New Construction on Rt 31/Businesses?
I've seen some new construction popping up on Rt 31 in Washington Twp and was wondering if anyone here knew what might be going in:
First is in the Shoprite parking lot.
Second is next to Smith Ford across the highway from Rossi Chevy.
I also see not one but TWO new banks going in (GRR!) One across from the A&P and a new TD Bank down in Clinton on the old Chrysler/Jeep dealership property.
my understanding is that Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru...is going in by Rossi...and that there will be some type of fast-food place in the Shop-Rite parking lot
oldman - You may be right about the DD, but the "pad" area in the Shop Rite lot is a shape that wouldn't seem to be conducive to a fast food joint. Kind of narrow and rectangular. But who knows. Maybe it's the other way around, DD at Shop Rite and fast food by Rossi?
I'm glad about the TD Bank going in, was ticked when they closed the Hampton one. I assume they are going to close their Annandale branch when it's complete. Which is a good thing. That parking lot and drive-thru situation is a nightmare.
There is still the construction near the bowling alley at the old Grapevine/Start 31. I have heard that it is going to be a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Seems to be taking quite a long time.
Also, there is the flashing sign about a new traffic pattern coming between Alcan and Dairy Queen. They keep changing the date one that. It originally said 10/7/11 and they keep changing the date to each subsequent Friday. Now it's 11/6/11 and I still haven't seen a new pattern.
I have heard it will be a DD near Rossi and a bank at Shop rite. But there is more room for another building at SR so I hope a fast food place goes in there.
The construction at Shoprite is a Chase Bank, Verizon Store & a butcher shop. Don't forget the new Family Dollar next to the diner!
And a new Dollar General going in across the highway from Shoprite using an existing building (Formerly a sporting goods store).
It is, but the more people continue to shop at those crappy dollar stores, the more they will put up.
Not just the dollar stores (I dont find them crappy - can get useful things there), but all the DD and fast food places. Come on, fast food isnt good for us anyway. LOL!
The Verizon Store is not going next to the Shop Rite. It is going next to the new Dunkin Donuts.
Butcher Shop next to Shop Rite? Good luck.
There is a banner advertising a UPS Store hanging up on that new strip mall. How exciting. NOT. LOL
The drive-thru Dunkin Donuts is now open. They have started on the building next to it. Ebony and ivory said above it's to be a Verizon store, but really looks like another drive-thru joint. We'll see.
Still nothing in the new strip they built by Shop Rite.
I have heard there will be a Verizon store, UPS store, and a burger joint (not a chain, owned by locals, using local beef) across from Shoprite. Still wondering what is going up next to the new Dunkin Donuts by Smith motors?
One of the workers at D&D said it was a big Verizon store going in there next to them, and that theres still room for more buildings behind!
Not sure if this has been mentioned in another thread but a Verizon store is confirmed next to the new Dunkin Donuts property on Rt 31 in Washington next to Smith Motors. The banner is out on the highway.
Still not sure what is going in that strip mall across the parking lot from the Washington Shoprite.
Yes, it was mentioned somewhere else awhile ago about Verizon.
I heard through the grapevine that A&P has a lawsuit pending against that SR shopping plaza that is keeping them from opening/renting it.
IMO, A&P should spend a little less time on lawsuits and a little more time on improving their own store.
Shoprite is open. A&P tried stopping them before they opened. They failed. The other new stores arent owned by Shoprite. Not sure if I understand your post correctly Calico.
bothered - A&P is trying to block the opening of those stores. A&P owns the strip mall on 31 where they are located and rents the space to the smaller stores. They are afraid the store rents, in the SR plaza, will be cheaper or more attractive to their present tenants and they will move.
Again, this is hearsay. But from a fairly reputable source.
So A&P owns the stores where A&P is located, not where SRite is located. They are afraid the smaller stores in the SRite lot will have cheaper rent, therefore their tenants now (Rt 31 and Asbury-Anderson Rd) will move? But that has nothing to do with SRite. A&P has a lawsuit against the owner of the smaller stores, not SRite. Right?
Thank you! LOL! You just confused me with the words "A&P lawsuit against SRite plaza". Its Monday. :)
ShopRite in Washington leases the store...they do not own the property. The ShopRite parking lot was recently expanded to make room for the new stores at the end of the mall. They did a nice job...as well as filling several sinkholes in the parking lot.
