Joseph Kustra was born in 1942 in Croatia. He moved to France in 1963, and lived in Paris for five years. In 1968 Joseph set off to America! – the land of opportunity. He arrived in New York City – with dreams of conquering the country like John Wayne and marrying a beauty like Doris Day.
He immediately began working in the restaurant industry. Soon after, he married his beautiful Susie from Michigan, and they now have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.
In Detroit, Joseph worked at Joe Byer’s Wine Cellars for nine years. In New York, he worked as Captain at the Helmsley Palace in Manhattan. Then for 15 years, Joseph worked at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse in Brooklyn.
In 1995, Joseph set off on his own, creating Tollgate Steakhouse in Mamaroneck, New York. He sold his interests after five successful years. From there, he set the foundations for Joseph's Steakhouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut to open up in 2000.
In 2019, Joseph decided to retire and sold the restaurant to Frederick “Fritz” Blasius, an automobile dealer from Waterbury. Fritz has continued with the fine food and traditions started by Joseph.