Cypress Grill in Middletown to close after 80 years

After 80 years, the family-owned business Cypress Grill in Middletown will be closing its doors. (WFSB)

After 80 years, a family-owned business in Connecticut will be closing its doors.

Cypress Grill in Middletown has been a staple for eight decades.

“It’s been 80 years here and that's a long, long time," Cypress Grill co-owner Joe Carta said.

Countless people have come through the doors of the Cypress Grill to enjoy good food and good company.

“My parents took a chance in 1936, In the middle of the depression, they opened up a restaurant,” Carta said. “They were 20 and 19 years old.”

Twin brothers, Jim and Joe Carta, took over the family business from their parents.

Most of their family members work at Cypress Grill including their daughters.

“It's one of those places where you go you meet people and know about Cypress,” Brooke Carta, who is a family member, said.

Cypress Grill is a full of history after opening in 1936. According to the original menu, dinners were just 50 cents. Open sandwiches were 40 cents and bottled beer were 15 cents.

In one booth, a couple, Dot and George, were engaged 50 years ago. Their names are still etched on the window glass. Well-known people including first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Scorsese's daughter and numerous musicians have sat in the booths.

Live music was started in the 40s and the family kept that tradition.

The restaurant is closing at the end of February so Jim and Joe could retire.

“It's definitely bittersweet,” Brooke Carta said. “It's sad and it's understandable. My dad and uncle are 69 and ready to retire and our generation is in a spot that we can't take over the business.”

“It's probably one of the hardest businesses to get into and it's time consuming,” Joe Carta said. “And it's the last thing I think of when I go to bed and the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning.

For many such as the Carta family, they met their husbands and wives at this restaurant. For others, they said it's where they learned skills.

“I got a job as a college bartender but this is where I started but that put me through college,” Brooke Carta said.

“We've had people coming here for generations and it's tough to give that up,” Jim Carta said. “But, we know and our customers know, and our employees know that the time is now. It's time to close a chapter.”

Their last day will be Sunday, Feb. 26. Eyewitness News has learned the owners of Sliders bar and grill will likely be taking over the location. There is no word on when they expect to reopen the restaurant.

The family wants to hear your Cypress Grill stories. Email your memories to to share them with the owners and their employees.

For that information, click here.

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