It appears a sushi restaurant and a UPS store are going to open in the strip mall that was constructed in the ShopRite plaza. Hopefully the sushi place sells healthy food. But in case it doesn't it appears an urgent care facility is also planned to open across from the A&P Plaza on Rt. 31. Win-win.
Yes, I saw the sign for the urgent care the other day. Sure is slow going at the SR plaza. Strange that they would put a sushi place there as SR has quite a selection of fresh sushi daily.
Looking forward to the Sushi place. Shoprite could use the competition. Just my opinion.
Anyone know what is going on next to the Ford dealership on 31? There's quite a construction project occurring.
ianimal it is closer to Washington on the same side as BK and right next to Smith motors.
So apparently Smith Motors just needed more lot space. There are a ton of trucks and vans parked in the newly developed space.
LOL said the same thing to myself Sunday afternoon when I drove by Calico. Not sure if they lost a nearby location lately to park excess inventory?? If so that might explain them developing onsite inventory display/parking.
Shifting gears a bit....I know there was talk of Mueller Toyota down the road in Clinton building a brand new dealership directly across Route 31 from their existing location last year. After passing by that location also this past Sunday nothing has started. Anyone know what the construction holdup is?
Spoke to one of the Mueller sales associates this morning. He stated that there has been alot of unexpected red tape from the township. Ground breaking should begin anyday as soon as everything gets OK'ed.
Thanks for the info Vic. They have been keeping most of their inventory across the road for awhile now. Good for them.
Currently here at Mueller Toyota and they have a couple pics up of what the new facility across the highway will look like. Looking good. Hopefully they can break ground in the Spring.
It looks as if there will be more new construction on Rt. 31 in Washington. Work seems to be starting on the northbound side across from Frank Rymon & Sons. Anybody have any info on what the plans are?
Seriously? Rats! I thought it might be something more interesting. I had no idea Chrysler was even still in business. LOL
Does that mean they're leaving the location in Mount Olive at the top of Hackettstown Mountain?
Are you sure? The logo on the sign looks very similar to what I remember the other dealership using. Two different Johnsons selling Dodge Chrysler Jeep Rams within what, 12 miles of each other?
It's the same Johnson. expanding
Are we suddenly some great metropolis? Why do we need all of these car dealerships? Where is the Olive Garden.... :)
I was hoping for a Target. I'm tired of driving all the way to Washington Twp. or P'burg. I'm certainly not in the market for a Dodge, Chrysler or Jeep. My husband would divorce me. LOL
Hey there guys! Its a Johnson Dodge! We broke ground last week! :)
Not excited at all. Not in the market for a car. Would rather have a small diner or something like that.
More work starting on Route 31 in Washington between Shop Rite and Washington One Stop. Anyone know what business is going to open there?
The population is going down and business are going up. Makes no sense to me. Ocinos , Japanese food,. God Father, didn't make it so far. Even A&P.after all there fighting against Shoprite.
Any idea what's being built behind the dd and verizon on 31?
Has anyone heard what's going in just to the north of Shoprite behind the credit union, sushi place, liquor store???
Vic - A professional building of doctors with a lab etc. looking to compete with the St. Luke's facility directly across from Shop Rite.
Construction has been started on northbound 31 in Clinton just before Bourbon Street Liquors. Construction signs say "hotel project entrance". Anyone know what hotel chain? I heard whispers about a Marriott a few years ago, but who knows.
I've been wondering what all the activity is about with numerous septic pumping trucks
directly along Route 31 down in the Glen Gardner area the last few weeks. Found this little article. In late July, Eastern Concrete Materials, discharged sludge from their quarry into the Spruce Run stream!! Made it all the way to the reservoir! Unreal!
I noticed they have been doing extensive work on the old Christie's restaurant. Anyone know what is going in there?
Vic - Thanks for posting the link about all those trucks in Glen Gardner. I wondered what was going on too.
Calico, was it also called Riverside Grill at one time? We loved it there was were so disappointed when it closed. Hopefully something new will go in.
3wb - Yes, I've heard that. I've never been in there under any name though. Christie's was closed by the time I moved out this way.
