Open for Business and Coming Soon

Restaurant news in Montclair, Atlantic City, West Caldwell and beyond.


If you’ve been wondering what’s going into the space that long was home to Old Bay in New Brunswick, wonder no more.

For on Saturday, April 21 you can check out during its grand opening party the new occupant of 61 Church Street: Blackthorn Restaurant and Irish Pub.

It’s the sibling to the Blackthorn at 651 North Michigan Avenue in Kenilworth.

The opening will be celebrated in style, with traditional style bagpipes starting at 5 pm sharp. Slainte!

The phone at the new Blackthorn is 732-745-4611;


Now we have an opening and a closing, as sniffed out by our South Jersey Table Hopping correspondent, John Howard-Fusco.

Little Saigon, one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Atlantic City, closed last month. Little Saigon was a mainstay of the dining scene, and a spot that inspired a number of other Vietnamese eateries in AC and in suburban towns west of the city. Unfortunately, the building that housed Little Saigon wasn’t being kept up as restaurateur Lien Pham and her family desired.

But members of Pham’s family had recently opened an outpost of the original called Lil Saigon, 2110 New Road in Linwood—a residential community. It’s got a wide-ranging menu, counter service and communal seating. Also BYO, it’s open daily for lunch and dinner. 609-904-2778;


Kimchi Mama has opened at 691 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell. The Korean BYO is open for lunch and dinner daily. 973-228-4371.


Notable in the coming-soon department is the Montclair Social Club, which will feature a globally informed American menu, bar and entertainment.

Founder and CEO Jason Miller plans the restaurant, bar and performance space as the first phase of the operation that eventually will fill out 14,000 square feet of space at 499 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair.

Executive chef is Michael Merida, who has worked at private clubs in the region as well as for Mezza in Westwood. His training included stints at restaurants in England, Spain and Japan.

Montclair Social Club will open initially for drinks and dinner, with lunch and brunch to follow. More info at


Also coming soon:

Istanbul Kebab House, 4 West Main Street in Freehold. 732-333-0722.

Bobcat’s Texas BBQ, 725 River Road in Edgewater. Lunch and dinner; BYO,

Tibiri Tabara, 613 Amboy Road in Edison. Peruvian. Lunch and dinner planned.

El Ranchero Taqueria, 150 First Street in Keyport. Mexican. BYO.

El Guajaqueno, 330 Joline Avenue in Long Branch. BYO, 732-483-6764.

The Melting Pot is returning in early summer to The Galleria at 2 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank.

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