As published in the Record Journal Friday February 1, 2013
By Eric Vo
WALLINGFORD - With 20 years of restaurant experience, Ahmet Kangal and his two brothers, Mehmet and Nedim, are set for the grand opening on Monday of their second restaurant, Three Brothers Pizza.
The brothers, who left Turkey in 1992 to live with their father in the U.S., had their first restaurant-business experience as dishwashers at the Athena Diner in North Haven. Since they barely spoke English, Kangal said, he and his brothers washed dishes “because there was little interaction with other people.”
“Hate it or enjoy it, we had to do it to make a living for ourselves,” he said.
The Kangal brothers worked their way up, becoming waiters and cooks. Ahmet Kangal eventually became the diner’s manager. In 1997, the brothers bought a restaurant in Maryland and managed it for two years before moving back to Connecticut. In 2000, they opened the Three Brothers Diner in Hamden, which is still open today.
After managing a diner for 13 years, Kangal said he was interested in opening a pizza restaurant because it was “different.” Admitting that he didn’t spend a lot of time or effort looking for a location, Kangal said he decided on the 200 Church St. location simply because he “was in the right place at the right time.”
Mehmet and Nedim Kangal will manage the new restaurant and Ahmet Kangal will manage the diner.
“We’re all excited to do and try something new,” Nedim Kangal said.
Viewing his success as fortunate and “a gift from God,” Ahmet Kangal said he does all that he can to give back to and be a part of the community. On Monday, Feb. 11, 100 percent of the sales will be donated to the local food bank, he said.
“I like to work with the community,” Kangal said. “If I am successful with my businesses, I want to share it with people.”