On January 15, 1973 Barney DeStefano and his wife Mary held one last party at their popular Italian Restaurant, which was located where the Windmill Diner now sits on Route 30 in the town of Amsterdam. The purpose of the get-together was to say thank you and goodbye to all of the patrons who had dined at “Barney’s” over the years and to introduce the couple who had purchased the business from the DeStefano’s. Five weeks later, today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant and his wife Irene, opened the door of Zucker’s Restaurant.
Max Zucker was one of those individuals who looked exactly the way his name sounded, like a character actor who would have been perfectly cast as the owner of a restaurant. I met him and his wife Grace after they had hired my brother Matt to play dinner music every Saturday night on the organ that sat at one end of the restaurant’s large bar area. My then fiancee and I sat at the bar on many of those Saturday evenings and would often join Mrs. Zucker on sing alongs, while Max, who didn’t know the words to any of the popular tunes my brother would play, would just sit there at the bar with a smile on his face, tapping along to the music
The Zucker’s ended up selling the building to the folks who turned it into an upscale Chinese restaurant called the Canton Inn. The couple retired to Florida, but there daughter Maxine remained in Amsterdam and operated the popular Greenery flower and plant greenhouse with her husband Gary, just north of her parents’ former eatery on Route 30. Max Zucker passed away in 1984.