In the Works:
—Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company has been long (long) “in the works,” and while circumstances have pushed their opening date more than a little bit, their website finally says the Somerset-based craft brewery should finally be opening in early April. Once open, the brewery promises to have a tasting room (construction photos of a long, gleaming bar attest as much), but there aren’t many hints or indications about what kind of beers you can expect (though at least one photo of “experimentation with stout variants” had a barrel-aged stout with chocolate and chipotle). Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company, 14 World’s Fair Drive, Somerset; no phone yet.
—Martino Linares opened Martino’s Cuban Restaurant in Somerville in 1992, so when the restaurant closed, it was fortunately only briefly; the Linares family hopes to open up De Martino on Davenport Street by late March. Carrying on the Cuban cuisine and culture of its forebear in what they describe online as a “new and intimate dining setting,” De Martino will see chef Ronaldo Linares (son of Martino, contestant on “Chopped”) at the helm of a roster of polished Cuban favorites like Boliche, Croquetas, Pernil Asado, Ropa Vieja and Churrasco. De Martino, 9 Davenport Street, Somerville; 908-722-8602
—Little Italy is a family-owned Italian restaurant slated to open in Metuchen sometime in the next few weeks. The restaurant will be the third of its kind, with everything made in-house. Considering they’re still hiring bussers and pizza makers, the late March opening date might be optimistic, but either way they’re most certainly coming soon. Little Italy, 61 Route 1, Metuchen; no phone yet.
—Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar has just three locations in Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York, but it seems to be doing some ambitious nationwide expansion including five new locations in New Jersey in Union, Elmwood Park, Linden, Kearny, and West Orange, all “Coming Soon.” The menu leans straight seafood—your choice of crab, shrimp, crawfish, lobster, etc., seasoning, heat-level, and sides. No word on whether the restaurants will all open at the same time, but at least one source says the West Orange location will open Monday, March 18, just a shade late for Mardi Gras but well in time for some warm weather seafood. Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar, multiple locations.
—Ambeli Greek Taverna on Elm Street in Westfield is closing after just a year in operation. Owner Christos Zavolas was initially reluctant to open in Westfield (Ambeli’s original location is in Cranford). A Facebook post on February 28 thanked the town of Westfield for its support, noting “It has been a difficult few months due to unforeseen circumstances,” and that the restaurant was “forced to concentrate on one location,” Cranford. Ambeli Greek Taverna, 38 Elm Street, Westfield; 908-272-4111
Not Closing Anymore:
—After a February 26 “Thank you and goodbye”-style Facebook post, it looked like the Westmont Farmers Market in Haddon Township wouldn’t be returning to for an eleventh season. But as of a few days ago that decision’s been reversed. In response to some sufficiently mournful public outcry, Haddon Township Mayor Randy Teague secured $10,000 in funding for the market from First Colonial Bank in Collingswood. The market was originally slated to close after longtime coordinator Doug Kelly announced his retirement, but assuming all goes as planned, it should continue its seasonal run in Haddon Square on Wednesday evenings, with food, music, and vendors starting on May 1. Westmont Farmers Market, 51 Haddon Avenue, Haddon TownshipClick here to leave a comment