuts, syrup and whipped cream — in an hour, the $50 dish is free.

With greater than 40 flavors to select from and a menu that options every part from a six-scoop banana slice to a easy waffle cone, ice cream is a well-liked selection in the course of the summer time months, Perez stated. It has additionally offered the household with the chance to observe neighborhood members develop over the previous 15 years.

“There are youngsters who had been of their mom’s womb once they began coming right here, major faculty kids who are actually in center faculty,” he says with a smile.

Whereas opening in the course of the recession was a problem in itself, Perez stated the most important problem was surviving the pandemic. Shutdown talks have taken place, he admitted, and though he now faces the added problem of making an attempt to maintain costs low whereas battling rising meals prices and rising wages being paid to workers, enterprise is again to regular and the D’Nicio salon is bouncy once more, he says.

“The restaurant enterprise isn’t straightforward,” Perez stated. “The pandemic made it actually troublesome, and we had been on the level the place we thought possibly we should always shut. Final yr was nonetheless unhealthy, however this yr it is choosing up once more. In the summertime we’re busy all day, each day.

The D’Nicio lounge is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday and from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday. To position a takeout order, name 269-353-8600.

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