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Third generation co-owner Peter Depthereos in front of The Crystal. Photo courtesy of TAUNY
Third generation co-owner Peter Depthereos in front of The Crystal. Photo courtesy of TAUNY

Watertown's oldest restaurant faces eviction deadline

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Last week, the North Country learned that one of its iconic places to eat has been served an eviction notice. The Crystal, Watertown's oldest restaurant, opened its doors more than 90 years ago, and since the '40s, it's been run by the Dephtereos family.

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Reported by

Natasha Haverty
Reporter and Producer

But since Watertown property owner Ricky Frazier bought the Crystal’s building in Public Square last year, he and the restaurant owners have been struggling to agree on a lease.

Peter Depthereos is a third generation owner of the Crystal. He told Natasha Haverty that the eviction notice came as a surprise to him and his family.

Peter Depthereos: I mean I knew sooner or later we were going to have to come to some sort of agreement on a lease, but I guess I didn’t expect to get the eviction notice out of the blue.

Natasha Haverty: So what do you think the chances are that this eviction will actually happen?

PD: I think they're small. I'm sure we'll be able to work out some kind of arrangement. He needs a tenant; we need a place to stay and I think we'll work it out.

The Crystal is like... home to everybody... the order will come through the kitchen and you know who it is, you know exactly what they're going to eat
NH: So what is at stake? Kind of talk to me like I'm an alien or a visitor from Florida.

PD: The Crystal is like…it’s home to everybody. We're kind of a centerpiece in their city. Somehow or another most people in the community have walked through the doors of the Crystal at one point in time here—whether their grandparents came there when they were a kid, or they moved away and every time they come back to visit they come here. Like I said, it's home to a lot of people. Some people come in a couple times a day for breakfast, lunch, maybe dinner?

NH: Wow—there's really people that eat all three meals there?

PD: There's a handful that do, yes. You have people that come in and they want to sit in the same seat every time they come. And the order will come through the kitchen and you know who it is, you know exactly what they're going to eat.

NH: So, I can't quite tell how impending this "doom" really is.

PD: I just would tell the listening community that everything is going to fine. I don't expect us to be evicted. I expect we will work out some kind of arrangement. The Crystal is not going anywhere we’re going to be here for another hundred years to come.

Listen to a story about The Crystal from 2007, part of our "Very Special Places" series, and learn about the "Tom and Jerry," the restaurant's famous Christmas creation. 

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