Bringing back the flavor of a family restaurant tradition

The Triangle Tavern, long a popular restaurant and landmark in Williamsport, closed in December. But it never really went away.

The former Italian eatery’s food offerings still can be enjoyed but at a different location. Bobby Oeler, a grandson of Frank and Blanche Casale, founders of The Triangle, now is serving up the restaurant’s popular meals at Kristy’s in Montoursville.

Oeler began running Kristy’s in January with the idea of keeping alive his family’s restaurant tradition.

“This is pretty much Triangle east,” he laughed as he sat inside the restaurant at 1130 Broad St.

The Triangle operated for years at 300 Shiffler Ave., just off Loyalsock’s Golden Strip. It was a place, Oeler noted, where families of several generations came to eat.

“We had a lady come in here who was so happy we are here,” he said.

She had been a longtime patron of The Triangle and actually expressed tears of joy that she could now come to Kristy’s to enjoy The Triangle’s food, according to Oeler. Some of The Triangle’s former employees have been brought to Kristy’s. On occasion, Frank Casale, who for years helped his family run The Triangle, can be spotted at Kristy’s playing his horn for patrons just as he did at the other restaurant.

Oeler concedes that Kristy’s hardly resembles The Triangle. Kristy’s presents a newer, fresher look, and he likes the Montoursville location.

“This is a better site,” he said.

The restaurant’s two dining rooms seat about 75 people. Among the unique features of Kristy’s is the swimming pool located at the rear of the building. Patrons, he said, can sit poolside and even take a dip in the water.

“We will be doing entertainment by the pool,” he said.

There’s a barroom where patrons can enjoy a beverage. Among Kristy’s more popular menu items are homemade ravioli, chicken parmesan and Grammy Jo’s desserts.

The authentic Italian homemade food, he said, is the real selling point for Kristy’s.

“The prices are lower than The Triangle,” Oeler said.

So far, the restaurant is seeing as much business at lunch time as at dinner time. Oeler is hoping to expand the restaurant’s wine list.

“I’ll be teaching wine classes in the fall,” he said.

For the most part, he plans on no big changes for now. Oeler has a varied background in the restaurant business.

As a teenager, he worked The Triangle before picking up a degree in culinary arts at Philadelphia Restaurant School. He also worked in France, serving as a pastry chef at Les Berceaux, and later as dining room manager at The Nittany Lion Inn, State College.

Kristy’s hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.