Darby Road - Long Awaited Opening Wednesday Sept. 26
Sunday, September 23, 2012 • 8:55pm
SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Local residents have watched with interest as the new building at 430 Park Avenue in Scotch Plains has taken shape. Where the restaurant Mezzagiorno used to be is now Darby Road, a new Irish Pub style restaurant that will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, September 26.
The site was purchased and renovated by Anthony Leone, a principal in Boulder Construction and LDC & K, LLC. There are 8 two-bedroom apartments over the newly redesigned restaurant.
Darby Road is owned by three local “guys made good,” – Michael Brennan, Joseph Mortarula and John (Skip) Brandli. “We all grew up here, graduated from Scotch Plains/Fanwood High School and we all have a strong desire to invest in the community,” said Michael Brennan. “We have found the town to be very supportive and we appreciate that!”
The long awaited opening is due to the three owners wanting to “get it right.” Brennan owns the liquor license to the new establishment and he spent six years waiting to find the perfect building for his vision of a new bar and restaurant for Scotch Plains. The three partners have been carefully building and crafting the interior of their new restaurant. Mortarulo also brings his knowledge of the restaurant and bar industry as the former owner of several restaurants in Westfield.
The interior space is large, with a vast 62 seat dining area on the left and a bar area on the right. The entryway is red, and has been constructed to resemble an Irish phone booth. The bar design features a beautiful, large mahogany bar, with seating for 12-14. Several high top tables will fill out the bar area. There will be 6 televisions in the bar area that also will feature 16 beers on tap; from local craft beers to the standard, Guinness.
The interior dining area features black, oil rubbed wood paneling and bench seating. There is a bit of an industrial vibe with exposed venting ducts and a high ceiling. The floors are hand scrapped wood. Overall, the area feels warm and inviting.
There are two outdoor dining areas. The courtyard on the side of the building will have approximately 16 tables and has its own service window. The front of the restaurant will have several dining tables and customers will be separated from the general sidewalk by planters.
Chef Michael Kobliska, graduate of Scotch Plains Fanwood High School and Johnson & Wales, has signed on to be the head chef at Darby Road. The owners bill the menu as “gastro pub” fare where the menu consists of pub favorites made with better cuts of meats, and higher culinary twists, to elevate the meal beyond ordinary. The locally sourced menu will have Irish and American classics.
This new addition to downtown Scotch Plains is welcomed by many. The owners hope that it becomes a “local place where families and friends can get together to eat, drink and socialize.”