When we last wrote about Demeter’s on these pages some two years ago, we spoke of how the restaurant/bar had been in the same location and in the same family for sixty years.
Don, Connie, and Steve Demeter behind a portion of their expansive bar
And indeed, Connie and sons Steve and Don continue to operate the well-known establishment started by grandfather Frank. As with all successful businesses, many new additions have taken place, with more possible on the horizon.
In a recent interview with Steve, he listed the activities that continue to make Demeter’s a hit: a total of thirteen high-definition TV screens; a dart board league; neighborhood teams involved with ice hockey, softball and kick-ball; and constant racing results from every track in the nation. In addition, all major sports events such as the NCAA tournament, the World Series, the U.S. Tennis Open and the major golf tournaments, beginning with the Masters each spring, are featured on the screens that circle the bar area.
The thirteen television sets are in direct relationship to the number of games that are broadcast at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on each Sunday during the football season. Steve estimates that at least two hundred people are eating and having drinks throughout a game day. He also notes that any given seat in the house can view at least six different TV sets, with a different game or event on each. He feels that there are an increasing number of people that like the idea of a "party" day for a given event,
particularly as ticket sales are growing more and more expensive at the actual games. Hours of operation on a game day are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and, on occasion, later into the evening depending on the popularity of the event. For those who are interested in actually participating in one of the league games, i.e., darts, softball, kick-ball or hockey, they should contact Joe Lydon, day-manager, a highly visible personality who has been with the restaurant since the early ’90s.
The Demeters split the work assignments by having Don handle the kitchen, Steve manage personnel, and Connie oversee the day-time table service. Steve feels that a major part of their success has been paying attention to their food quality with "no short cuts taken." He also pointed out that one additional asset has been the re-building of Rt. 119, sometime in the 1940’s, which allowed the restaurant to remain in its current position of being located "off the main highway" with plenty of free parking available.
On a personal note, Steve himself has increased his own involvement with harness racing by owning a number of trotting horses at Goshen, New York and Reading, Pennsylvania. He has three partners in the racing venture and, similar to his restaurant, racing has also shown outstanding growth. As the three of the Demeters look to the future, they continue to view possible areas of expansion, including an area for larger parties and events. If the future resembles the past, the next article on Demeter’s should re-double what has already happened to the entire operation!