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Ex-server graduates to owner at Lackawanna's The Mess Hall

Lackawanna restaurant The Mess Hall has a new owner – one of its servers.

Sue Staniszewski, one of the original servers at Mulberry Italian Ristorante when Joe Jerge and partners opened the place in 2004. She worked there for about eight years, and when Jerge and others opened the Mess Hall in 2014, she worked for him again.

In July, with Jerge and partners working on other project, she bought the place, at 717 Ridge Road.

Her parents owned Bokans in Lackawanna for years, and Staniszewski decided to get back into the business.

The Mess Hall brings ambitious menu to Lackawanna

She asked the staff if they would stay, and they said they would. So she decided to make the leap. "We have a great staff that kind of makes the place go," she said. "They were on board, and here we are."

There won't be many changes to the menu, she said. The Mulberry meatball is going with Jerge, but a new meatball appetizer replaced it. There is a smoked beef on weck, a smoked chicken quesadilla and more dishes coming for the fall menu, she said.

Sunday brunch is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with dinner to 8 p.m. The place is open on Mondays now, still closed on Tuesday.

"I think we really still have a really good thing here," Staniszewski said. "I like the way it is now, and I don’t think you change a good thing."

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