Two local brothers have not waited long to make their goal a reality.
Jimmy and Alex Zamakis are now co-owners of the newly opened Gloucester Depot Restaurant on Railroad Avenue — at the ripe old ages of 24 and 21, respectively.
"It was always a goal of mine to open my own business," said Alex Zamakis.
The road to achieving that goal began about eight years ago when he and his brother Jimmy took an after-school job at Marblehead House of Pizza to earn some extra money. Alex, 21, worked the register and Jimmy, 24, did some light cooking.
As time went by, they began learning the business and started to handle most of the cooking. It wasn't long before the brothers realized that the food industry was their calling.
"We liked the business so much that we decided that we wanted to go into it," Alex said.
Jimmy and Alex continued to work at Marblehead Pizza while attending Salem State College. After work, they would spend their evenings talking about starting their own business.
Last October, their father, George, surprised them by purchasing ownership of Steve's Family Restaurant, located on Railroad Avenue in Gloucester. "He (George) said he had found a location where we could make it happen," said Alex Zamakis.
"We didn't see a crummy old restaurant. We saw a place we could make our own," said Alex Zamakis.
To give the failed Steve's Family Restaurant a fresh start, the Zamakis brothers decided to change the name and renovate the building.
"We changed the name because whatever becomes of this place, we want to say that we did it," said Alex Zamakis, who said he did not want to disclose the financial details of the sale and renovations.
When they opened for business on Feb 18, Jimmy and Alex had one goal: to please the customer by going the extra mile.
"No matter what someone requests, we'll do our best to do it. If they want something that's not on the menu, then we will make it for them," Alex Zamakis said.
The young business owners face competition from other eating establishments — including a Subway — on and around Railroad avenue.
"We're not worried about competing with them (other restaurants). Our top priorities are quality food, prompt service and reasonable prices," Alex Zamakis said. "There is enough business for all of us. We wish the best for them and hope they feel the same way about us."
So far, business is good for the young entrepreneurs.
"I am thankful to the people who have tried us and come back because the best advertising is word-of-mouth. I'm also happy to see new faces every day," Alex Zamakis added.
"I'm also very thankful to the people down at City Hall who were very helpful in helping us get started," he said.
Gloucester Depot is located at 24 Railroad Ave. and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Dan Dourian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.