Grand Avenue Tavern former Bea McNally's

Just wondering if anyone has had a chance to stop by there yet. Grand Avenue Tavern had their soft opening Monday of this week and myself and friend were able to stop by today to check them out. I must say that the service was great, a sweet young lady named Mia and the food that we enjoyed (Reuben sandwiches with steak potato fries) was outstanding. The prices were very good as well. By the time we left the parking lot was full...Wishing them well and hopefully this
new business will continue to thrive...

joyful joyful
Jun '23

I can’t wait to try it! I’m so grateful that they’re keeping that beautiful and historic location going! I’m glad to see the change in menu too.

We miss Charlie Brown's and would love a good salad bar, seafood and steaks.

Robert Rowe Robert Rowe
Jul '23

Marjon- this is not a new business. Not even new owners or staff...

Just a 're-brand' with 'new management' to try to get new people in the door.

The owner group has many restaurants in the area- all meh- at best...and they fail to realize why.

Everything a restaurant does eventually falls back to the owners.

Don't blame the style- everything has an audience if done well.

Don't blame the cook- somebody hired or trained them.

Don't blame the server- again- hired or trained.

Yes- if any if them suck- give a chance to -retrain- if no improvement- fire em and get somebody better.

What's next? A manager should already realize the food / cook / server sucks. WTF?

Manager sucks? Where's the GM?

GM sucks? Then the owner sucks.

If it gets to the point that the owner is involved with a sucky GM- then the owner isn't even remotely involved enough to deserve a business.

A good owner would catch a problem at the food / server / cook / customer feedback stage.

Yea- you can say that's what a manager is for- but that's day to day- NOT week to week - month to month.

A manager is for an occasional problem- if it occurs often- the manager needs to go.

Don't fall for the lipstick on a pig B.S.

Whoa Josh, having a bad day?

I miss Charlie Browns. Big time.

Jul '23

Josh is mad because they fired all the old staff . Am I right ?

Michael Michael
Jul '23

Josh is right 100%

Marcus18 Marcus18
Jul '23

My family and I went the first day of their soft opening. I was hoping to see more changed inside than their was, but that wasn't a big deal at all. Between the stained glass and previous decor, I still liked how it looked inside...and we were more eager to try the new (and hopefully improved food). We were told how they got a well respected chef who was coming from a restaurant in Chatham, so things were looking up. Well, hope changed to disappointment. The Manhattan Clam Chowder was no different than opening a can of Progresso (which we told the assistant manager). The rest of my families dishes were so-so to just disappointing. Friends of ours in town said their experience a few days later was terrible (as in the food). They couldn't even cook steak right. Once again, just like Beas...maybe good for a drink and an appetizer (I miss the Ruben rolls)...but for lunch or dinner, we are in certainly in NO rush to come back. Very disappointed, as we live so close...and we're excited about what was supposed to be an improvement in the food. Nope.

Rob G Rob G
Jul '23

I miss The Claredon from the 1990s. :-)

Hackresident Hackresident
Jul '23

Me too: Hackresident!

joyful joyful
Jul '23

Boy that’s disappointing to hear. I’ll try it myself despite the negative reviews but, based on what I’m reading, I’m not expecting much. In order to be successful, a restaurant has one very important job: good food. Without that, who cares about the service? Before we moved to NJ we would frequent a restaurant with notoriously bad service. The food was outstanding so we put up with it. But bad food? Any eating establishment is doomed from day one with bad food.

Jul '23

I was there on Sunday with a friend and it was very disappointing. I personally will not go back.

Pumpkin43 Pumpkin43
Jul '23

I noticed when they posted a photo of the upcoming soft opening after the "extensive rebranding" a few weeks ago It was doomed. The photo was an interior shot showing the "new" space . It displayed the same old worn and scratched stools in the forefront of the photo. Even today the banner hung out front with the new logo is hung upside down on the pole. If these minute details are not in order, I doubt highly the rest of the operation is at the level it should be. It appears the new GM, staff, owner et al has not a clue. In my opinion there is a culture of failure there that simply can't be overcome.

We gave this place a try. My advice is don't bother doing the same. We had sandwiches, which were mediocre at best, served with a cut up, burnt potato which was supposed to be french fries. The only good thing about the place is the beer selection.

Calico696 Calico696
Jul '23

eek.... not sounding good....

Such a shame, great building, great location.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Jul '23

C'mon Cali... you know better.

Same owners = same crap.

Especially after what? 6-8 restaurants?

