Opened in 1911, The Crystal Restaurant was once one of Reading’s most popular dining establishments. It was opened by Greek immigrant Constantine Mantis. On June 10, 1970 a fire broke out in the Crystal Restaurant due to an electrician who caused an electrical dead-short at the main breaker panel in the basement. It was revamped and run for another 10 years until it was sold by the Mantis family in 1980, and was completely destroyed by another fire a February 26th, 1981.
“Life was a ball at the Crystal” Reading Eagle Article
Been there many times
Had my Bar Mitzvah celebration there
I remember, as a young child, loving to go to the Crystal for dinner with my parents because after dinner I would be able to pick a toy out of the restaurant’s ‘toy box’. Great memories!
Agreed, I got a plastic toy car out of that box that would explode with the body panels flying off when the front bumper was impacted. It was awesome!
I worked there in the mid 60’s ,Don Shain
We went to the Crystal in June 1967 while on our honeymoon.
Worked there when I was 14 in 1963.
Paul’s Clothing Store had a banquet there for the staff, after their Semi-annual sales. My only time.
The Crystal was the sort of “downtown businessman’s” restaurant. My grandfather had a furniture store a block east, in the 600 block of Penn St., and the legend is that if you wanted to see him, you went to the Crystal at lunchtime. I had lunch there occasionally in the summer of (I think) 1974 when I was working maybe a mile away and would ride my bike there (we didn’t have enough cars in my family for me to take a car to work). My cousin Janet Markowitz had her Bat Mitzvah there too, Jess. (And assuming I have the right family, I was playing bridge against your Mom until COVID.) Yes Bob, I remember the toy basket too, it was a wicker picnic basket I think It was the closest thing to passing for fine dining in Reading.
I waitressed there summers while I was in college – 1968 to 1972. Many memories. I thought of the employees as a “United Nations” — blacks, whites, Asians, Greeks, Hispanics, Germans and more. And the food was absolutely delicious!