How Do You Feed 1,300 Hungry Construction Workers? Give them Newbridge Café Steak Tips.

By Seth Daniel

When Suffolk Construction and Wynn Boston Harbor needed to feed 1,300 construction workers last Thursday during a steel Topping Off ceremony and party, they knew whom to call.

NewBridge Café on the Everett/Chelsea line, and the Mandracchia brothers, responded with hundreds of pounds of their famous steak tips, chicken, sausage and patented salad dressing.

It was a mid-day party that left everyone satisfied.

John and Mark Mandracchia have operated NewBridge on Washington Avenue on the Chelsea/Everett line for 20 years, and the family has operated it for 43 years. For the most part, their café is the place to go for their steak tips.

However, their catering business has had tremendous boost lately courtesy of John Fish, head of Suffolk Construction.

Last Thursday, Nov. 2, was just one example of that, but the biggest to date.

“This was great,” said John. “It was hard, but we knew we could do it. Suffolk is a great company and they have used us before.”

Added Mark, “This was 1,300 people to feed in a short amount of time. It was the biggest catering job we’ve ever done. We were nervous. It was a challenge and we did it. Suffolk is very, very generous to their workers.”

On the menu for the 1,000-plus casino project workers Nov. 2 was sausage, steak tips, chicken, macaroni and salad.

The relationship started last year when Suffolk was celebrating a milestone on the Millennium Tower in Boston. The company was ready to use another place in Arlington, but an employee of Suffolk was familiar with NewBridge and suggested them.

“John Fish of Suffolk called up and asked if we could feed 900 people on a construction site,” Mark said. “We said we could, and we were able to do it. That led to this one.”

The Mandracchias had three weeks to plan and prepare for the job last Thursday, and they established unique system to get workers in and out of the serving line as fast as possible.

On what is now a concrete floor about three football fields in size – and what will one day be the casino gaming floor – nearly 100 folding tables were set up. Construction workers and supervisors from almost every union and firm were sitting side by side  – all chowing on some NewBridge treats.

“Hey, if we can do this, we can do anything,” said John.

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