Melissa and Golaik Mahmutaj's son Brooklyn has always loved trains, and the couple has long wanted to start their own restaurant. When a commercial space right next to the railroad tracks became available in Milan, everything just clicked.
"It seemed like a great place to lay down our tracks," says Melissa Mahmutaj. "We just love it."
opened on Nov. 4 with a train theme that encompasses everything from the decor to the menu. The diner-style restaurant offers such dishes as the Trainmaster Breakfast and the Railbender from breakfast through dinner. Though the 1800s building required significant renovations, the husband-and-wife team brought the restaurant to life primarily with their own elbow grease.
"I had a vision," Mahmutaj says. "My mother watched our kids for us so we could get as much as we could done. We pulled a lot of days where we just drank coffee and stayed as late as we could."
Brooklyn's Sidetrack seats about 100 diners and employs a staff of about 13 local workers. Mahmutaj says the reaction from the community has been positive, and they're working to evolve their business along with the suggestions of their customers.
Source: Melissa Mahmutaj, Brooklyn's Sidetrack
Writer: Natalie Burg