Milwaukee is a city that’s not only full of businesses, but when it comes to food, you can be sure to expect a variety of options. From the burger joints downtown, to the Mexican food on the south side, and even the north side’s barbecue can’t stand a chance with Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant.
Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant specializes in breakfast and southern style dishes. They’ve been standing almost 50 years strong. Because of that, Mr. Willie Sr. and Mrs. Hilda Perkins are nothing less than true legends, right here in our city.
Mr. and Mrs. Perkins were a young couple from Tennessee. Growing up, Hilda always loved the joy in cooking. She enjoyed it so much, during high school she was blessed with the opportunity to cook in the cafeteria, learning southern dishes such as greens and black eyed peas, since they were from the south. She learned as much as she could and once she graduated, she went on to culinary school.
Mr. Perkins learned a great deal about cooking from his mother early on and then about the restaurant business from being an employee for a few years. Even throughout his journey of working at a restaurant, he always knew he wanted to open one of his own.
After a few years of experience, he and his soon to be wife relocated to Milwaukee to join his sisters. They all decided to come together and work on his dream after he made the investment of his first building.
When they initially opened the restaurant it was called Mr. P’s Hamburgers but they quickly outgrew the place and decided to expand because they realized just 12 stools wasn’t enough for there current customer base.
As they expanded into Mr. Perkins Soul Food and Family Restaurant, they gained more and more customers through various forms of advertisements. The Perkins were one of the very first local businesses to advertise in the Milwaukee Community Journal. Not only did they do business with their own, their customers were so loyal they told everyone about them.
At this time, their son Willie Jr. helped out quite a bit before he passed. He was a true host to the customers. He was into sports and even knew a few players personally. So Willie Jr. would invite his friends to the restaurant and they would tell all the other players about the spot. Many players from the Milwaukee Bucks would come and even players like Michael Jordan would stop by. Celebrities like Danny Glover would even drop in, when he was in town. It was simply the go-to spot for the community and still is.
One thing the Perkins truly believe in is the satisfaction of each and every customer. They believe that the customer comes first and is always right. These basic principles have literally allowed them to stand for decades.
Mr. And Mrs. Perkins legacy has been a blessing to our community for a very long time and they surely won’t be going anywhere soon.