Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Throwback Thursday": Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol. 1

"Throwback Thursday":
Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol. 1

The Cranbury Inn - Cranbury, New Jersey

Today’s historic Cranbury Inn Restaurant, located at 21 South Main Street, Cranbury, New Jersey, was established in the mid 1700's. The present-day building is comprised of two of the three original taverns that were on its site in the eighteenth century. The original taverns were built together by the innkeeper's house in 1800. The three structures are timber-frame construction utilizing white oak and pine trees from the primeval forest that existed on the land at the time of construction. What is now its liquor store once was the Justice of the Peace Office and the Telegraph Office. In 1933, the main dining room was built and murals were painted on the walls.

The Cranbury Inn is said to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad and boasts an alleged “body hiding box” in a converted flu space.

Entering The Cranbury Inn you come into the colonial innkeeper's living room, which is now the lobby. Authentic colonial firearms are displayed around the room intermingled with antique clocks and old lithographs and paintings. The room furnishings include some antique dining room tables used for the wedding receptions of many couples that have returned to celebrate their 50th, 65th, & 75th anniversaries at the same tables in the same room five to seven decades later. 

After 250 years of operation, today's historic Cranbury Inn Restaurant continues to function for its original purpose of offering food and drink to people from all over the world.

The Cranbury in is open for lunch Monday-Saturday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm; for dinner Monday-Thursday, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday. 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm and Sunday, 2:00 pm – 9:00pm ; and for Brunch, Sunday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

For more information, visit The Cranbury Inn's website at

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #1: Choosing the right restaurant location 


Our philosophy at Bielat Santore & Company for the independent is to penetrate the downtown centers of cities and townships where impending growth is evident.  There are really two reasons for this approach.  The first, already mentioned above, is that national chain restaurants have taken over the highways, but have little or no presence in the downtown marketplaces.  The second, whichmay be more important, is that future growth in the northeast will take place predominantly through “urban renewal,” the revitalization of older cities and neighborhoods.  There is very little open land having the right attributes for new development, including water and sewer.  Developers are moving into the downtown neighborhoods to redevelop what is already there and in need of rejuvenation.

So if you are looking to buy or to lease, it may “B” that a block or two off the hottest highways, within the bustling downtown areas may be your best option. Granted you have to do your homework. The things you should look for are: (i) does the city have plans to revitalize the area? (ii) is anything planned for the future that could affect your business, such as additional buildings nearby or road construction? (iii) are there any tax breaks that would be available if you put money into the area? (iv) is crime under control? (v) where is your trade coming from (i.e. local business, professional offices, residential)? (vi) how easy will it be for customers to get to your business? If you are relying on strong pedestrian traffic, consider whether or not nearby businesses will generate foot traffic for you. (vii) does the site provide convenient, adequate parking as well as easy access for customers? (viii) find out the recent history of each site under consideration before you make a final selection. Who were the previous tenants, and why are they no longer there? (ix) what is the public perception of the area?

Although relocating may be the right move, it will not ensure success.  Opening a restaurant is like opening a Broadway play.  It better be good every time the curtain goes up!  You are going to have to have your concept refined, your operation fine-tuned and you are going to have to be special.  You will have to be that destination restaurant for a while until the public realizes that yours is the place to “B.”

Step #2: Developing a Plan

Bielat Santore & Company's Restaurant Tip of the Week

Bielat Santore & Company is restarting our Jersey Beats & Eats blog page! Click the video below to find out what exciting things we have planned for you every month!

Be sure to check out our first Restaurant Tip of the Month, "Choosing the right restaurant location" right here and on our YouTube page.