I've been wondering the same thing about that Christie's building. It's been getting a face lift as of late. Googling it reveals hardly anything (No old pictures/info etc) except that it looks like it closed up sometime around 2007-2008.
I just drove past the old archery building on Rt. 31, at the Mansfield/Oxford border, and saw it being demolished.
Yesterday, I drove by the former Ol' West BBQ in Annandale and it's being renovated.
Any info on either location?
What are they building just off 31 across the street from Advance Auto Parts on Route 57 in Washington Boro? I saw yesterday they had demolished multiple buildings on the property which included an old car dealership, auto repair building and a car detailing garage.
Vic, I believe they are building an Auto Zone there.
Haha what??? An Auto Zone across the street from an Advance Auto Parts?!?
PLEASE tell me you're joking! LOL
Actually just did a quick search and it appears Auto Zone has been eyeing this location going as far back as 2014-2015!
Some set of balls on Auto Zone wanting to build a store nextdoor to the competition...wow!!
Not to mention the NAPA on 31near the police station. It's almost like the nail salons in H'town. LOL
Actually Washington used to have more auto parts places. There was Washington Auto on 31 next to inspection station, a small shop behind the STS where Burdges Auto is, NAPA, one in the Port Colden Mall and one on Broad St.
The 4 Auto body shops I know of (Stew's, Mike's, Red's & Washington Collision) are always busy and have a back log.
I thought I saw a sign tonight about luxury condos going in on an empty lot right next to Rossi Chevrolet on Route 31 in Washington Twp?? I was heading north and it was dark so it was hard to see exactly what the sign said. Will have to check it out again tomorrow. Just what rural Route 31 needs...more commuter traffic!!
Ugh! That would definitely screw up traffic even more. I will look for the sign on my way home from work.
One of the abandoned restaurants on the northbound side of 31 in Hampton was torn down and a large truck garage was built. The building does not have a company name on it yet.
It’s the second half of the hawk point development. Big plans there. Check the Washington Facebook groups.
The sign on the property just south of Shop Rite says....luxury townhomes and single family homes. Get ready for more traffic.
Yes, that field across from the tractor place, and also a field on Asbury Anderson Rd.
LOTs of new homes going in.
Maybe now that can reopen that empty restaurant up closer to One Stop that has been sitting forever..
Geez, I wish all of the vacant/foreclosed homes would sell before a bunch of new ones get built.
People are lazy. They want new. Nobody can swing a hammer, paint, hang a door these days.
To be fair- who has the time or desire after all the hours of work and commuting to pay the silly high taxes, etc.
Can someone come paint my picture? The taxpayers will cover it- and you can charge them $85,000. (no joke- http://nj1015.com/these-christie-sketches-can-save-85000-in-tax-money )
Even though we end up with fields of look alike homes, built with sawdust and glue junk.
Speaking of new stuff on Rt 31- I don't have a problem with the tree service across from the strip bar bringing home split wood, and stacking it for sale.
But these guys are devolving into a mess. Now it is piles of scrap and even chipped wood.
In contrast- go to Warren where there is another tree service. I don't know what is behind the wood wall pile to be fair- but from the street it is all very nicely stacked, neat clean tidy and unoffensive.
Noticed a sign at the old Farm Stand on 31 in Washington. I guess a BBQ place is going to open there. It said, coming soon Brazilian Pit Stop.....fresh cheese bread.
Hmmm, not sure what cheese bread is, but for me cheese + bread = yum!
Muller Toyota in Clinton has sold the business:
Thanks Vic, interesting news.
In other Route 31 news, the old Ol' West BBQ has a new sign out saying "Harper's Table". Maybe a farm to table restaurant?
And, more construction that has been going on, some large Hotel going in, about a half mile after you cross over Rt.78, right on Rt.31 North in Clinton. No turning back the hands of progress.
If only they could find a way to make the Hampton/Glen Gardner section of Rt.31 at least 2 lanes each way. They did it in Flemington.
The former Janina Market (next to Bourbon St. Liquors) now has a sign saying Pino's Gourmet Pizza.
The Ol' West BBQ has finally re-opened as Harper's Table, earlier this week, I believe. Just noticed the 3/4 full parking lot on my way home last night.
