There is no Uncle Peter who works at Uncle Peter's, nor is there an Uncle Peter related to anybody at the restaurant.
The real Uncle Peter was actually named Ernesto, a friend of Patty Medina's father who helped build the original restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue in the 80s. Customers used to mistake Patty's dad for Uncle Peter.
Eventually, he closed it down for 10 years, and re-opened it in its present location in 2001, with many family members pitching in as waiters and bus boys. When her dad became sick, Patty quit her Wall Street job to learn the business from scratch and take over the management.
Chef Alicio started at Uncle Peter's as a dishwasher, then porter, the salad station, and soon worked his way up to becoming the very musical head chef.
I bought this one year ago. Before that, I had another speaker. This one is bigger.
I always play music when I cook. I like it loud.
Does anybody ever tell you it's too loud?
No, they don't say anything. They like it. It's all Spanish workers in the kitchen. I am the DJ. It's my playlist. Sometimes I ask the guys: "Do you want to play your music?" I turn off my phone and they put in theirs.
It's a lot of Mexican cumbia, but also banda, ranchera, norteño, romantic...
When you're in a great mood, what music do you play?
Vicente Fernández. He's ranchera. He's got a big hat.
(Patty: "He plays the slow songs when he's mad. They're depressing.")
Do you sing when the music is playing?
Yes. Sometimes. Loud.
(Patty: "At the end of the night, when we're breaking everything down, cleaning everything... people belt out a song.")
The music is my power.
Has anybody ever said "Turn that down?"
Nobody. I'd make it louder.