Crystal’s Sweet Taste of Italy to Close at End of November
Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an Italian restaurant that looks quite like Crystal’s Sweet Taste of Italy.
“This one had something nice and special about it that people really liked. They liked coming here. They liked that it didn’t have a bathroom,” said Jim Stone, the restaurant’s owner.
For the better part of two decades, a hungry group of loyal customers have made their way to the restaurant along 42nd Avenue in Crystal for a taste of Italy that’s never been so sweet.
“The food’s good. The people are friendly. You can’t ask for more,” said Jeremy, a customer from Robbinsdale.
“People like this place,” Stone added. “It feels like you can have a conversation with the people that are working here. You make friends.”
Stone has owned Sweet Taste of Italy since 2000, but he doesn’t own the land on which it sits. And he says the landowner has other plans.
“I don’t know what they’re going to be doing with this building. I could guess, but that’s all it is,” Stone said.
Right now, the only certainty is that he’ll have to close Sweet Taste of Italy at the end of November, putting an end to a neighborhood restaurant people have come to love.
“It’s a sad thing,” Stone said. “I’ve got a lot of employees here that have been working forever.”
“It kind of makes me sad,” said Jeremy, a customer. “I mean, I live right in the neighborhood across the highway in Robbinsdale. I come here quite a bit.”
What’s Next for Sweet Taste of Italy?
Stone’s family still owns a Sweet Taste of Italy in Brooklyn Park, but Stone says the next chapter in the life of the Crystal restaurant could very well be sitting in the parking lot.
“When we found out this was becoming more of a reality of closing this location, we jumped on the food truck bandwagon,” Stone said.
He named the food truck “Kenny’s Meatball Wagon” to pay homage to the man who gave him his first job when this restaurant was called La Gondola.
He hopes the food truck will lead him down another successful road.
“I’ve done brick and mortar now for 30 years, and so it’s a new adventure for me. I’m still young,” Stone said.
Meanwhile, officials from the City of Crystal say that Tumble Fresh Coin Laundry has inquired about constructing a 4,800-square-foot building on the property. That proposal is still subject to review from Crystal city staff.