Checking the menu, it looks like up-scale burgers and sandwiches and craft beer with fairly standard appetizers and a disjointed entree lineup... i.e, ribs, fish tacos and eggplant parm - it's kind of all over the place.
It's a tough location... for their sake, I hope that concept can be pulled off right there.
I'm trying to figure out why you would add "crunchy candied pecans" to a buffalo chicken salad..........
The owner is actually a friend of a friend and I wish them luck. We will stop in and try it soon.
Anybody know whats going into the old Christies location?
By the toyota dealership...sits a ways off the road
Oh, oh, oh... the old nightclub down in the flood plain there just north of the JCP&L substation? Haven't been up that way in ages; no idea, sorry.
It "looks" like a club
We tried Harper's Table (the old Ol' West BBQ) last weekend. They did a really nice job of renovating, it's very nice inside. The beer selection is very good.
We sat a the bar and the service was really poor. It wasn't very crowded when we were there but it took forever (almost 40 minutes) for the food to come out. The bartender walked by my empty glass five times. I finally had to call out to her. I hate having to do that.
I had the Cobb salad with grilled chicken. It was $4 to add chicken and the piece of chicken was quite small and there were only two tiny pieces of avocado in it. Husband had the cedar plank salmon. He said the fish was good, but the asparagus wasn't cooked correctly.
That said, for the price and the ride not really worth it.
Virtually same experience, Calico. I had the same salad but with grilled steak and it was raw. Purple. Barely seared. DH had buffalo chicken sandwich and a beer. I don’t remember what the price was but we felt it was expensive for what we got.
Heard through the grapevine that Ocino in Washington will open up again, but with a different name/owner.
"People are lazy. They want new. Nobody can swing a hammer, paint, hang a door these days."
"Geez, I wish all of the vacant/foreclosed homes would sell before a bunch of new ones get built."
What do you expect when an owner of a house wants 400k, it smells like Rheingold and cabbage, and looks inside like it did when Eisenhower was president? Plus full of lead paint, asbestos shingles, a leaky oil tank, and a defective 50 year old cesspool. The topper is a 9k property tax assessment.
All for a house that cost it's original owner 30k when brand new...
"Muller Toyota in Clinton has sold the business"
Had a before and after. Roughly 10 percent price increase on an oil change, and no included car wash anymore.
I can only wonder what happened to the employees paychecks.
Guess you have to make up for the cost of the purchase price somehow.
I heard for Ocino to reopen as a restaurant they have to install a new septic system. The current septic is no where near up to spec for a restaurant.
The other day we traveled 10 minutes or so south past Harper's Table to the brand new Chimney Rock Inn on the Flemington/Raritan Twp border for lunch. The place is beautiful, food delish and prices are very reasonable. Nice selection of rotating craft beers on tap too! Definitely check it out if you happen to be down in that area!!
Exact opposite of our experience.
The outside of chimney rock looks great, but the inside was bland – and odd selection of music was blaring, maybe their attempt to cover up all the noise the vast amount of small children were making. My wife asked me if it was doubling as a daycare? I suggested that maybe they had some sort of children eat free special that night? Regardless the children and the music were annoying.
They did have A decent selection of beers but who doesn’t these days? They had a very limited and poor wine choice. The food was subpar, my wife sent hers back and taken off the bill.
We had about 10 little gnats flying around us the entire time. I killed two or three of them while we were eating. I don’t know if they were flying around the other tables and they just were ignoring them or did not notice them.
Both my wife and I had our arms flailing around as we kept trying to grab and squish them.
Not only will we never go back to any of the locations of this establishment, but we would highly recommend anyone that is looking for a nice night out to go elsewhere.
If your idea of a nice night out is Ruby Tuesday’s or Applebee’s then this is pretty a notch or 2 below that in a bigger building.
"My wife asked me if it was doubling as a daycare? I suggested that maybe they had some sort of children eat free special that night? Regardless the children and the music were annoying."
Taken off my list. Thanks Josh.
I plan on going to the Chimney Rock in Flemington and trying it out, I am assuming they have a bar area and will report on that experience once I have it.
I think the newness of the Flemington location has made it a bit more of a circus that hopefully will calm down once they, pardon the pun, "work out the bugs"
Looks like the old Ocino restaurant in Washington has been bought. The for sale sign is down and a lot of trees being taken down the last few days. Wonder what might go in there.
