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Waffle Shop serves up Friday night hours to meet customers requests
Christina Garner and Ann Vander Meulen pull orders off the line at The Waffle Shop. The popular morning eatery is now open for business on Friday nights. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

For the last 16 years Billy Muhareb has turned The Waffle Shop into one of Manteca’s most popular breakfast eateries.

And now, at the request of his customers, he’ll be keeping the doors open late on Friday nights and offering a whole new menu selection to meet the demands of the people that he loves nothing more to take care of.

“We had so many people wanting to know if we could open up for at least one night a week, and we wanted to take care of them – to honor their wishes,” Muhareb said. “We work hard here to make them happy and treat them with dignity and respect and provide an atmosphere where they can enjoy good service, and I think that’s why they keep coming back.”

For the better part of the last month, Muhareb has been laying out a whole new menu that he believes will satisfy the customers that have come to appreciate the affordable breakfasts that feature generous portions.

They’ll be serving T-Bone and New York steaks, meatloaf, tri-tip, chicken and spaghetti, open-faced chicken and turkey sandwiches, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and minestrone soup – to name a few.

While it might seem strange for a restaurant to actually expand its hours during a down economy, Muhareb believes that he needs to meet the desires of his longtime customers and that he can successfully turn Friday nights into a gathering spot for local residents looking for a new dining option.

“It’ll be nice to have one night a week where we can take care of them like we do during breakfast and lunch hours,” he said. “We wanted to honor their request, and hopefully it’ll become a night where we have a lot of regulars – where we know the customers by name and it becomes a place they enjoy coming.”

Muhareb said there’s a sense of pride in owning a restaurant where so many people enjoy spending their mornings gathering with their friends – knowing that he and his staff must be doing something right to get the amount of repeat business that they do on such a regular basis.

And he believes that it’s his 18 employees that make that possible.

Some of those have been with him for as long as 11 years, and their ability to get to know the customers that they serve – their orders, what they like and facts and facets of their lives – helps create a unique and family-oriented atmosphere.

“We just wanted to meet the needs of those that come bring us their business, and that’s what this is all about,” he said. “We appreciate them and we want to show them that through our service.”