Remember when Central New York was a manufacturing city filled with textile mills and factories?
It's a blast from the past. One group of Rome men who say they do remember the good ol' days. And, while those days are gone, and the factories closed, they say some places have always stayed the same.
"First thing, I get up, I have breakfast home, and I'm here," says John Gattari, DeMatteo's regular.
"We got the round table here, the same guys sit around here, we have lunch, we josh, we kid each other, and we enjoy every minute of it. We're here every day," says Joseph Iodice, DeMatteo's regular.
Some of these men have been coming to DeMatteos since the day Eddy DeMatteo opened his doors in 1979, but back then, things were different.
"I had a job up at the base. I get up, go to work, when I worked there, he had this business going, I'd come here for lunch," says Gattari.
"I worked at the cable a couple of years. And we'd come here for lunch, we'd go back, this went on for quite a few years during the war years," says Iodice.
Iodice says Rome was once a manufacturing city, filled with tons of hustle and bustle.
"Rome was an industrial city. That's when things were good, 4-5 factories here, it was a very busy city," says Iodice.
As the men remember the old days, they say they're fondest memories were their lunch breaks, so why DeMatteos?
"Well they can be relaxed, they don't have to spend money. There have been people that bring their own food, which I welcome, and a lot of us share it," says Ed DeMatteo, owner of DeMatteos.
And Ed makes sure his doors are always open.
"Made it a policy to open up the legal hours 8 in the morning to 2:30 in the morning. And a lot of people even criticized me being open on these very bad nights when the snow came out but I chose not to close. I said somebody will be here. And sure enough, a truck driver would stop, a car that was stuck would stop," says DeMatteo.
And although most of the factories and textile mills have closed, the men say DeMatteos has always stayed the same.
"Ya know, it's more like a club or something, it's a habit," says Gattari.
"Like going home, a little better than going home, we don't have to put up with our wives, understand?" says Iodice.
Now Central New York has certainly moved away from manufacturing over the years - but here's one of the factories that's still in operation.
"We trace our roots back to 1801 founded by Paul Revere and the manufacturing on this site goes back to I believe the 1920s," says Eugene Gianforti, Revere employee.
Revere Copper Products is one of America's oldest manufacturing companies and it sits right in the heart of Rome, but they too have learned to adapt to a changing marketplace.
"Revere is best known for our pots and pans and our cookwear and as those products and demand for those products has changed, we were able to shift and focus on the products that we're making today, rolled architectural copper. And we are now the only manufacturing site carrying the revere brand," says Gianforti.
But Revere admits they've had to shrink their staff to stay alive. And even though things aren't like the good ol' days, Revere still appreciates their old timers
"One employee in 2012 celebrated a 50 year anniversary which is a tremendous accomplishment, a handful of employees in the 40 year range so we celebrate and honor those milestones," says Gianforti.
And as for those DeMatteo's regulars..
"They always knew my place would be open and I live by that," says DeMatteo.
"I'll continue to come here at least another 10 years, as long as I live, I happen to be 95 years old, so what does that tell you? I hope I make it!" says Iodice.
"And that's why I say every morning when I get up and I put my foot on the floor. I say well another day, another day down at Eddie's," says Gattari.
There are some manufacturers still around. There's Revere in Rome, Waterbury Felt in Oriskany, Sherrill Manufacturing, The Utica Cutlery, and several others.