MATTHEWS – Stephanie Cripe knew she needed to find something to do with her time when she recently retired after 40 years in the information systems industry. So, she looked at what resources she had available – finding a wealth of restaurant management experience in the form of family members – and what Matthews was missing.
Next thing she knew, Manny’s Mediterranean Café was coming to Matthews.
“We serve excellent food; it’s quality food and we have a very warm and friendly staff,” Cripe said. “…We thought (Manny’s) would be a good fit.”
The Union County woman runs the local restaurant with the help of her son, Thomas Cripe, and daughter-in-law, Rena Cripe, turning the family affair into a new hot spot for locals.
“My mother ran large kitchens and hotels back in the day,” Cripe explained, adding her son’s mother-in-law owned a restaurant and her daughter-in-law was involved in restaurants in college.
“(The restaurant industry) is not foreign to us,” she said.
Cripe is certain being around the industry gave her a leg up and a little insight into what to expect before opening her own restaurant in January. She remembered her mother going between different kitchens, and knew what kind of time the industry required.
The family decided to go with Mediterranean food simply because they felt there weren’t many similar options in the area, other than a handful of Greek restaurants. Manny’s serves a variety of Greek dishes in addition to calzones, pizza, chicken wings, calamari and buffalo shrimp, among other options.
Business is going well so far, Cripe said, and she’s happy she settled on Matthews for her restaurant.
“Matthews seemed like a good fit,” she said, adding she wanted to be on the outskirts of the Queen City. “Matthews has a small-town charm and where we’re located, we’re close to major transportation routes.”
Manny’s is open Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., at 2925 Senna Drive. The restaurant could soon include breakfast hours. Find more information at www.mannys grills.com/charlotte/index.htm.