August 5 - 12, 1998

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Looking Back on Mo's Midtown

by J. Rossetti-Ford

Mo's Midtown Restaurant, located at 25 Whitney Street, has been known for serving up some of the best breakfasts in town for over a decade. The West End eatery is filled to capacity, with even more people waiting in line outside, virtually every morning. But few of Mo's loyal fans know that the restaurant's existence is not due to a smart business plan, but to an effort to improve the neighborhood.

By 1986 the original Mo's (once known as "Kathy's") had gone out of business. Later that year, according to neighborhood resident John Gale, he and his neighbors became concerned about the abandoned business. After much discussion, Gale and neighbors Ray Seligson and Brent Harold decided to reopened Mo's Midtown in March of 1997 with a loan from Fleet Bank.

"We redesigned the interior to create the look that you see today. We created an awning look for the exterior. We created a menu that inclued The Mama Mo, Daddy Mo, Egg McMo and Mo Burger. My wife, Tracy Gale, started making the soups at 5 am each morning. The first manager of the restuarant was Bill Hagan's sister, Mary.
Following her, Mark Monroe, a former waiter at Shenanigan's. He came from San Diego and added Huevos Rancheros to the menu. The next manager was Lousiana Lenny who delighted folks with the Ragin' Cajun omelet and other New Orleans favorites." said Gale.

In 1988, the luncheonette received awards for Best Breakfast from the Hartford Advocate and Connecticut Magazine.

"Our neighborhood mission was accomplished and very successfully so we decided to put it on the market. Theresa Matuzko bought the property in 1989 and Lester Baluka, became the new chef but kept the same menu in place. After many successful years Theresa decided to sell to Hartford residents Stanley and Ewa Nowak." said Gale.

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