Norton’s Business Team
- Robyn and George Mockus, Owners
- Executive Chef, Nick Bijak
- Jeff Mitchell, Sous Chef
- Doug Curtis, Beverage Manager
- Patty Roth, Dining Room Manager
- Christine Seno, Marketing/Website Management
Robyn and George Mockus, Owners
From owning Norton’s of Green Lake until 2004, to a retail business in Princeton called “Georgie’s”, to an adventure in California for a business venture in Santa Barbara, George and Robyn have gone full circle. And then, in November of 2012, they decided to purchase the restaurant back! November of 2012.
With a passion for the restaurant business and a focus on customer service that is second to none, the couple has poured their hearts and souls into making this business a great success! You are welcomed with a friendly smile and sincere sense of gratitude for your business, as each customer, be it local or tourist from miles away, is the most important guest to both of them from the moment you walk through the door to the moment you depart…. in bliss, having had a dining experience with excellent food, beautiful decor, views of the lake, and a friendly professional staff that makes you feel as those you have just been with longtime friends. We sincerely thank you and will look forward to seeing you again!
Executive Chef Nick Bijak
He’s back! No it’s not Jack Nicholson, but Nick Bijak! Norton’s recently re-welcomed Executive Chef, Nick Bijak back to their staff in August of 2015. Bijak brings an immense amount of expertise to the table as the restaurant prepares for a large wedding, continuing with the busy summer season and moving into the “still busy” fall season.
Hailing from Chicago, Bijak knew almost immediately that he wanted to work in the culinary arts. He attended Joliet College, majoring in their culinary arts program from spring 2000 to fall 2003. While achieving his degree, Bijak experienced a wide variety of cultures in an Educational Tours Program in Europe during the summer of 2000, providing him with international experience cooking in Italy, France, and Spain. He also studied under many award-winning chefs during his time in Illinois, including Mike McGreal, Keith VonHoff, and Master Pastry Chef Albert Imming.
After graduating, Bijak’s repertoire of experience grew substantially. Bijak’s ten years of expertise features facets of cooking and management for caterers, restaurants, the 2002 Winter Olympics, 2003 U. S. Open, and even his own restaurant called Bijak’s River Café. He excels in supervising large staffs of 100 or more and overseeing multi-million dollar food venues.
Bijak also is an award-wining, innovative chef who holds three awards. In 2001, Bijak received the Appetizer of the Year Award from Calavo Avocado Company for his Avocado Garlic Loaf. The Boys and Girls Club named him Chocolate Champion in 2011. Bijak also received the 2012 People’s Choice Award from the Wisconsin Pork Association.
In 2009 Bijak came to work as an Executive Chef in the Green Lake area. Bijak found himself drawn to Norton’s for several reasons after being asked to fill the executive chef position. “The reputation of Norton’s is outstanding,” said Bijak. “I also came because of George and Robyn’s attitude. They really care about the food and the community. A lot of the money stays in the community, which is great.”
With all Bijak’s skills, he plans to keep many of the traditional entrees at Norton’s, while introducing several new dishes to the menu. His award-winning avocado garlic loaf (French bread topped with cheddar cheese, avocado spread, and sweet African peppers) and Cilantro Soy Pork (pork loin marinated in soy sauce and cilantro, fire grilled, served with garlic mere sauce) will make an appearance on the menu just in time for the reopening. Locally grown produce and other food items, several new pastries, appetizers, and seafood dishes will also be introduced.
When asked what he plans to accomplish as Executive Chef, Bijak responded with providing exceptional food for a reasonable price. Bijak also has a desire to maintain great leadership and a positive attitude while at Norton’s, and also explained the importance of feedback. “Positive Feedback and customer interaction makes you a better chef,” said Bijak. “It’s very important to hear the feedback.” Bijak stated he enjoys mingling with the guests and getting to know his customer’s personal tastes.
Bijak has come back and plans to stay a Norton’s for a long time, to continue his future plans of bringing in more catering opportunities, plans for weddings and larger events. Bijak would also like the restaurant to participate in more events throughout the community.
“My goal is to keep us so busy that George and Robyn will have to hire more people,” said Bijak. Nick has been married to his wife, Carmen since 2012. Bijak finds time to do the things he loves including golfing, target shooting, fishing, and even cooking to relax. Bijak also enjoys cooking for his family during larger family events, and is often called upon to take on that responsibility.
Jeff Mitchell, Sous Chef
Jeff has a passion for cooking. He has been with Norton’s of Green Lake for over 18 years. Jeff says, “one of the best things about working at Norton’s is that they always purchase quality food, which actually makes my job that much easier. Quality product in – makes for a great quality product out to the customer.”
When Jeff is not at Norton’s he is working part-time at UPS, spending time golfing, or going to his daughter Madelyn’s sporting events with his Tawnia. Jeff has always enjoy the culinary arts, and brings a positive attitude and a strong team approach in working with the staff at Norton’s.
Doug Curtis, Beverage Manager
Doug has been in the food and beverage industry for over 30 years. Doug enjoys working with his staff and interacting with customers. Doug said, “It’s great to see all the people I have known for so many years, coming into Norton’,s and also getting to know the new customers. Doug emphasizes the importance of good customer service, and knows that his team enjoys providing the best customer service to all guests.
When asked what do you like best about being Beverage Manager, Doug replied “Getting to know people, finding out what their likes are, and remembering! Remembering is key when working in the service industry. As Beverage Manager, Doug is planning a new “Summer Drinks” Menu.
During his time off, Doug enjoys being a great Dad to his son Jonah and his daughter Bianca.
Patricia Roth, Dining Room Manager
As Dining Room Manager for the last 6 years Patty knows many of the regular customers, what they like, and how to make their visit to Norton’s an enjoyable experience. Patty has been in the customer service industry for over 30 years, starting at the Oakwood Lodge in 1976. The historic Oakwood Lodge was owned by her husband Greg’s family for many years, and was one of the landmark Bed and Breakfast’s to visit in Green Lake.
Patty has been at Norton’s for over 26 years and loves the family atmosphere, and seeing many of the customers that she has come to know from her early days at Oakwood Lodge to those she has met from her years at Norton’s. Patty said “It’s great to have everyone excited about the new decor and I am loving all the great compliments we are getting about the menu and the entree’s Chef Nick Bijak and his team are preparing.”