Slow and steady process brings new restaurant to North Brunswick

The Greene Turtle chooses MainStreetNB transit village for its first New Jersey location

By JENNIFER AMATO
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The MainStreetNB transit village project is thriving, as The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille established itself as the property’s first new restaurant.

Joining Target and Costco at the former Johnson & Johnson property on Route 1 north in North Brunswick, the Greene Turtle’s 8,181-square-foot location will seat approximately 326 guests and feature a 1,456 square-foot-patio. This is the first of 15 locations the Maryland-based chain plans to open in the New Jersey area, and is considered its flagship restaurant.

“Everybody in North Brunswick is glad The Greene Turtle is here because we like to have classy places, we like to have fun places, and we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said during the grand opening celebration on Feb. 3. “The transit village project looks better and better.”

According to Jonathan Frieder, managing partner of Garden Homes Development, which is developing the MainStreetNB project, franchisee owner Raj Rana secured the franchising rights for New Jersey, and then hired a real estate broker who scoured locations across New Jersey, choosing 211 Main St. as the perfect location for the Turtle. The project took two-and-a-half years to reach its official opening on Jan. 30.

“I think it means we have pretty great real estate,” Frieder said.

 

He said he is already proud of the progress of the project, which has 20 owners moved in and 40 more under contract for The Heights at Main Street residences by Pulte Homes, and the first free-standing drive through Panera Bread in New Jersey and a Courtyard by Marriott scheduled for construction in the near future. A train station and bus depot are expected as well.

“I think it’s fantastic. This project is going to be an amazing transformation of what was here before with Johnson & Johnson,” Frieder said.

Rana agreed, saying he is “very excited to be a part of this development, and also part of this township,” which is the 45th as a company, according to Jamil Jamaldinian, The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation’s chief operating officer.

“With the development going on here, I think our two strategies meshed will together,” Rana said.

Rana called the bar and grille “a local community hangout spot,” noting that there is a party room to fit 100 guests, a “Rutgers Field House” outdoor patio for Rutgers fans to cheer on the Scarlet Knights and The Mug Club for patrons who want to purchase their very own mug to drink from at the restaurant. He also said he hopes that once the Marriott is built, travel teams playing against Rutgers will patronize the restaurant.

He also noted that 170 employees were hired from the local community.

“This is generally a fun place to come hang out,” said Dave Greico, general manager. “We are very excited to share our concept with the area.”

For more information, visit www.thegreeneturtle.com and The Greene Turtle on social media.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@gmnews.com.