NJ restaurant chains plan to open ‘Madison’ restaurants within months
In the wake of a spate of food safety incidents, restaurant chains across the state are hoping to get a leg up on the competition in the quest to attract diners back to their establishments.
As of Monday, more than 1,100 restaurants have opened in New Jersey.
Most of those are at popular locations in downtown Newark and on the East Coast, such as in Manhattan’s Tribeca and on Long Island.
While most of the eateries in New York City are new, there are also a few that have been around for a while.
The most recent addition to the New York dining scene is Barbeque Restaurant in Greenwich Village.
The restaurant is one of the largest in the state, and the company’s chef, Scott DeWitt, says the idea behind the restaurant came from the “madison” name that the restaurant has been using for years.
“We were talking about the name for a long time and it just sort of stuck,” DeWett told CNN.
“I think that the madison is kind of a cool name for the restaurant and I think that’s what we were thinking about when we came up with the name.”
The name was based on the restaurant’s founder, Anthony Barbe, a New Jersey native who moved to the US from Ireland when he was 13.
The first restaurant opened in 1971 in Edison, New Jersey, and now has more than 150 locations across the country.
The restaurant’s new name has been a hit with customers, and DeWitta says he plans to keep the restaurant on the map, even as he focuses on creating new restaurants in New Brunswick, the next state in New England.
The other new eateries opening in New NJ include Barbequin in Newark and Barbequeria in West Orange.
DeWitty says they are both “pretty solid,” adding that he’s already started planning for the next big restaurant to open in the next couple of years in Hoboken, New York.
The New Jersey restaurant scene has been hit hard in recent years by food safety scares.
Last month, a woman died after eating at a restaurant in Newark.
On March 13, a pregnant woman was hospitalized after eating in an Albany restaurant.
In response to the safety concerns, New Brunswick Governor Steve Sweeney has ordered a state-wide inspection of restaurants and bars across the city, and has ordered the city to establish a new inspection site in the city.
In addition, the city has created a food safety hotline, where residents can report any concerns with food.
The city of Hoboken has also been doing its part, issuing more than $2 million in food safety funding, including $2.3 million to the Hoboken Community Food Bank, and $1 million to a community food cooperative that operates on a $1.5 million grant from the state.
New Jersey’s food safety laws are among the toughest in the country, and officials say they are determined to keep restaurants safe.
Dewitt says the city plans to work with the state and its restaurant inspectors to improve safety in the future.
“The goal is to make sure that when a restaurant opens, it has a food service program in place,” Dewitta said.
“When you go to a restaurant, you can expect to have a clean meal and a safe environment.”
Read more about food safety in New jn:Food safety in NJThe Associated Press contributed to this report.