I noticed that the other day. Yes, an awful lot of grounds work going on. I wonder if the building might get expanded. It's not that big.
The owner of the draught house bought it. He is expanding it to move his liquor store from across the street in the Shop Rite plaza into that building as well as it being a restaurant
Good for him. I don't care for the Draught House at all. I find the food overpriced and underwhelming, but others seem to like it.
I agree with you Calico- Draught House, in spite of the nice conditions inside, is not a place I think to go to when I want to have a night out. Prices are not good at all, and the bar area I don't enjoy too much.
I would rather go to the new Waters Edge or even Luigis Rancho before the Draught House.
Draught House has a funny smell. Like a cleaner, but a dirty cleaner kind of smell. Like someone didn't dump the mop bucket. Or, maybe they did, all over the floor.
The only thing good about the Draught house is the beer selection, and the boat bar area in the summer.
BUT- they don't serve the good beer outside- you need to go inside yourself.
The food and service have always sucked since day 1.
Bad management makes bad decisions = bad food and lackluster staff.
Tuscany Grill on 31 in Clinton (near Toyota) has closed. There is a sign saying a new Mexican restaurant, El Patron, is coming soon. I'm looking forward to trying it.
Regarding Christie's, it doesn't seem like anything else was done there after the parking lot was sealed.
Ocino was recently bought. The plan is to restore it as a restaurant and add a bar area.
Stateworker - So they are not moving the liquor store across the road and keeping the restaurant BYOB? The building does already have a bar area. Confused.....
Ocino HAD a bar area, no? I seem to remember eating their delicious white clam pizza while sitting at the bar...
Concerning Ocino I thought I heard that building's septic was not up to spec to support a restaurant so it was just going to be a liquor store transferred over from the existing business across the street??
I guess I shouldn't have said bar area, liquor store/restaurant was the last I heard of it. Spoke to the man who bought the property a few months ago. Nothing has happened since then though, not sure what he is planning now.
"Ocino HAD a bar area, no? I seem to remember eating their delicious white clam pizza while sitting at the bar..."
I recall doing the same, while enjoying a blood orange martini.
On the new Mexican place by Spruce Run- I hope they get a license.
I don't mind BYO for most foods, but I am not going to bring my own margarita.
The sign says Patron 2- so I googled Patron mexican NJ.
Seems there are a couple places, the closest is in Jersey City and seems to be reviewed well.
Concerning the new Mexican place by Spruce Run. I initially was thinking Casa Maya in High Bridge would be looking to make a move into that building for more visibility on a state highway storefront in comparison to where they are now. Looking forward to another soon to be option when it comes to Mexican in the area!
Didn't the Italian place have a license? I hadn't been in there in years, but think I remember having beer there. If so, maybe it came with the purchase of the business.
"The sign says Patron 2- so I googled Patron mexican NJ. "
yea that doesn't mean they are related, just means the Patron name was taken so the went with Patron2. El Patron is a pretty common name.. aka "the boss"
If someone had to put a qualifier when there was another restaurant by the same name, the pizza place on Stiger Street would probably be named "Frank's Trattoria 1,572"
I suspect that Patron 2 IS associated with another restaurant by the same owner... Like Spain Inn and Spain Inn 2 or Fernandes Steak House and Fernandes 2...
There's an El Patron in Allentown, PA... perhaps they're expanding eastward?
well there's an El Patron in Jersey City, 1 in Allentown and 1 in Atlantic City. I can't see the owner of any of those opening a 2nd restaurant in Clinton..... but I have been wrong once before in my life so maybe ;)
Anything will be better than the 'Italian' place that was there.
I went there about 10 years ago and it was horrible.
Never went back, but drive by it daily and it ALWAYS had a hiring sign outside.
I know restaurants turn over staff- but also can be a sign of bad management.
The old Ocino building is going to be the new Desiderio's location. They're calling it Desiderio's Stone Tavern
"The old Ocino building is going to be the new Desiderio's location. They're calling it Desiderio's Stone Tavern"
Interesting, so it's not the owner of the Draught House? Or is the owner of the Draught House also the person who owned Desiderios? Didn't the Desiderio's that used to be near the old A&P move somewhere south or east?
