ELMSFORD, N.Y. – Standing inside his iconic Elmsford catering and event hall Thursday, Ronald Stytzer scanned the empty dining room and gazed out the window into the garden.
“We had some ups and downs but we tried our best,” he said.
Thursday marked the end of an era in Elmsford as Antun’s of Westchester shut its doors after 27 years. After serving thousands of meals and hosting hundreds of events, Stytzer, head chef and owner of Antun’s, said the sluggish economy had finally taken its toll on the Valley Avenue business.
“Everybody is struggling right now,” he said. “It was too much to handle.”
The closing was bittersweet, the 68-year-old Stytzer said. While it brings about an exciting beginning and new part of life, it’s tough to leave behind the many friends and memories made over the last quarter century, he said.
After he walks out of the hall for the final time, Stytzer said it’s the atmosphere that he will miss the most.
“It was a happy place,” he said. “It was always happy occasions.”
Cheryl Brooks held her daughter's Sweet 16 party was at Antun's in April. She said she was shocked when she called the hall a few weeks later to schedule another party and heard it was closing.
"They were awesome," she said. "They did a really great job."
The Greenburgh woman said she appreciated the family-owned atmosphere at the hall.
"I really think they are in-tune to your events with the way they do everything," she said.
Several customers and community members shared their experiences at Antun's through social media, each with nothing but positive things to say.
“Sad to hear,” Tanisha Blount wrote on the company Facebook page after a closing announcement was posted. “Every time I walked through the doors it was a pleasure.”