BRADENTON -- Manny Ameres was busy and somebody stuck their head in the door.
When you open? they said.
Next Wednesday, Ameres told them.
PRICE IS GOOD, FOOD IS GOOD... THAT'S ALL YOU NEED
Then the 64-year-old restaurateur went back to trying to get Popis VI ready for business.
Huddling with the Coke delivery guy. The electrician. A waitressing job applicant.
Another person stuck their head in the door.
When you open?
Next Wednesday, Ameres said.
Bothered by the interruptions? Not at all.
It was a good sign for his familys new restaurant at 6409 Manatee Ave. W. in the Fountain Court Plaza. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
This is going to be a very busy place, Ameres said.
That expectation puts a smile on the faces of neighboring merchants like the Rikard brothers, tenants for 23 years with De Soto Coin Shop, and all those longtime Popis restaurant regulars.
Itll bring new people, so were happy about that, Bill Rikard said.
Its really going to help this plaza, Dan Rikard said.
Leslie Brooks, manager of Heitel Jewelers of Bradenton, echoed that.
Its a wonderful thing. People are excited. Even we have people coming in asking us every day, When are they going to be open? said Brooks, whos been at that location nine years.
The sixth in the Ameres familys restaurant chain will be a 120-seat eatery staffed by 35 and built from scratch in a 4,000-square-foot space that last housed an Asian restaurant.
Work has been going on at the new location for two months with an estimated $100,000 already invested in the place.
New floors, new walls, new equipment, new everything, Ameres said. Its going to be beautiful.
The familys other restaurants are north of the Manatee River -- they sold the original Popis adjoining McKechnie Field -- so the move made sense geographically.
I was looking for something a long time, Ameres said. We have a lot of people here on west side of Bradenton -- office workers, Blake Hospital, friends -- saying, Come this way, come this way.
People like Gerry McClain.
Im so happy theyre coming here, said the Village Green resident. Theres no place at night to go have a sandwich.
Frank Dills was a regular at Popis III in Ellenton, so this will be closer.
Ill be here quite a bit, the 76-year-old said.
Such a following convinced the family the expansion would weather the down business climate.
If the price is good, the food is good, the service is good, thats all you need for a restaurant to be suc- cessful, Ameres said. I know the economy is down, but people got to go somewhere if theyre hungry.
Which prompted this exchange when some- body else came in the door. When you open? they said.
You want a job? Ameres said.
No, I dont want a job, they said. I want to eat.
Then come back next Wednesday, he said.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.