Not sure if the owner of draught house owns Desiderio's too. And yes, it is the place that used to be in by A & P. They have a FB page and posted they are opening in March
I saw on their FB page that they are also talking about a restaurant in the Shop Rite plaza. Kind of weird to have two restaurants right across the street from each other. Now I'm even more confused. LOL
"Didn't the Desiderio's that used to be near the old A&P move somewhere south or east?"
he's now in Bedminster in the building where Sports People used to be.
and he will be opening in washington as announced on his facebook page:
I'm NOT understanding this business move.
Desiderio's when they were in the former A&P shopping center was always empty along with every other business in that strip mall. Not to mention the mixed reviews:
So they now plan on moving a few miles up the road to a free standing building supposidly??
Better keep the menu cheap and simple or FORGET ABOUT IT.
We've been down this road before in this **EXACT** location.
Am I the only one scratching their head with this??
All things aside I wish them much luck and thank them for bringing to life a long empty storefront. My hat is off to you...
There is a large tract of land on the northbound side of 31, just south of the Sunoco and Trade Zone Auto Sales. It had a for sale sign on it for many years and several months ago it went from sale pending to sold. Anybody have any info? Olive Garden? LMAO
That large tract is actually two parcels, Lot 7.06 is 4.58 acres and Lot 7 is 22.0 acres. From the positioning of the For Sale sign along the highway, I'm guessing it was the smaller parcel directly south of the used car lot that was sold.
Thanks for the technical info ianimal. Is 4.58 acres large enough for a Trader Joe's? ;-)
Maybe it will be a Wawa. Everyone knows that more congestion is needed in that area....
FYI - Both Desiderio's and El Patron are now hiring. Desiderio's will be accepting applications on 2/23 from 10:00-12:00.
Exciting to see this new restaurant activity along the Route 31 corridor. I'm getting hungry...
Did anything ever happen with the A&P?
They (were "Fresh Obsessed). If only they were more "obsessed" with good prices! That store was terrible. This bag, which is actually in my basement garbage can still, may be the only worthwhile thing I ever got from that store!
Trader Joe’s does not build new construction they lease.
Where is the new Desiderio’s?
Is the El Patron same as Allentown?
I wish something would go in thsh old a&p and the one in mt olive with the amount of new construction it’s amazing everyone is so afraid to compete with shoprite
Can't wait to hear reviews on El Patron. My husband are trying to decide where to eat tomorrow night, but I think it might be too early to try a new place. It's usually better to let them get the kinks out.
My wife said the same thing.
I replied - nah, I’m ok with going and making a post about any problems.
Often public opinion will induce changes when talking to a manager will do nothing.
Happy to see they have a bar.
I'll bring wine and beer places- but sometimes I like a margarita.
We tried El Patron last night. We were lucky to get two seats at the bar just before 6 pm. Every table was taken and the bar was full. The people waiting for tables increased to a crazy number by the time we left.
They gave us chips and salsa for a free app. I had the sangria and husband had Pacifco. I ordered the chicken burrito and carne e la tampiquena (skirt steak with a mole cheese enchilada). Both of these came with rice and beans and guacamole.
The service was decent for it being new and packed, but it still took a little over an hour and a half total. I'm sure that will reduce once everyone knows what they are doing.
The chips and salsa were good, husband thought the salsa was just a little too spicy. The chicken burrito had chunks of grilled chicken instead of shredded chicken and the cheese and sauce on top was just over the center, this made the balance of the burrito on the dry/hard side. The guacamole was excellent. Husband's steak, ordered medium, was rare, rare, rare. So rare that he brought most of it home to recook today for lunch.
Two glasses of sangria, three beers and the food came to $75 before tip. Kind of on the pricey end for Mexican IMO.
We will probably give it another try in a few months, but order different items. The fajitas that we saw looked pretty good. In the meantime, we will keep going to Juanito's.
Does the new Stone Tavern have an expected opening date yet?
BTW- anyone who will travel to El Patron- we really like the other place in Glen Gardener, Humphrey's. Used to the Glen Gardener Inn. Really cool bar room, good food, great REAL cocktails.
We also went to El Patron last night with friends, arriving at 6.
We had called early in the afternoon, but they said they don't take reservations.
Since they just opened 2 days ago, we figured they wouldn't be too busy.
