The Beacon of Bacon: Downtown, the Latern Brunch

George Dukas’ cooking is a sight to behold. The owner and sole chef of the Laturn Brunch, Dukas is master behind the counter, in the small kitchen of his restaurant. He makes each entrée with delicate care and seasoned experience. To him, serving breakfast food is more than a business – it is an art and a tradition. Lantern is the school’s staple breakfast joint, located next to the Andover Bookstore downtown. The establishment is small, with a few booths and a counter with some barstools. However, it is always warm and welcoming with the aroma of fresh coffee, eggs, and toast. Entertainment went in for a quick chat over breakfast with Dukas. Phillipian: How long have you been running the Lantern Brunch? Dukas: The Brunch has been around for 37 years. I’ve had it for 30. A long time, I know. Phillipian: Do you draw a lot of regulars? Where from? Dukas: We get them from all around – most from in town. But we also get customers from all over the world, being next to [Phillips]. It’s a good place to be. Phillipian: How did you get into the breakfast business? Dukas: I used to own the Andover Spa. I came down here for lunch once, and I loved it. I became a regular pretty quickly. At one point, I asked the owner if he [were] interested in selling it, and luckily he was. Phillipian: Did you have to learn anything to become a specialist in cooking these foods? Dukas: I grew up in the business. My father owned a breakfast place like this in Boston – it was a lot like this, but a bigger operation. Phillipian: Have you always anticipated joining the restaurateur industry? Dukas: I was actually in the computer field for a while. It wasn’t until later that I decided to go into business. Phillipian: With whom do you run the place? Dukas: About six or seven people. I don’t have too much family left, so these people and this place are what I’ve got. Phillipian: Do you have any plans for change? New paint jobs, renovation, or expansion? Dukas: No, not really. (Laughs) I’m too old! And I’m satisfied with what we have – It’s a nice thing we have going. Phillipian: If not the restaurant, do you anticipate any changes to your menu? Any seasonal items? Dukas: Well, we have Greek dishes every so often, things like spinach pie. Other than that, the menu stays mostly the same. Phillipian: What time of year would you say is the best for business? Dukas: Fall is the best time of year. Fall and spring. It slows down a bit after the holidays in winter. Phillipian: When would you say your rush hours are? Dukas: We’re open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We draw a lot during the morning, but I’d say it’s pretty unpredictable. Sometimes we have a lot of people, other times it’s slower. Phillipian: And what would you say your favorite item on the menu is? Dukas: Well…(he takes a moment to consider.) I eat a lot of tuna fish. sandwiches.