LOL they are already hiring a new executive chef…the job is listed on indeed as of two days ago, unreal

you do not need an executive chef for the present or the last menu there. You need a good cook with administrative skills (ordering, scheduling, etc.) You might have a chef consultant come in to jump start the menu and advise on how the kitchen might run better. You need a beverage consultant to come in and suggest how they might market the bar operation better. Your computer system will lay out which products sell the most and which do not. If the majority of your liquor sales relate to beer and wine , which I'm guessing they do, that is where your control concentration s/b). You cannot build a bar (repeat customers) trade serving cocktails using a jigger to measure. Any decent bartender can 'free pour' a shot. You are charging enough make a good drink (the plan is to encourage the patron to return on a weekly basis, not consume three drinks and stagger out). You do not market wine by only having one or two choices of the popular wines (chardonnay/pinot noir) and then serving them in a banquet wine glass. Bottom line, does not matter if you hire a consultant,
or listen to your customers' feedback, if you do not take what you hear to heart!

New2this New2this
Jul '23

You're right on some accounts. But free pouring costs hospitality more money. Some are heavy pours and is money down the drain and overserving customers too much liquor most times.

If you don't pay for decent chefs or cooks that are professional, it shows. Period.

Jul '23


Pay enough to attract and retain talent. That's it. No need to act like Bar or Restaurant Rescue TV shows. Without good pay, you don't get the talent.

Nothing else to see here. Move on.

Moving on up
Jul '23

Bring back Charlie browns!!

Lisa 1
Jul '23

Well, I guess it’s decided then. Who is going to call QuickChek and tell them to come knock down that beautiful old building?

Or, here’s an idea. How about we politely and maturely communicate to the new management what is working so they know to do more of that. Then, also politely and maturely, communicate what we think we’d like to see them improve. This way, they can develop the restaurant into one we enjoy going to. We get to keep that beautiful building with its historic charm and interesting history plus we get a great place to hang out and spend time with friends and family.

How’s that for an idea?

I’ll start - I love the beautiful interior. The bar is inviting and the overall atmosphere and ambience is enjoyable. That is a treasure that not all Hackettstown restaurants can offer.

Every industry right now is trying to work with staff shortages and employee malaise, so I’m going to reserve judgment on service anywhere I go for now, but especially in a newly opened restaurant where staff is finding their groove. The new Manager is friendly and engaged, another good thing.

The menu is the right balance of interesting yet familiar. Now just make the food equal the menu.

I wish you success!

Very well stated, Res2. If the demo were to begin, there would be uproar.

justwondering justwondering
Jul '23

I second the above but also query where have the new or old owners been hiding to avoid the feedback from this and other forums...think OMG? The old story, that you should not expect different results from completing the same activity. Bottom line, from my perspective, the staff (and the owners/management) must be trained to get customer feedback BEFORE they leave the place. I.e. when the wait staff asks "how are we doing", they need to look at the customer's progress...if the plate is untouched good chance that they are not doing well. At that point the message goes up the chain and the manager s/b alerted...maybe something, maybe nothing but if something, something can be done (new entree choice, a drink or desert on the house,
free dinner coupon for the future, whatever) to let the customer know you value their patronage. Another place is the kitchen where the staff should be alerted to untouched or barely touched entrees returned to washing station... Restaurant business is not for the faint of heart!

New2this New2this
Jul '23

When I was a little girl my family from Morristown came to the "Clarendon" once a month for dinner after church. The place was high class and wonderful. Not a cheap hamburger place like today with music and a bar in the middle of the floor.

I think we need a place like this again around this town. I don't want to see this town get the reputation that Dover has but Dover is getting a better reputation over the last few years.

Jul '23

Hard to have a place that is high class when there aren't many people of the same segment to support it.


If the food isn't tasty, why can't they add some sauce or spices to the proteins and other food items? Get different recipes.
It's a beautiful building w/ great decor and a great bar.
I don't know why it's getting a negative rating.
(I hope the Owners, Cooks and Workers see this thread!)!

Hackresident Hackresident
Jul '23

Hackresident, adding sauce to food that's not 'tasty' doesn't solve it. Get in chefs that know how to cook and prepare. They should have tasted the recipes before opening and been thrilled with them and proud to serve them. If customers are underwhelmed, it's hard to sit there and 'complain' that the food was sub par and so on. They've had multiple chances and businesses. Maybe hospitality shouldn't be one of them. Just being honest. I misc Charlie Browns. Too bad someone else can't replicate the success.

Jul '23

DDA said something that got me thinking "Too bad someone else can't replicate the success".

I totally agree. Unfortunately, there was a reason (or more likely several reasons) that Charlie Browns couldn't keep that success going. And if an established business couldn't make it work, it seems to me it will be hard for a new one to make it work...especially in the particularly difficult restaurant industry.

Route 46
Jul '23

Josh: Have you been there lately?

Jul '23

Bernie- no need.

If you read and understand what I wrote- this place is owned by a 'restaurant group' - one that has a track record of mediocrity at best.

Staff doesn't matter at that point- as even good restaurants turn over people all the time. It's the quality of the standards that matter.

The owners haven't changed. 'New management' simply means new name, new paint, hoping for new suckers.

