By Brian O'Shea   Published May 05, 2003 at 5:41 AM

An East Side favorite is back in business after weathering a fire late last August. Last week Ma Fischer's, at 2214 N. Farwell Ave., reopened its doors to loyal customers after being forced to renovate the entire restaurant. The restaurant has been a Milwaukee staple since 1947.

Owner George Panagiotolopoulos told last November that the fire was caused by the restaurant's neon sign -- the same sign that beckoned hungry customers 24 hours a day.

"We had to replace everything, kitchen, floor, ceiling, booths. The only things left were the walls because they're brick. The entire place was gutted from the fire," said Peter Panagiotolopoulos, owner and operator of Ma Fischer's.

The family-owned restaurant still has the same layout as before, it just has a fresh new face.


"While it's a little more contemporary, at the same time people can put their feet up on a booth while they eat their omelet. It still has the casual atmosphere," said Panagiotolopoulos.

Aside from repairing the damage, the restaurant also managed to secure a liquor license. Also, by the end of this month Ma Fischer's will have outdoor seating for up to 60 people.

"We are building a patio, complete with beer garden, and we plan to finish it by the end of this month," said Panagiotolopoulos.

As far as the menu is concerned, the only changes are additions. There are now more appetizers, pasta dishes and breakfast items.

And although last year George Panagiotolopoulos declared, "No more neon," the neon is back.

Ma Fischer's, 2214 N. Farwell Ave., is still open 24 hours a day. Call (414)- 271-7424.