Shopping and Dining at The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When

Hello, dear readers.  Today I'd like to tell you about a unique place with class, style and glamour at every turn.  The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When located in the Historic District of Torrington, Connecticut is an antique shop and cafe on the first floor and a romantic, elegant speak easy on the second floor. 

The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When

From the moment you step foot through the doors at the 111 Main Street location, your eyes are greeted with display cases full of beautiful estate jewelry, handbags, hats, crystal and glassware.  Along the walls vintage artwork is displayed as well as vintage clothing and gorgeous gowns.  Take your glance upwards and you are greeted with what is my favorite part about the store, stunning and intricate lighting and chandeliers.  It truly is a treasure trove of goodness inside the store and a place where people of all ages can come and find a special item that they'd love to take home.

Just a little sparkle.

A bright sunny hat.

If you are like me and all the shopping and "Oooooing and Ahhhhhing" make you hungry, then you can sit right down amongst the antiques and enjoy a delicious lunch.  The Ritz Cafe offers salads and paninis, as well as an old fashioned soda fountain and bar.  The patio at The Ritz Cafe has a state of the art mist system that keeps you cool on a hot summer day by emitting a fine mist that cools the patio down about 20 degrees but does not get you wet.  Amazing!  On Saturday evenings, The Ritz Crystal Room on the second floor is open by reservation only and offers a romantic dining experience and Speak Easy bar complete with prohibition era themed cocktails, such as Gin Rickys, French 75's and Whiskey Old-Fashioneds.  Oh my!  The Ritz Crystal Room also features events and theme nights.  Coming up they have an evening of magic with the magician, Adam Parisi, and also a Sinatra theme night planned.

The Ritz Crystal Room features gorgeous glassware place settings and a romance inducing dance floor.

As you can see the decor in The Ritz Crystal Room changes with the theme.

The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When is owned by husband and wife team Rit and Karen O'Donnell.  I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Karen for an interview and am sharing some of the highlights with you below.

Shelley:  What inspired you to open Remember When and then later on add the Ritz Crystal Room?

Karen:  I was a collector of antiques for many, many years and back in the 80's I got laid off from my job.  So, it was just a natural step to go into the antiques business.  As for the restaurant business, I was a personal chef for eighteen years and then the kids grew up, went off to college and they didn't need my services anymore so here we are.

Shimmering gold accessories and a charming angel bust

Shelley:  How long have you been in business?

Karen:  We've been in business 28 years, we added The Ritz Crystal Room 6 years ago and The Ritz Cafe 3 years ago.

Shelley:  How do you find the items you sell in the store?

Karen:  Most people bring them in for us to sell for them.  Except for the lighting which Rit picks out, restores and rewires.  A lot of times people will bring the lighting into us or we might find pieces at the flea market.  Honestly, we have a basement full of stuff that we have been collecting for over 29 years, so there is plenty of stuff to come in.

My favorite chandelier in the shop.

Shelley:  The lighting is one of my favorite parts about the store.

Karen:  Most people do feel that way.  It's becoming more of a lighting museum.

How stunning would these pendants be above a kitchen island or in a bedroom hanging over the nightstands!?!?!
I love the black globe with the gold scroll work on this one.

Shelley:  Are there any items that have come into your store that stand out in your mind for being particularly unique?

Karen:  I've had some Tiffany necklaces that came in.  Those were fabulous.  A signed Tiffany lamp came in maybe 25 years ago and we weren't in a position to keep it because the lamp was worth thousands of dollars.  I wanted to keep it so bad but we just couldn't do it back then.  That has got to be the biggest thing that we sold.  There was an attorney from Las Vegas who bought it for around 12 thousand dollars.
A clock with a sense of humor.

Shelley:  How do you pick the theme nights for The Ritz Crystal Room?  What are some of the theme nights you have coming up?

Karen:  We have a magician/comedian coming up.  We have another Frank Sinatra night coming up.  I have an Apple Harvest Festival coming up that's going to be a hard cider tasting.  How do I get there?  The inspiration is Pinterest.  I also have someone I work with who gets entertainment and he's from The Desultory Theatre Club.  His name is Keith Paul, and Keith is the one who put together the burlesque show and the magic show.  Hopefully there is another burlesque show coming up too.  That was very popular, I had to turn people away from that one.  That's all I have coming up right now but I'm looking to get another psychic to come in and I've had mediums come in...I'm open to ideas all the time.

Shelley:  The Ritz Crystal Room is open Saturday evenings by reservation only?

Karen:  Yes.  We do take some walk-ins, if we have seats available, but you take a chance.  It's much easier for us if we have a reservation because I go out Saturday morning and buy everything fresh.  All the vegetables, everything is fresh so if I know how many people are coming I can anticipate what I need.  On a show night we usually always sell out or if The Warner Theatre is having a show we sell out.

An intricate gold necklace, tiger globe and tie help you get in touch with your primal instincts!

Shelley:  Can you tell me more about the mist system you installed on the patio?

Karen:  They use it a lot in California and down south.  It puts out a fine mist that doesn't get you wet because it dries immediately.  It is so fine a mist that it dries on contact.  It takes that patio down 20-30 degrees cooler than outside which also helps in here because you are coming through a cooler environment.  I think we are the first ones in the state to do that.

Shelley:  Is there anything else that you'd like to mention to The Corner of Charm and Style readers?

Karen:  I think that the trend as we approach 2020 is that the 1920's are going to come back big time.  I see it even now with Gatsby parties and weddings that have a Gatsby theme.  I think the whole feel here is the 20's and that speak easy feel.  Therefore, a lot of the stuff we have here is geared towards the 1920's.  Our prohibition era cocktails are all actual cocktails from that time period.  Keeping that 1920's theme is what I'd really like to promote.

Some gorgeous 20's dresses, my two favorite dresses in the shop.  I want the black one so badly!

Be sure to check out The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When on Facebook at The Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When and on Instagram @ritzcrystalroom

1 comment

  1. Such a fabulous store with an impressive inventory b


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