Chrystal's Youngstown restaurant will remain open.
THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- Jeff Chrystal, who has operated Chrystal's Restaurant on Belmont Avenue for six years, has opened a second restaurant at Fonderlac Country Club.
Chrystal also is taking over the catering at the club on Paulin Road in Springfield Township.
There hadn't been a restaurant operating at the club for several years, but Chrystal said he thinks the location is ideal for an expansion of his business because it will provide exposure in the southern end of Mahoning County.
"The golf club used to be out in the country, but the suburbs have grown that way," he said.
The new restaurant, called Chrystal's at Fonderlac, is open to the public and has a menu similar to that of the Youngstown restaurant. There is a small fixed menu, but most of the menu changes daily, depending on what fish, meats and produce are available.
Chrystal said he is planning no changes at the Youngstown restaurant. Business remains strong for lunches and on the weekends, he said. He said he had a nice crowd for Easter and continues to do well on St. Patrick's Day.
He also operates Chrystal Catering, which works between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, including public buildings such as Stambaugh Auditorium and the Butler Institute of American Art.
Booking banquets: The Fonderlac deal will provide him with a 300-seat banquet hall to book dates for. He intends to cater wedding receptions, parties and business meetings at the hall, while continuing his other catering business. He said he recently agreed to provide catering at St. Patrick Church in Youngstown.
Seasons at Fonderlac had been handling the catering at the country club, but Chrystal is taking over those dates. He suggested that anyone with an event booked at the club call his catering company for more information.
Chrystal said he also will provide food for a grill room that is open to club members.
Employees: He said he is handling the new business by sending some of his management team and chefs to the new location. The company has 10 chefs. Total employment is 40, although it will swell to 80 in the peak catering season, he said.
Chrystal said he is devoting his time to whichever operation needs him the most.
Chrystal used to be a chef at the former Colonial House restaurant on Market Street in Youngstown. He started his catering business in 1993.
Two years later, he opened the restaurant in the former Ambrosio's restaurant building.