Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant celebrates 50 golden years

June 13, 2019

Photo by Yvonne Kemp

On Friday, May 31, 2019, the Perkins family, along with close friends, family, community leaders, and many long-time customers celebrated the 50th golden anniversary of Milwaukee’s premier soul food institution, Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant. Originally founded in 1969 by Hilda and Willie Perkins, Sr. at 1943 W. Atkinson Ave., the first location became much too small for the quickly growing eatery and a new location, 2001 W. Atkinson Ave., originally the location for gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s (inset) Glori-Fried Chicken, was purchased for the family to expand their business. Currently, the restaurant is run by Hilda and Willie’s daughter-in-law Cherry Perkins, who took over ownership after the death of her husband and Hilda and Willie’s son, Willie C. Perkins, Jr., in 2010. Even today the restaurant is renowned for its soul food menu, recently drawing in NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.

Pictured at the event are (from left) daughter Janice Perkins; co-founder Willie Perkins, Sr.; Mayor Tom Barrett; co-founder Hilda Perkins; and current owner and daughter-in-law Cherry Perkins.

“Congratulations to the Perkins Family 50 wonderful years!”