The parking lot was packed and we lucked out getting a spot as someone was leaving just as we pulled in.
Their entrance area is a long hallway with long benches. It was full of people waiting.
The issue I saw that I would immediately address is that the benches have large wagon wheels for end caps and this is causing the benches to be a foot or more off the wall.
This means people sitting on the bench have their knees well into the path people are trying to walk through- which is much more narrow than it needs to be and makes the wait uncomfortable for everyone. Cut off the back half of the wheels and push the benches to the wall.
We were seated at 6:30, so not unreasonable at all. They were packed.
Chips and salsa were dropped off right away. I enjoyed both more than many other Mexican restaurants I have been to.
3 of us ordered margaritas, my wife and I getting shots on the side. They arrived well presented, and even the shot glass had little lime slices on them. The flavor was very good- not sweet or syrupy. No gimmicky plastic cactus glasses, etc.
My buddy begrudgingly ordered a Sam Adams lager, as the only other beer choices were the typical traditional mexican beer. Being a beer guy myself, I would happily like to see them offer a wider modern variety like Sol Cantina does.
I ordered fish tacos, my wife got a fajita, -- and I honestly don't remember what the couple we were with ordered. We were having too much fun talking.
The servers were super busy with the packed house, but we did ask and receive a refill on the chips. The food arrived in a normal time period, and I don't think anyone had any complaints about it.
My only issue other than the hallway benches was they never came back during the meal to see if we wanted a 2nd round of drinks. My wife kept looking for someone and trying to wave them down with no success.
Eventually someone came by, cleared the table and asked if we wanted anything else. My friend ordered another beer, I ordered another margarita and the person remembered the tequila type I had the first time. I was impressed he remembered- I just wished it happened well before that as by now we were done eating.
The 2nd round of drinks we waited all that time to order took another 15-20 minutes to come as we sat talking. Long enough that we all noticed and mentioned the delay. Still tasty, but just too slow.
They honestly would have sold 3-4 rounds instead of 2 if they were more attentive. But yea- they were super busy and new, so no biggie.
All in all- I think the place was good, and given the amount of people and being open for only 2 days it could have been MUCH worse!
Happy to have it in the area.
I wonder if El Patron's sign out front is still a work in progress? It's a 1 sided sign! Odd that they have a sign facing 31 northbound traffic but there is no sign behind it facing southbound traffic. Thought it was very odd...wouldn't you want to advertise your new business to traffic flow in BOTH directions on a busy state highway??
Hasn't been a week yet...so...
and silly as it sounds, especially given the hard to read style they used- slower moving, coming home rush hour traffic is indeed the better choice of the 2...
The mystery of where their flagship restaurant is located has been solved.... don't think anyone guessed Port Jervis, NY, lol.
Here is the website for Desiderio's Stone Tavern. Looks great! They are hoping to open next week.
Thank you Calico for sending a link! Excited to try a new place. Great menu but a little pricey. I don't mind paying a little more if the food is outstanding so hopefully it's a great place unlike OMG. This is awesome that we are getting another new place.
Any other reviews on El Patron?
Patron’s better have a twist. It’s surrounded by a number of pretty good Mexican places. High Bridge, Washington and Independence.....
Casa Maya and Juanito's are BYOB. I don't care for margaritas, so I can comment on the ones from El Patron or Maria Bonita's. I can say the sangria at El Patron was really good. However, it wasn't worth $9/glass.
Dana- order a margarita w/ a shot on the side, pour it in, makes them better. :)
I like my drinks stiff.
Patrons are better than anything within a few hours drive that I have had. Not overly sweet, no dumb plastic glasses or fake coloring.
We went there again last night. Was packed. Waited another 30 minutes to get seated. On a Thursday!!
Had some tasty marinated grilled shrimp and a green sauce pulled chicken thingamabob. Will be ordering that again next time- it was great.
Still have heavy complaint about the STUPID benches in the hallway. They literally take up over half the space, and then my legs are in the way of everyone- who need to squeeze by.
Whoever made the decision to put them there needs a wack in the head!
Cut off the back half of the wagon wheels, brace underneath if you want- and push the benches back against the wall where they belong!!
"Anyone know if anything is happening with the old Christie’s?"
Someone told me there was a motorcycle club going in there. Don't know how true that is. Abandon gas station across the street is suppose to have something happening too but forgot what they said.
