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Cafe owner doing well, recovering from accident

Ann Berishaj and staff at the Old Village cafe in Clarkston have been keeping things running smoothly after Pete Berishaj was involved in an accident last June. Photo by Andrea M. Beaudoin (click for larger version)
January 15, 2014 - Ann and Pete Beishaj have been serving up great food and smiles since 1993 at the Old Village Café in downtown Clarkston. But regulars may have noticed over the past several months that Pete has been missing from the café.

In June, Pete had stopped on Walton Boulevard to fix jet skis on the back of his truck when a car traveling at a high rate of speed hit him.

Just before the car was to hit Pete straight on, a good Samaritan who stopped to help saw the car coming and told Pete to get out of the way.

Pete jumped out of the way, but his leg was nailed by the car and shattered.

He wants customers to know he is recovering and doing OK, and he is just thankful to be alive.

Pete's recovery has already been a long road as he has had many surgeries and has another surgery scheduled on Jan. 29.

Everyone would agree Ann has been doing a great job keeping the favorite locale running smoothly. Patrons can still order all the favorites Pete is famous for.

Before the accident Pete was at the café all the time.

He added he does not get in to the café often and is unsure if he will ever be able to man the grill again. He does plan to come in and greet customers when he can.

"It is my second home," he says, adding he always manned the grill or created his specialty salads.

Pete said customers have been so supportive during his recovery.

Pete said customers call him the "salad man" for his special salad creations as he uses all sorts of ingredients from tuna and chicken to fruit for the huge salads.

"I would surprise my customers with a salad I would just create different things every day," he said.

That's the one thing Pete said he misses most - his customers.

"We have really loyal customers," both he and Ann agree, adding they are grateful for great people they see every day.

In fact the people is one of the reasons they never left Clarkston.

Pete said he bought the Clarkston location in 1993 with the intention to fix the place up and sell it. It never happened because Clarkston was too good to leave, he added.

"We love the neighborhood, we love downtown and we love the people. We're not going anywhere." Pete insisted.

"Our customers are very loyal like family," said Ann. "we have the best clientele you could ever ask for."

Some of the specials at the cafe include stuffed cabbage, meatloaf, French toast with cranberries, pumpkin, blueberries, specialty burritos and things like daily soup specials.

"You can have anything you want," laughed Pete. "If you want pork chops for breakfast that's what you get."

Located at 2 S. Main Street in downtown Clarkston special deals and coupons can be found each week by reading The Clarkston News.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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