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Just another night at the office

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"It's been a busy night, but I'm not tired yet," he said.

Gus, the 51-year-old manager of Marquette Gyros, has been working since 3 p.m. ,”It's 3 a.m. and Gus is still hard at work.

"It's been a busy night, but I'm not tired yet," he said.

His skin glistens and his head bobs up and down below the counter as eight drunk kids crowd the front of Marquette Gyros, screaming "Hey Bay Bay! Go Cardinals! Go Cubs! **** the Brewers!"

Gus yells, "Number 67!" and ducks his head back under the counter, speedily packing brown paper bags with cheeseburgers and steaming gyros.

Gus, the 51-year-old manager of Gyros, has been working since 3 p.m.

A familiar sight at Gyros, Konstantinos Dalis -Gus for short-works seven days a week from about 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., although the hours fluctuate, he said.

Despite the hours, he said the job is not too exhausting.

"I'm used to it, I'm used to that kind of job," he said. "I like to do it, it's my job."

He said he sleeps about six to seven hours a night, and wakes up early to see his children. Gus has two sons, 10 and 14, with Donna, his Polish girlfriend of 15 years, and a cat named Garfield.

Gus moved to Milwaukee 28 years ago from Athens, Greece, where he served as a cook in the Greek army for two and a half years.

"The army was not easy, because you have to get up in the morning, go run a couple miles, come back and practice," he said.

Gus said he began working at Marquette Gyros 19 years ago under the direction and ownership of his brother.

He said the busiest nights are Friday and Saturday from 12:30 to 3:00 a.m. On Fridays, the eatery might sell about 60 gyros, he said, while the week is slower.

Gus said he doesn't know how much they make in a night, but they're always busy because the students appreciate the low prices.

"For a cheeseburger downtown, you pay $8.00. Here, you pay $2.45," he said.

The customers said they agree.

"Gryos is the best food on campus for the least price," said Adam Kreutter, a sophomore in the College of Engineering.

Several students said they come to Gyros two to three times a week.

"It's the place to be after we party, and during the week it still has great food," said Tyler Boschuetz, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences.

Gus said the students talk very loudly, but do not cause trouble. He doesn't bother them, and there has never been a problem, he said.

"All the kids are so great, so far," he said. "There have been no crazy days. It's busy, but for us, it's OK."

But, Janet Pehowski, another Gyros employee, said some nights do get hectic.

She added that she sometimes worries Gus works too hard.

"I see him start to burn out around 12 to 1," she said. "He's very humble, very sweet, but I'm trying to toughen him up."

On this Sunday night, Gus works quickly and says little amidst the clamor of the long lines.

"I'm not tired because I like my job, I like to cook," he said. "I can't see myself doing anything else."

Marquette Gyros is located at 1607 W. Wells St.

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