Iconic New Jersey restaurant closes, a victim of the pandemic
A popular North Jersey landmark, the Fireplace Restaurant in Paramus, has closed after 65 years due to the losses it incurred during the pandemic.
In an Instagram post, the owners of the Fireplace said, “Over the past months, we have had an increasingly difficult time covering the costs of running our restaurant. We would like to say thank you to all of our loyal patrons who have supported us during our 65 years. It has been an honor serving you.”
According to NJ.com, the Fireplace was opened in 1956 by Frank Reilly, a former FBI agent and World War II veteran, serving 35 cent hamburgers and 15 cent milkshakes. The menu expanded over the years to include sandwiches, pizza, and, in 1976, breakfast, as well. After his death, his son continued run the Rte. 17 landmark.
The restaurant closed for three months during the height of the pandemic, according to NorthJersey.com, before reopening in September with outdoor dining, drive-through, and delivery service. The family owned restaurant is on a busy stretch of Rte. 17 that is now filled with chain stores and fast food places; it even predates the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus by about a year.
Hundreds of people flocked to the Fireplace before it closed last Friday; the restaurant had only give a 24 hour notice that it would be shutting down. While the decision to close is final, there is some hope. The owner told CBS 2 New York that there might be a future in a new location.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.