Good food, good friends, and good times—three guarantees patrons of beloved restaurants Michael’s, MacArthur’s, and Oliver’s could count on from the Pleasantville and Katonah hot spots for almost 40 years. The trio of sports bars owned and operated by Katonah restaurateur Doug Crossett became institutions for locals, families, and Pace students until they abruptly closed their doors earlier this summer. But Doug’s sons, Matthew and Bob, have weathered the heartbreaking development and honored their dad’s legacy by co-founding the new Yorktown Grille (with Doug’s supervisory presence, naturally), located in Yorktown Heights’ Green Shopping Center.
Matt, Nancy, Doug, and Bob Crossett outside the new Yorktown Grille
“It was at the right time and the deal was right, so everything kind of just fell in place pretty perfectly,” says Bob. “It was getting to that point where we wanted to do our own thing, and then this came along and it just kind of worked out.” Adds Matt, “It’s been a lot to take on, and we are both pretty young and new to it, but we have enough support.”
That support comes from longtime patrons of Doug’s former establishments, but also from new customers, who are excited to welcome this kind of destination (the Grille features 15 flat screens and a multi-course menu of American fare). “It’s just a matter of making sure people know we’re here,” Matt explains. “They’re going to enjoy it here, because we have good people working for us and everybody’s happy. The community has really gotten behind us and has been helping out at every step.”
Leaning on each other has also contributed to the restaurant’s success thus far. Or as Matt quips, “The restaurants are a 24/7 business. Having the both of us rather than just one helps split time so we can actually have lives as well as run the restaurant.” Matt also points to his father’s example, which emphasized that they “put other people first and make sure that the employees are taken care of, that the community is taken care of. People see that and they want to come back because they know what they are going to get and they know what kind of people we are.”
Good food doesn’t hurt either. While Matt confesses, “We are never going to have a $30 filet mignon on the menu,” he’s confident they nail that one essential item every worthy sports bar has to deliver on: a tasty cheeseburger. And anyone who orders Yorktown Grille’s, he promises, is”going to come in and leave full and be happy every time.” Just as crucial, he assures customers they sling the “best, tastiest, biggest wings around.”
Dad’s good fortune running sports bars inspired the choice to follow suit, though Bob insists that anything “along the lines of being on a team is kind of who I am” and that being surrounded by TVs (which Matt declares, like their wings, to be the “best in town”) broadcasting all the major games and customers who want to talk sports “definitely motivates me.”
The end goal is to provide families with a home away from home, just like Michael’s, MacArthur’s, and Oliver’s did. Or at a minimum, have a place to watch the game and enjoy a great burger. “We are still learning and growing as we go,” says Bob. “We’re just happy to be here.”