OLD TAPPAN, N.J. -- Momentum has been building for the grand opening tomorrow, Sept. 21, of the new Mooyah restaurant in Old Tappan's Bi-State Plaza.
"I'm just livin' the dream," said co-owner Keith Kaminskas, who's been clocking 15-hour shifts while pushing his young crew to sling burgers, fries, real-ice cream milkshakes and more.
A dozen teens have been perfecting their timing at each work station -- reaching 600 total plates over two recent four-hour days.
In one two-hour run, they dished out 200 plates of black bean burgers, salads and soda-shop beverages.
Andy Zotos came by one recent night with his wife, Amy, and children Alexandra, 10, and 12-year-old Nicholas -- to support Kaminskas but also to celebrate Nicholas’s upcoming 13th birthday.
"I saw that you can get a burger wrapped in lettuce,” Andy said. “Alex had the turkey burger and she liked it."
“It’s not like one of those bistro places where you sit outside and you’re right next to a really loud road,” Amy added. “We know Keith – he works very hard and he donates to Boy Scouts and other organizations.”
Kaminskas said he's giving young people jobs.
"I have this one kid," he said. "He said he didn't do so well on one of the runs, but he did better than the time before and will do better on the one after that.
"He's just a kid and he already thinks like that," Kaminskas said. "I have a great team."
Their business also feels welcome, co-owner Tom Mascias said.
“They go by the code book, but they don’t make you go through construction [and] then tell you you’re not up to code and make you rip something out again," said Mascias, who also owns several Dunkin Donuts franchises.
“I’ve dropped $100,000 trying to open a few places in other towns and had to walk away,” he said.
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