Crown Cafe—a family-owned Watertown staple for years—brings unique Persian flair to the classic all-American diner and recently reopened after coming under new management and a series of renovations.
“I wanted to do mostly mainstream American breakfast and lunch with a little bit of Persian, you know, hints here and there,” said Sepehr Madani, the new manager at Crown Cafe.
With a smaller, simplified menu, Crown Cafe added some authentic Persian dishes to the menu, attracting both regulars that have been coming to the cafe for years as well as those looking for a bold take on diner classics.
“The previous owners had a super big menu with items that not a lot of people were ordering,” Mandani said. “So in terms of inventory and keeping things fresh, we eliminated a lot of that, which also allows us to introduce some Persian food to the menu.”
New menu items such as the Persian kebab, sholeh-zard—a type of saffron rice pudding—and Persian spinach omelets have been doing exceptionally well, especially among customers that have no prior exposure to Middle Eastern food, according to Mandani.
Other Persian specialties include the kotlet sub, which features fried patties of chicken or beef topped with potato, onion, and egg and comes with a side dish of saffron-dressed basmati rice.
Customers craving more of the old-school diner staples can count on omelets, pancakes, BLTs, subs, and sandwiches. The Crown Burger boasts a handmade half-pound patty topped with traditional lettuce and tomato and finished off with the restaurant’s homemade Crown Sauce.
Since taking over the diner in September, Mandani said his team spent about three months renovating everything from the dining area to the kitchen equipment and the decorations, hoping to curate a more modern energy that can cater to a wide variety of customers.
“We wanted to make the restaurant look more inviting, and without even changing our signage outside, we’ve noticed that even the little changes we’ve made have expanded our clientele to a younger crowd,” Mandani said.
The cafe now features an open-concept interior with brighter lighting and a warmer atmosphere.
Despite the many new changes, Crown Cafe maintains its status as a Watertown classic.
With omelets priced at $6.99 and a Persian-style Olivier chicken sub at $7.99, Crown Cafe provides Watertown with high quality food at reasonable prices, according to its website.
The cafe, located on Watertown’s Main Street, is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
“Our focus is to just provide good food for affordable prices,” Mandani said. “We’re not aiming to cater to any specific demographic in particular and want to be able to accommodate anyone that comes in.”