For the owners of Pemberton Fish Bar, the secret to 20 years of success is high quality food at decent prices.
Tony and Maria Papakyriacou opened their first ever chop shop in June 1999, and have spent two decades serving up the mouth watering English staple dish to hungry locals ever since.
“It was just something different, and something a lot of families do, so we thought we’d give it a go” said Tony, 56.
“I liked the idea of being my own boss. I had control over my own destiny, and I wanted to serve the public by giving them good quality food.
The couple’s early experience of running their own eatery was, not surprisingly, an eye-opening experience.
“It was very difficult!” Tony said.
“The first six months of getting into the swing of things, it wasn’t easy.”
It didn’t take too long, however, for Tony and Maria to build themselves a large base of customers.
They’re lucky enough to count a good mix of devoted regulars and many passers-by, all of whom who lap up their traditional fish and chips, as well as other fare including new potatoes, pies, burgers, chicken dishes and kebabs.
“We love serving different types of food and getting to meet a variety of customers,” Tony said.
“It’s just me and the wife and a couple of part-time staff, and we’ve also got the family helping out when they can.”
“You do have to have a varied menu, you can’t just serve fish and chips all the time!”
And their food has also filled the bellies of many a famous face.
“We have the occasional footballer and rugby player coming in. So we have the odd celebrity in, so to speak,” Tony revealed.
Mick McCarthy, then Ipswich Town manager, even popped in for a bite to eat after a fixture with Latics.
And several players from the Reading squad once did the same after playing at the DW Stadium.
So what is it about Pemberton Fish Bar that keeps the locals coming after 20 years?
Tony said: “You need a good piece of cod, and you need a nice batter to it - it can’t be too thick.
“And it’s got to be fried at just the right temperature.
“You’ve just got to serve decent food!”
Pemberton Fish Bar, based on Orsmkirk Road, holds a coveted five star hygiene rating.
It is open from 11.30am to 1.30pm, and again from 4pm to 9pm, from Monday to Saturday.