Gave it shot amongst my better judgement. Fish and chips was good, but their "tavern fries" are large potato wedges. Wedges were sopping with grease and hard. Had I known, I would have asked for the tots. Medium well burger was medium rare. Our server was sweet, but non existent because staffing is so poor. Manager was serving food and took our second drink order, which never arrived. When we checked the bill, the drinks were on it. The manager did come over to our table to apologize, but then blamed it on the bartenders and made a gesture like they weren't up to par, which I thought was very unprofessional. I would only come back here for drinks because you can't mess up alcohol. Owners need to reconsolidate their "village" for two or three restaurants that are good, rather than many that are mediocre at best.

Kelleo22 Kelleo22
Sep '23

I too gave it a whirl. I agree about the "fries", they were awful. Three of us dined and all three of us were very underwhelmed. The chicken we had was terribly dry and two of them were without any hot honey as advertised nor did they come on the brioche roll.

That was the one and only time for me. Not unexpected however I'm sorry to say.

What a shame! So sorry to hear this. It is such a terrific old building and great location in a town of foodies.

On an upbeat note, my recent visit to the Panther Pub was very impressive. Creative and tempting menu that delivers. Maybe the two restaurateurs can meet and share ideas. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Do not bother. Went there tonight service was terrible and the food was bad. I can’t believe the service and food got worse.

Dafken Dafken
Sep '23

Yesterday, lunch for five. Food good; service gracious and good. We'll be back.

Went for lunch last Tuesday. First time there since “takeover”
Food was very good and service was excellent. Will definitely go again

Prices seemed reasonable….in line with everywhere else.

Nov '23

Place must be haunted, cursed or both.

First time I went was over 30 years ago, winter, and ate with our coats on.......

Even since the reviews are mostly on or off, never consistent.

Too bad, what a historic site.

Wish they could get their act together and EVV's good review is a start, I really hope we can get a few more in a row.

Doubt it, but hope springs eternal. Just love the charm of the place and another Drug Store replacement really does not do it for me.

babbit babbit
Nov '23

We went once with the "new management", about a month after they re-opened. Mediocre food and bad service. NO ONE was in there. I guess we will give it ONE more try... but I feel like we've been saying that for YEARS now... the last time I remember it being GOOD was about 8 years ago, which would have been the original management I guess. Food was good, place was busy all the time... I never understood what happened to make them change anything, as they seemed to be doing well initially?

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Nov '23

My sister and several friends have gone several times since they re-branded. They've had very good things to say. We will get there soon.

Nov '23

The manager and staff are very nice and the atmosphere is great. Would love to see them bring the good burgers they have it OMG burger and just keep it simple. Good simple bar food and good drinks.

It's a very hit or miss type place. Consistency would be nice. One wrong visit and it changes your opinion. Been twice. No more. One was meh and the next was even mehier.

Nov '23

Yes, I hope for consistency and always love a good burger.

babbit babbit
Nov '23

Still trying to figure out if it was a steak they put on my plate. Disappointed.

mrrockstrong mrrockstrong
March 3rd

Still trying to figure out why you or anyone else went there.... for the last many many many years....

All of you talking about this place. You are aware they have changed hands many times. The current people there haven't been there more than six months. I heard they were the people from Long Valley and OMG on Schooleys Mtn.

March 3rd

Wow news flash

Weedwacker Weedwacker
March 3rd

Bernie - The same owners of LV Brew Pub, OMG, etc have owned it for many years. Perhaps they have changed on site management but the owners remain the same & the quality of food is just OK.....

I've never had a problem with LV BrewPub (altho it's not as good as it used got be), but I have never been satisfied with either OMG or Grand Ave Tavern (in any iteration). Actually the Charlie Browns location was the best when it first re-opened (after Charlie Browns closed), the first Bea McNally's

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
March 4th

It appears the Grand Avenue Tavern may not be so Grand after all.


Interesting. I wonder if there will be a hat trick or they are just dumping the poor performing places.

I just ate there tonight and it was good. shame...not many options left.

PH Steakhouse closed? No surprise. We went when it opened (about a month after)... wasn't impressed, especially not for the price. For the price we paid it should have been AMAZING (and we have no problem paying a good amount of money for great food, we never complain someplace is "too expensive" out of hand; because it depends on the level of service and food).

Even being in Chester, that place was too expensive for the level and quality of the food and service. The Publick House (previous incarnation) was better. Another great location that can't seem to stay on their feet? I believe the same owner as the LV Brewpub and Grand Avenue Tavern and OMGs... the Brewpub is still doing fine, but it's interesting that the others, all with the same owner, can't make these locations work.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
March 16th

I'm confused. Are they officially closed?
Looks like they are still open on website. Or are they for sale or just seeking investment?

The website only indicates they are for sale.

Not surprised they are selling - under-performing places with lackluster food.....

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