Valentine's Day brings 60th for Alteri's of Clinton
In a time when many local businesses are struggling, some seem to keep on rolling through the years. Our Andrew Sorensen tells us about one local restaurant celebrating sixty years on a very special day.
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CLINTON, N.Y. -- Something about it says love.
"It brings back good memories," well-wisher Mary Lenhardt said.
A few tables over, Pamela Vona said, "I wish them many more years of success and happiness."
A lot of Valentine's Days have come and gone.
"Is it 60 years?" asked Pamela Hooson.
James Rischel said, "I'd like to wish them a happy 60th and another 60 to come."
But Francis Alteri isn't celebrating Cupid's arrows.
"We're celebrating our 60th year in business. We were established 1953 on Valentine's Day," he explained.
That's not to say they aren't romantic.
"When I was a kid and you went to the prom, afterwards, this is where you came," Lenhardt said.
But it's something else that keeps them going.
"The friendships, no doubt about it," said Alteri.
They're a little slice of nostalgia.
"As far as the recipes, all that stuff's been the same since the 60s," Alteri said.
They've built the slice up in Clinton over the years.
"You know, we have a local following, a local group of people that patronize us, and they've become very good friends of ours," said Alteri.
Alteri says that and their loyal employees are the only reasons he can think of for their long term relationship with the village.
"We come all the time, it's not just Valentine's Day, but we come a lot," said James Rischel.
It's kind of become Clinton in a way with long time customers like James and Jan Rischel.
"Maybe not as long as Jim, but it's probably been 40 years we've been coming here off and on," Jan Rischel said.
Or groups of regulars like the one you'll sometimes find with Lenhardt.
"Usually once a month to meet with the Golden Girls," she said of her group of school friends.
But with all the love around here, you might be surprised to find out they say the Valentine's Day founding date was only a friendly coincidence.
Although Alteri's might look and taste like it did in 1953, they aren't actually in the original building.
The original burned down in the 1960s, along with the apartment above where the Alteri family was living at the time.