June 3, 2014 at 7:12 PM
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Ricalton’s Village Tavern opened for business quietly this Sunday after a few “soft opening” days for family and friends. The new hotspot, flanked by Valley Street and the Sloan Street parking lot, is off to a rousing start.
“We opened the doors at five on Sunday, and we were full by 6:30,” said Tom McLaughlin, Ricalton’s co-owner. He and Stony Johnson have been working hard on the build-out for more than six months to make their vision a reality.
“We have a young, talented chef, Nick Severino, who had been working at the Hotel Sorella down in Houston, Texas,” said McLaughlin. “The food is spectacular, I have to admit. We are so happy with the way things are coming out.” Assistant Manager, Luis Lugo, also made the move from Houston to open Ricalton’s. Having forged a good working relationship with Severino, he is a key member of the team, according to McLaughlin.
They are not planning a grand opening celebration until July, after everything in the large space running smoothly. For now, they are open from 5 p.m. to midnight, but plan on opening for lunch service as well in another couple weeks.
“Our builder, Keltic Construction and Mike Tawlty, have done such a great job,” McLaughlin said. “He gave us a lot of great ideas about how to do this and has designed 70 Irish pubs and restaurants around New Jersey and New York.”
The establishment features a large dining room and bar with 36 seats on the main level, as well as a private party room and a second, smaller bar. Downstairs, there is a smaller bar, The Snug, as well as tables for dining, and a separate entrance from the Sloan Street lot.
Ricalton's Village Tavern; 19 Valley Street, South Orange, 973-763-1006.