Oldest Restaurant in Watertown, NY
You can only imagine what life was like in Watertown, New York in 1919 when the Crystal served its first meal. The lively city was a growing metropolis with plenty of jobs in the paper industry. The city, and the world around it have certainly changed in the last 100 years but amazingly the Crystal has held on to its origins. The restaurant was taken over in 1944 by Nicolas and Otto Dephtereos and is still run today by the same family. Their love and devotion to the Crystal, and the people of Watertown shows up in every slice of fresh turkey that is carved and every Tom and Jerry that warms its patrons from the chilly winds of Watertown.
1526 FB users likes The Crystal Restaurant, set it to 1 position in Likes Rating for Watertown, United States in Restaurant/cafe category
THE CRYSTAL RESTAURANT: OUR HOME On behalf of the Dephtereos family, I want to thank everyone for the support you have shown the Crystal Restaurant and us. We want to reassure everyone that as far as we are concerned, it is business as usual. For my family, the Crystal is home. In 1928 my grandfather, Otto, who came to this country from Greece, entered these doors as a chef. In 1944, he and his brother Nick purchased the Crystal. When Nick passed away in 1953, Otto and my grandmother, Mary, continued to provide their customers with excellent food and a friendly atmosphere. My father Joe, who served in WWII, had grown up around the restaurant and decided it was time to lend a hand. When my Uncle Leo graduated from college, he joined in. After Mary’s death in 1969, Otto, Joe and Leo carried on the Crystal’s traditions. My parents, like so many couples in Watertown, first met at the Crystal. They married and had six children who grew up at the Crystal. My mother, Peg, took her turn at working at the Crystal. Leo and Anita had five kids who all worked at the Crystal. So for us, it really is much more than a restaurant; it’s home. As children, my brothers and I were excited to get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to go down and work. (My father might tell you a different story, one of dragging us out of bed at 6:00 a.m.) But down we went, to peel potatoes, wash dishes and do anything he needed us to do. It was always quiet first thing, but the silence didn’t last long… for at 7:00, when the doors opened for breakfast, there were always people waiting to get in. In 1999, Leo died, I joked that he cared so much about the restaurant he even had his stroke on a Monday so as not to disrupt business! My father, Joe, has continued on at the Crystal, going down every morning. He is the silent, gentle leader, always in the kitchen. He is a quiet man who wants the best for this restaurant -- his father’s restaurant, his restaurant, his family’s restaurant. It takes a loving, understanding family to stay involved in this business, and my father is fortunate to have his sons Peter and Joe by his side. My brother Joe goes down early in the morning to help my father get things going for the day and Peter is there all day every day, running the restaurant. He is also very lucky to have Libby, making sure that everyone is happy and things are running smoothly out front. And we can’t forget our loyal staff, who have been with us for decades. We are proud and grateful to have served the people of the North Country for the better part of a century and look forward to serving them for many years to come. Yes, this place is home to us. Again, it is business as usual. Tomorrow, my father Joe will be down at the Crystal where he will string on his apron, open the doors for business and get to work. And come the day after Thanksgiving, we hope you will walk into the Crystal, see that Tom & Jerry bowl on the middle of the bar and celebrate the holidays with my father and his family. Thank you, Ellen Dephtereos Pirro