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South Orange's Newest Restaurant, Ricalton's, Open for Business

David Lackey

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 • 7:12pm

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.

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