Crystal Restaurant Fire - Reading PA - Penn Square

The Crystal Restaurant – Penn Square

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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.

Inside the Crystal Restaurant
A parade makes it’s way past the Crystal in 1948

1970 fire
1981 fire

 

“Life was a ball at the Crystal” Reading Eagle Article


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Jerrilyn M Carter
Jerrilyn M Carter
6 years ago

Been there many times

Jess R. Drezner
Jess R. Drezner
6 years ago

Had my Bar Mitzvah celebration there

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

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!

Dave D.
Dave D.
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

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!

avonshelleystipsanswersandupcomingcampaigns

I worked there in the mid 60’s ,Don Shain

Joseph john De Santo
Joseph john De Santo
3 years ago

We went to the Crystal in June 1967 while on our honeymoon.

Gary Freyberger
Gary Freyberger
2 years ago

Worked there when I was 14 in 1963.

Jay B Coleman
Jay B Coleman
2 years ago

Paul’s Clothing Store had a banquet there for the staff, after their Semi-annual sales. My only time.

Hank Youngerman
Hank Youngerman
2 years ago

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.

Karen Gerhard
Karen Gerhard
1 year ago

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!

Sarah Yost
Sarah Yost
6 months ago

My Mom waitressed there and my brother and I would take the bus from West Reading into Reading sometimes to meet her for dinner. Loved Mildred and the treasure chest. Great memory.


Berks Nostalgia