A Beer Garden Opens in Downtown Camden

Plus: Beverage director Chris James leaves Felina, and other restaurants openings and closings.

Open:

Camden Arts Yard opened its doors earlier this week, bringing to fruition developer Damon Pennington’s dream of a community beer garden and culture and arts space amidst the bustle of the city’s waterfront. The space—which is also close to the Rutgers campus and the waterfront Camden Aquarium—will offer a selection of beers and drinks and a menu of beer hall-friendly snacks and meals by Food Network chef Aaron McCargo Jr. Part of the space’s unique design, all the food comes out of a shipping container converted into a kitchen (part of the aesthetic of the space, which is a converted parking lot, unifying Camden’s hard-edged industrial identity with the more fluid elements of culture and creativity). Camden Arts Yard, 317 Market Street, Camden; 856-514-1311

—Just because the Black Horse Tavern is New Jersey’s oldest restaurant doesn’t mean the place can’t do a little refreshing. Part of the 40NORTH restaurant group, the Black Horse recently announced the arrival of their new executive chef, 40NORTH alum Daniel Zappulla. A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Zappulla previously worked the kitchens of Piattino, the Office Tavern and Grill, the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, and the kitchen of the Cranford Hotel. Zappulla will be introducing some new items and concepts into the menu (think: vegan, fun, modern—e.g. Grilled Asparagus with Vegan Lemon Aioli) without upending the Black Horse’s tradition of farm-fresh comfort fare. Diners are welcome to stop in and check out the new menu for themselves. The Black Horse Tavern, 1 West Main Street, Mendham; 973-543-7300

In the Works:

—The team behind Turf n Surf Burger Grill in Warren is days away from opening a second restaurant, Turf Surf & Earth, in Somerville. As you might have guessed from the “Earth” in the name, the new spot will have more plant-based options for its build-your-own menu (e.g. Impossible Burger, Lentil Mushroom Burger, Tofu), with salad and sandwich options for whatever protein you pick. As of an April 25 Instagram post, the space was looking clean and near ready to go. The original plan was Summer 2018, but after some permit delays—and a shared top prize in Rutgers’ annual business plan competition—they’re slated to open this June. Turf Surf & Earth, 46 East Main Street Somerville; 908-393-7292

Piattino is expanding to Newark. The Italian restaurant already has locations in Summit and Mendham but appears to be hiring all positions for a third location inside of Newark Liberty International Airport that’s slated to open in June. Not much else is known about the expansion at the moment, but it’s safe to assume the new restaurant will do both fast-casual and sit-down service airport restaurants require. Piattino, Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal A, Newark; no phone yet.

On the Move:

—For reasons as yet unknown, beverage director Chris James has departed from Anthony Bucco’s Felina in Ridgewood. The parting of ways wasn’t contentious, as far as we can tell, but it does leave Bucco and his team in need of beverage leadership (as far as maintaining standards, James had been training staff prior to his departure, so Bucco is confident they won’t miss a beat). James’ next moves are also unknown, although he’s among the state’s top mixology talents (homegrown, to boot, James is a native of Mahwah), so we’ll keep an eye out for where he lands.

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