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What Could Replace Old Steak and Ale?

We want to know what you think is best suited for the Route 35 site where the popular steakhouse once thrived

The former Steak and Ale restaurant in has been shuttered since 2008.

The doors of the once-thriving Route 35 steakhouse closed when its parent company, Bennigan’s Franchising, of Dallas, TX, went bankrupt that year.

What used to be a hot spot for business lunches and casual family dining at the Route 35 site has been stagnant since.

Its cracked sign still fronts the highway, as does the boarded-up building.

The last word from the on development of the site was that the liquor license for the once-thriving Route 35 steakhouse had been sold to the new , .

Aside from the liquor license transfer, an incomplete application to convert the old steakhouse into a mixed-use retail/office complex has been lingering at the department offices for some time, Planning Board Secretary Debra Yuro said.

The site’s owner River Birch, LLC, of Manalpan, has not yet completed and submitted architectural plans for the proposed use, Yuro added.

If the tentative plans for the retail/office use don’t gel, what do you picture replacing the restaurant on the site?

Keep in mind that there is no longer an active liquor license for the place, and use your imaginations. We want to hear what you think would go well on that strip of one of Middletown’s main corridors. Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Michael March 16, 2012 at 03:03 AM
There was one, down the road and it went out of business.
Robert March 16, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Since the liquor license was sold for Bone Fish Grill, it will be tough, but i would like to see an Olive Garden, Joe's Crab Shack or 52 Seasons.
Ken March 16, 2012 at 06:53 AM
A full service WAWA complete with gas station.
Joseph Oxley March 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM
A graveyard.
Naomi Carter March 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM
If they are set on putting in a Sonic, they should put it there instead of near Bed, Bath and Beyond. it would be less of a traffic nightmare.
Natasha March 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Olive Garden would be great but they need a liquor license. Not sure what Michael is thinking, but there isn't enough room for Walmart and there was never an Olive Garden down the road that went of out business. Golden Corral would be good as suggested by Muary.
Paula Iskenderian Guglielmo March 16, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Cracker Barrell restaurant - great homecooking and a little shopping too
Noreen C. March 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
A Red Lobster would be great,but that would require a liquor license..Cracker Barrel sounds great ! Not another gas station/convenience store!!
Jesse March 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I'd love a Golden Corral! A Denny's would be nice, too. Cracker Barrel would be great, but there's nowhere near enough parking for it. And Michael: there was never an Olive Garden around here.
SAP1213 March 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Sonic would be great there. Red Lobster's a good idea too. A nice privately owned restaurant would be nice, and make it a BYOB which would be great since Bottle King is right across the street.
Donna March 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
A Wegmans would be great!
Pat G. March 16, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I've never tried "Sonic" I have to say that I've only heard good about them
Dana Solt March 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Didn't they try to put that where Shiki was and it got shot down.. that's why it went to highway 36?
Johnny Local March 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Let's put Middletown on the map. I think we should put the world's largest lava lamp on the site. Then, when were trying to explain to someone where Middletown was we wouldn't have to say we were next to Red Bank, people would already know. People from Red Bank would have to explain that they were in the town next to the largest lava lamp in the world, Middletown, NJ. Or maybe a roller coaster. Who doesn't like roller coasters?
jim s March 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
it would b nice if you could talk MJs to move into the building they have lic &it woud have the parking they need so not to bother the neigbors any more &people wouldnt have to park around the block &walk to it on the highway
J Bo March 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM
How about moving the White Castle over to Rt. 35 ?
Johnny Local March 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Two words.... . .Swim Club.
Lyle William March 16, 2012 at 05:52 PM
why restaurants? do we really need another chain in middletown? how about a local start up? advertising/tech agency, mobile app developers, small marketing firm?
Johnny Local March 16, 2012 at 06:37 PM
You are right. Why put a restaurant where one just failed, especially without a liquor license. How about a gym for supermodels, I don't think we have one of those in town.
Ruth March 16, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I agree. Too congested at Bed, Bath for a Sonic.
Emily Keene March 16, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I would like to see either a Golden Corral, Red Lobster, or a fun Tex-Mex type of burrito - taco restaurant.
Geekworking March 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM
My thoughts exactly. Putting a drive-thru restaurant at harmony & 35 is crazy.
Geekworking March 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM
The problem with the Shiki site for a Wawa was that there were residential homes right behind the property. The only thing behind the Steak&Ale site is the loading docks for ShopRite.
j mont March 17, 2012 at 01:31 AM
The domestic violence shelter they want to put on Magnolia Lane would be better suited on the highway.
Lou DeGeorge March 17, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Or we should kidknap Lucy the Margate Elephant and place her in the spot .
Nancy March 28, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Olive Garden really worst so called Italian food.. Nice restaurant of any kind would be great. Chains restaurants are are just an upscale fast food
Joe Cool March 28, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Dave and Busters would be awesome
Sean July 31, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Two words, Tractor Supply. Getting to Home Depot from Middletown is my worst nightmare.
Andrew M. January 14, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Selfishly I wish a Bally's Total Fitness center would take the space since there are none in a 20 minute radius of here but there are too many fitness centers already in the area.
Andrew M. January 14, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Very good idea Jim!


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