If it's a female motorcycle club with male dogs from the same mother, they could call themselves Sons of Ann Barky.
"Desiderio's Pizzeria, in the Shop Rite plaza, is now open."
Stopped in Saturday night around 8PM and ordered a large plain pie. Came to $13 and change. Nothing special. You really cannot get GOOD pizza here in Warren County! Why? I haven't been able to figure that out in the last 10 years living here!
I enjoy this place near my job in West Caldwell......Franco's. The sauce and especially the cheese on their pies has more flavor than any pie I get out here in Warren County.
Lenny, was it made in a brick oven like their previous place, or in a regular pizza oven?
3wb -They have a regular pizza oven. I haven't gotten anything from there yet, but stopped in to pick up a menu.
Lenny - I don't get it either.
I've had good luck several times from the little Italy where A&P used to be on 31.
Yes, regular oven. Agreed Josh. Little Italy in the A&P shopping center is our current go to for pizza.
The Little Italy in Belvidere has gone downhill somewhat since they opened the second location in Washington. Might be because the owner is now at the Washington location full time. It's always busy in there and is probably why sub-par Ernie and Dom's closed up for good.
We got a variety of slices because we were in a rush. DH got a couple slices of the grandma pie. It’s like a thin Sicilian. Better pizza than anything local IMO. But that debate will never end.
I like grandma pie, but hubby does not. LOL
We will order from there tomorrow. Just a plain pie. That's what we always do with a new place. Kind of a taste test. If you can't make a decent plain pie, most likely nothing else will be good.
We tried a plain pie from Desiderio's yesterday and it was good. It wasn't anything to rave about, but better than the average Warren Co. pizza. The sauce was just how I like it. I forgot to ask for well done, since all the pizza around here seems to be under cooked. That said, it was less under cooked than most. LOL
Even better was they told us 45 minutes for delivery and were there in 25. Will try some other items soon.
The old Desiderio's which is now LIttle Italy makes Pizza in the Brick Oven. A Brick Oven Pizza is always better IMHO. We ate at Little Italy on rt. 31 Saturday night. Food was very good including the pizza, and they were busy in the dining room. We like a very crispy crust Pizza, and we would have liked the crust a bit more crispy. We will ask them to cook it a bit longer next time. They seem to be doing a good take-out business. I was told that Little Italy in Washington no longer owns the Belvidere location.
"I was told that Little Italy in Washington no longer owns the Belvidere location."
Ah, well that would explain why quite a few people I know say that Little Italy in Belvidere went downhill. Did you hear this from an employee of Little Italy Washington or just from the general public?
Calico, I heard from an employee, actually from 2 different people, connected to Little Italy. I was told the separation happened about 2 months ago.
The one in Washington rocks. I've ordered there 5-6 times in the last 2 months or so- and literally before that I don't know if I've ordered delivery pizza 1-2 times in the last 2 years.
The food has been fantastic, and we've ordered many things other than pizza- and the delivery time has been amazingly quick.
Like how could they possibly cook it and deliver in that time period quick??!! (15-20 minutes to my door after order?!)
Add in they are on the slice app and give a discount for ordering through the app- no brainer.
Only complaint- they are closed on Monday.
Just today I clicked the app on my way home from work, wanting to have a pizza when I got home and it reminded me they are closed.
This is the 2nd time that has happened- they lost 2 sales from me on Mondays soo far. ;)
When Little Italy was Desiderio's my Sisters and I used to meet at Villa Roller Rink and enjoy skating in a rink that was like "going back in time to the 1940's." My Sisters live in the Westfield/Cranford area so it is an hour+ drive. I'm in Indy so not so far for me. When it was Desiderio's they were open on Mondays, and we went for lunch after skating but, for some reason, Little Italy has decided to close on Mondays.
fyi: Back to Villa. The skating rink has been sold. I went to skate last Wednesday, and they were putting a new and much needed roof on the place. A man was sitting on the bench inside, and I asked him "are you skating today?" He said, "No, I'm the New owner." He plans to keep it as a skating rink. He told me he is making improvements.
Leave a Reply
To comment on this topic, fill out the form below. If you would like to comment directly to one person, you may click on the envelope next to the posters name if they provided their email.