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Bill's Luncheonette; "It's Like 'Cheers' Here, Everybody Knows Your Name"

Matthew Salerno

Sunday, June 1, 2014 • 11:36pm

RANDOLPH, NJ- Smiling faces from generations of customers, employees and friends filled the inside and outside of Bill’s Luncheonette on Saturday May 30.  They were they for a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the establishment since the Crowley family took it over in 1949. 

Bill’s was open for its regular hours from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then held a barbecue with free food and drinks to thank customers for their loyalty and help in keeping the iconic store open for so many years.  Many regular customers were itching to get back to Bill’s to view the changes after it was closed last week for interior renovations that initially made some customers nervous.

The McDonough family has been going to Bill’s Luncheonette on a weekly basis ever since they moved to Randolph ten years ago.  Mike McDonough said his family was nervous for the change and hoped the classic restaurant would not lose its ambiance or touch.  “It’s like ‘Cheers’ here, everybody knows your name,” said Mike McDonough. 

The McDonough family was extremely pleased to see that the new renovations updated Bill’s, but did not take away from the charming old world feel.  McDonough’s daughters, Lindsey and Madi, who have been going to Bill’s for almost their entire lives enjoyed the changes thoroughly as well.

The changes to the restaurant included the removal of shelves that once held groceries in the general store, the addition of five new booths, new custom flooring, new custom shelves, refurbished stools and new custom dining tables, all which added a new feel to an old-time place.  “Bill’s really kept the respect of the history of the place and blended old with new,” said Mike McDonough.

The current operators, Bill’s grandson Bruce Button and his wife, both thought the renovations came out to the best of their expectations and were exceptionally pleased.

Densy Roesing has been a loyal customer to Bill’s for over 50 years, a tradition passed down from her father and grandmother who shopped at the store regularly when it still had the post-office and was a general store.  Roesing thought the change was a very positive one, “I love it, it definitely needed the change,” she said.

Bill’s wife, Barbera, was in attendance during the day to check out the interior changes, and although she was skeptical when she heard about it, she appreciated the new look as much as everybody else.  “I love absolutely every bit of it,” she said.

While many current regulars of Bill’s Luncheonette gathered at the barbecue in the afternoon, the celebration also attracted new customers and past customers whom have not seen the store in years.  The 65thanniversary of this establishment served as a sort of reunion for past customers, employees and friends.  David Walters used to be a regular at Bill’s Luncheonette back in the 1970’s.  Walters still loves Bill, the store he bought, and the new look bestowed upon it.

“They did a great job renovating, I came out of respect for Bill, God bless him,” said Walters.  

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