BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Aquaviva brothers took ownership of the iconic Bridgewater Manor on February 22.
Ralph and Domenick Aquaviva also own Delicious Heights, with restaurants in Berkeley Heights, Bedminster and Basking Ridge. In addition, they run all food and beverage services at Basking Ridge Country Club, including Basking Ridge Catering and the full service banquet rooms that can hold over 400 guests. With the Bridgewater Manor acquisition, the off-premises catering division [formerly Protege Catering] will operate as DH Fine Catering out of their Bedminster restaurant.
The Aquavivas have a tremendous amount of catering experience, so when challenged with an event for over 400 guests just four days after the acquisition, their staff executed with precision -- even when faced with a last minute 100-guest increase.
The Bridgewater Manor is getting a room by room face lift that includes painting, carpeting, new wood floors, window treatments, light fixtures, HVAC, along with LED lighting and state-of-the-art audio/video equipment and more.
Now, a month into the new ownership -- "the key players are coming together -- now we need to book," said Ralph. "The opportunities are here and, with the right team, it's a premier location," he said. They welcome people to call for a tour of the facility which has rooms for all occasions. There are two banquet rooms and several smaller rooms for showers, birthday parties, corporate meetings and smaller weddings, as well as outdoor patio space for ceremonies and cocktail receptions.
"I am excited about the new business," said Ralph. "When we got the green light on this one, I was little extra excited on this one." Ralph and his wife, Ioana, have a connection to Bridgewater Manor that spans more than 25 years. Not only was it the location for Ioana's Sweet 16 and prom, but both Aquaviva brothers were married there. "When I told Ioana we were looking at other catering facilities -- there was a connection to this one and it's close to home," said Ralph, who lives in nearby Martinsville. "When we got married, I loved it for what it was -- I still love the building -- that's sentimental."
Down the road, the Aquavivas envision re-opening the former Hemingway’s Patio Club, located on the Bridgewater Manor premises. Although it's down the road, they like the idea of adding a D Heights Tequila Bar or a whiskey bar. "It was very popular back in the day," said Ralph. "There's a lot of history on this property."
This acquisition also allows for Delicious Heights to grow their off-premises catering division. Prior to the acquisition, their catering was primarily pans and platters. -- "We would drop off -- but service was tough for us," said Ralph. -- "Now, we are able to do off-premises weddings and events,” because they have the equipment.
The menu is similar to that which Protege clients have ordered from in the past, however, Delicious Heights incorporates its own ingredients. "We have more ingredients -- and that's the change the clients wanted to see."
Ralph added, "So far, it's been good -- now it's about branching out further."
Call 908.658.3000 to schedule a tour and for information about their various event packages, including Wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sweet Sixteen, Corporate and Plated Dinners.
Bridgewater Manor is located at 1251 Rte. 202/206 in Bridgewater.