If you travel off the beaten path in Massapequa, you will come across your new favorite eatery—Krisch’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour. Located at 11 Central Ave., Massapequa, Krisch’s is as old-fashioned and classic ‘50s as you can get.
“Krisch’s was originally founded in Bayridge, Brooklyn in 1920,” said Steve McCue, a Massapequa native and the current owner of the restaurant, which was named after the original owners. “Krisch’s closed in the mid-1930s due to the depression and then reopened in Hollis, Queens. It remained there until 1955, and then we moved to our current location here in Massapequa and we’ve been here ever since,” continued McCue, who took ownership in 1993.
Originally, the location was established for coffee, donuts and sandwiches for the wives of men serving the country. It wasn’t until the owners started making homemade chocolates and ice cream that the establishment turned into more of a restaurant.
“I didn’t want to go flashy ‘50s with all the neon lights and craziness, but I wanted to keep it traditional ‘50s, what it would look like during that time opposed to what people’s idea of that time period is,” said McCue on the theme of Krisch’s and keeping it old-fashioned. “We’re famous for our burgers—we use real chop meat and mix our own seasoning in—wraps and ice cream, especially our ice cream.”
Krisch’s makes their own ice cream and offers a multitude of flavors—from traditional chocolate, vanilla and cookies ‘n’ cream to burgundy cherry, fluffernutter and rainbow cookie. They are also famous for their handmade chocolates, using the original, customized recipe and same format from the very beginning.
“We have seasonal items and flavors. For example, in October and November we had pumpkin pie and apple crisp ice cream, and now we have peppermint bark and eggnog,” said McCue. “We keep the flavors of the holidays and the traditional flavors that people know.”
McCue tries to buy local ingredients as often as he can, and after owning one for over 20 years, he has a good idea of what it takes to run a successful restaurant.
“We’ve been in business now for 94 years so we have a lot of perfection in what we do,” said McCue, adding that the store also does molds for all the major holidays. “We mold and wrap everything; it’s all from scratch.”
Krisch’s is the largest distributor of homemade chocolate in New York, so McCue knows how much the restaurant goes through each holiday. On average, the store sells 1,000 pounds of chocolate turkeys every Thanksgiving and 1,200 pounds of chocolate every Christmas.
“We’re famous for our crinkles, which are little wreaths that people decorate their tree with and then eat them later,” he said, adding that peppermint bark is another popular holiday item during this time of year. “We’re also known for our peanut butter minuettes, which are like little peanut butter cups in different shapes and sizes.”
Krisch’s would be nothing without a hardworking staff, and McCue is very fortunate to have found such a great one.
“My staff is the most important to me. I can’t emphasize the amount of trust and love I have for them, they’re amazing,” he said of his 40 employees.
Of his customers, McCue said that they call Krisch’s a “very nostalgic place to eat.” On several occasions, he has witnessed four generations sitting at one table enjoying home cooked food like mom used to make.
As for Massapequa, McCue has nothing but love for the community.
“The community is amazing. We’ve been a staple here for a long time, and even though our location is not on a main road, once you find us, you’re hooked for life,” said McCue, who wants people to be able to depend on having the same thing every day and to have their traditions.
Krisch’s is currently making frozen hot chocolate and gearing up for their “Breakfast with Santa” party, a tradition that McCue has been doing ever since he took over the store.
“We have an amazing Santa—he’s my father-in-law—and he has been with us from the beginning. We give out presents and candy canes and we do pictures,” said McCue. “The kids have breakfast with Santa and then Rudolph comes. People reserve a spot and we’re sold out every year.” Tickets cost $30 and include breakfast, tax and gratuity for adults and for kids, it includes gifts, candy canes, breakfast and pictures with Santa. Call 516-797-3149 for more information.
Krisch’s is very active in the community and McCue has a point person handling social media accounts as he is always kept more than busy.
“If I’m not busy in the restaurant, I’m making chocolates or ice cream or getting gifts ready,” said McCue. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing, because we do it well and people appreciate that.”