Dawn Schattschneider of Greendale and Todd Wyrenbek of
West Allis relax over cocktails on
Nov. 1 at MJ Stevens Pub ’N’ Restaurant in the town of
John Ehlke/Daily News
TOWN OF ADDISON — Mark Jug tapped into more than 80
years of experience — all the tips and tricks of the
restaurant industry — to establish MJ Stevens Pub ’N’
Restaurant, 5260 Aurora Road.
the late 1930s, his grandparents from both sides of the
family owned a pair of restaurants in Milwaukee.
“You learned a good work ethic in the family,” Jug said.
couldn’t pinpoint one or two people who taught him the
important lessons about life and business. Instead, he
learned a little bit of everything.
Today, generations of customers and employees are the
Stevens was recently voted one of the 10 recommended
restaurants in Washington County by Daily News readers
in an informal poll.
“Great food, great service and the best fish fry
around,” said Tracy Oestreich of Slinger.
John Fritsch added, “MJ Stevens offers the best fish fry
and prime (rib) in the area. We have no better anywhere
in southeast Wisconsin. Their menu overall is one of the
best that we have seen and tried a lot of the different
foods. Their service has always been the best from
entering to finish line.”
According to Jug, the important lessons to succeed,
especially in the restaurant business, aren’t flashy.
“Quality food, reasonable prices and be honest with your
customers because if you don’t do those, you’re done,”
only have customers appreciated that, so have the
employees — past and present. Jug said he has frequently
heard from former employees, including an architect in
Chicago and a police officer in northern Wisconsin.
“This was their first job,” Jug said. “They told me they
learned a lot. They learned a lot as far as work ethic.”
saw that first hand when he was their age.
the family restaurants, they’d use the freshest fish for
the fish fry. They’d take the fish caught in Lake
Michigan, clean and serve them that night.
Just like how working hard and having a strong work
ethic is important to the family’s long line of
restaurant ownership, so is tradition. It’s inscribed on
glasses served at MJ Stevens. It is also on the
restaurant’s website, “Family tradition since 1933.”
1950, two family members — Albert Jug and Martin Jug Jr.
— opened a restaurant in Milwaukee called Albermart Sky
Lounge. A year later, Albert married Alga Bozic and
they, along with Martin, operated Albermart until 1965.
Also, in 1965, Albert and Alga opened Jugs in Menomonee
Falls and operated it until 1983.
Then Mark got involved in the family tradition when he
opened Long Branch Saloon on Dec. 22, 1979, in Barton.
was born into it,” Mark said when asked why he opened
Long Branch, which specialized in burgers.
mid-1985, Mark was ready for a break after nearly six
years of restaurant ownership.
Then, a few months later, the owners of the MJ Stevens
building asked Mark if he’d be interested in purchasing
the building. Twice, he said no.
“The third time I said, ‘Why not? Give it a try,’” Mark
initially said no because he still needed the break.
Eventually, he came around.
just missed it,” Mark said.
Stevens opened Dec. 22, 1985 — six years to the day
after the Long Branch Saloon opened.
the first few months after opening MJ Stevens, the
specialties were burgers, just like at Long Branch.
Then, the menu started to expand, offering fish fry and
With the encouragement from his son, the building also
expanded. The word was spreading quickly about MJ
Stevens’ offerings, specifically the fish fry, which
Mark said is hand-breaded arctic ice cod.
was crazy,” Jug said.
MJ Stevens’ first fish fry, there were only three staff
members — one cook, a bartender and a server — and had
25 pounds of fish. Today, there are nearly 30 staff
members in house and they serve more than 700 pounds of
prime rib has also blossomed into a popular choice,
along with a Sunday brunch.
“I’m very grateful,” Mark said of the restaurant’s
nearly 32 years in business. “I make a decent living,
meet a lot of good people.
“We’ve had good employees, a good customer clientele.”
There is nothing spectacular about how the work ethic is
instilled at MJ Stevens.
“You teach them about hard work, always trying to
achieve ... to do the best job you can in everything you
do regardless if it’s restaurant business or anything,”
Mark’s son, Jason, is the fourth generation to carry on
in the family business as the owner of Jug’s Hitching
Post in Kohlsville, while his daughters, Deanna and
Natasha, are also involved in the restaurant industry.
“I’m happy with the way things are going,” Mark said.
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