Mundeleien- Lunch box photos at the Family Fishery in Mundelein. Monday is 50% off for senior citizens. Robbie Prouty prepares a meal. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
The Family Fishery
412 N. Lake St., Mundelein
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MUNDELEIN — The Family Fishery owner Tom Muraski credits his loyal customer base, simple and good food, and low prices that keep them coming back with the eatery’s success.
Business remains steady at this fish market/restaurant at the corner of Lake and Hawley streets. Though it has been in the Hawley Lake Plaza for 18 years, it started out in a different location in Mundelein in 1976.
Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago to an Irish mother and Polish father, Muraski moved to Lake County to “be in the country.” When building encroached, he moved out further yet. Today, he lives in unincorporated McHenry County, a stone’s throw from the Volo Bog.
A church-going man who refuses to open on Sunday, Muraski has raised four children (he now has 10 grandchildren) in the family business. He is a strong believer in hard work and diligence, and it has paid off.
“I average about 70 hours a week, and work six days, and I think that’s a key to our success,” he said.
Over the years, he has employed “hundreds, and hundreds” of local teens. “Some work out, and some don’t. But I believe in giving everyone a chance,” said Muraski.
While his own children were taught to peel shrimp, carrots and potatoes at an early age, Muraski, too, began early on. “I started working at The Fish Keg in Chicago. My first job there was peeling shrimp in the basement. And today I’m still peeling shrimp,” he said with a laugh.
While he still handles much of the work involved in preparing the fish at his place, Muraski has branched out into the wholesale fish business with his company called Dymond Lake Seafood.
Not only does he supply stores and restaurants, including several in Gurnee and Wadsworth, with fish, he also has come full circle and supplies some of the seafood to The Fish Keg.
Mondays featuring 50 percent off for seniors are busy, not only for lunch, but also dinner. The senior day specials include menu items such as french-fried fish with coleslaw and fries; flame-broiled dinners and steamed dinners which include rice and vegetables. Among the offerings are sea scallops, Gulf red snapper, orange roughy and walleye pike to name a few.
Longtime customers Diana and Phil Schiltz stopped by while visiting their children in Illinois.
The couple who now live in North Carolina are former Mundelein residents, and said they would visit The Family Fishery often when they lived in the village.
“Every time we come back (to Mundelein), we have to eat here,” said Phil.
The couple named a few of their favorites: “She likes the chowder and the Alaskan whitefish,” said Phil. “And he likes the crab cakes,” added Diana.
Cas and Sharon Paterkiewicz of Lindenhurst enjoyed a senior special. “The food’s good. I have the perch, and she has the scallops,” he said. “And you can’t beat the price.”
While finishing up their lunch, Sharon said that the couple was thinking about taking a two-pound bag of fish chips home for dinner.
Bill Bauer of Fox Lake said he is a regular at the place. “The food is phenomenal,” said Bauer, who dined on fried shrimps and fries.
Bert Sugden of Lake Villa, who joined him for lunch, was impressed with the price. “You can come here and for $5 you can have a good lunch,” he said.