Warwick’s Crystal Inn celebrates 50 years under three generations of management
WARWICK — Few businesses in this area can make the same claim of longevity as the Crystal Inn restaurant at 10 Amity Road in Warwick.
On Friday, May 6, New York State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, Orange County Legislator Paul Ruszkiewicz and Town of Warwick Deputy Supervisor James Gerstner joined second-generation owner Gus Zygmunt and his son Ryan to formally celebrate the historic restaurant’s 50th anniversary.
Each of the officials, along with New York State Sen. John Bonacic, who wasn’t able to be present for the occasion, issued proclamations or awards honoring this achievement.
The building that is now home to the Crystal Inn was originally a private residence, built in 1925 and situated on what was then Pine Island Turnpike.
“Until 1977,” said Gus Zygmunt, “we were on the main road. Then they opened County Route 1 and our road was renamed Amity Road.”
In 1945, the home’s residents sold the property to the operators of a farmland canteen known as Schwabes Bar.
Then in 1964, the building was in foreclosure when Benjamin Zygmunt, father of the current owner, Gus Zygmunt, and grandfather of general manager, Ryan Zygmunt, purchased it over the phone during a bank auction.
“I was just 18 years old when I started working for my father,” recalls Gus Zygmunt. “In those days we had a simple menu of burgers, homemade soups and sandwiches.”
Later, the menu became more in tune with the rising popularity of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, and in 1990, barroom and dining rooms were reversed to accommodate more seating.
“I still remember how it was in those early years,” he said. “The prices were much different. For example, we sold a dozen shrimp for a dollar. And I also remember we could serve alcohol to people who were 18, and then that was changed to 19. But on December 1, 1985, the law was changed to 21. I had to stop serving anyone under that age at midnight.”
Ryan Zygmunt says that as general manager, he is very supportive of his chefs, who have helped redefine and reenergize the Crystal Inn as a landmark culinary destination.
The Crystal Inn lies in the heart of the Black Dirt agricultural region, which gives the chefs many special opportunities to prepare its contemporary American menu, often using local ingredients harvested earlier in the day.
Sources include local farms who raise their livestock on natural pasture, completely free of antibiotics and drugs.
“Foodies around the tri-state area have begun to appreciate what we have known for years,” says Ryan Zygmunt. “Cuisine designed around the finest, freshest locally produced ingredients has advantages in flavor, freshness and quality.”
For reservations or additional information call (845) 258-4232 or visit www.crystalinn.biz