Serb Hall hosts 2,000 for Friday Fish Fry

CREATED Apr 18, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's American Serb Memorial Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave., will welcome 2,000 people for a fish fry Friday.

It's been voted Milwaukee's favorite fish fry nine years in a row -- and its numbers back it up. Crews are responsible for cooking and distributing 3,000 pounds of fish, 2,000 pounds of french fries, 900 pounds of coleslaw, 40 gallons of Tatar sauce, and more.

"[It's] extremely busy, a lot of preparation," said crew member Dawn Seranac. "[We are] constantly moving from the time we open to the time we close."

Seranac knows what it takes to make a Good Friday meal great, she's been working in the Serb Hall kitchen for 25 years.

"We bounce off each other," she said. "You get used to it, you just go with the flow."

We followed Seranac and her 30 other teammates behind the scenes. It didn't take long to figure out that there's a lot more to serving fish than the frying.

"[It's important to have] quality, service, atmosphere [and a] helpful staff," said Bob Milkovich with American Serb Memorial Hall "It's very rewarding to us."

The whole operation costs $20,000 to $30,000. Crew member John Bogdanovich said he wanted to give back  -- he grew up at the church that sponsors Serb Hall.

"One of the main tenants of Christianity is to serve others and do unto others what you would want yourself," he said. "As a little boy I remember the older Serbian immigrants all cooperating serving delicious fish."

Decades later - the recipe for a great Good Friday fish fry endures.

"When you see this place packed, people having a good time - that's rewarding to us," Milkovich said.

Milkovich also attended the fish fry as a kid. He said he hopes that legacy continues for generations to come.

"It's a Good Friday meal with family and friends," he said. "It's tradition."

Serb Hall will be serving food from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. 

Find a guide of all of the area Good Friday fish fry's here.