FLEMINGTON, NJ - A new restaurant is coming to 144 Main Street in Flemington.
The borough council voted unanimously to approve the sale of the old filling station to Tidbits LLC for $220,000.
The buyer originally slated to purchase the borough-owned property backed out of the deal prior to closing due to the Covid-119 pandemic.
Tidbits had unsuccessfully bid for the property in the first round. So, as the borough was preparing for a second round of bids, Tidbits reached out.
"These guys really want this property," said Mayor Betsy Driver, “so it’s really great.”
She said Tidbits had a restaurant in Lambertville that they closed due to parking issues.
“They are experienced restauranteurs,” said Driver, “and one of the things that attracted them to Flemington was the adequate free parking.”
Although the sale was approved by the council, there are a few more steps in the process. One has been completed, and that is NJDEP approval of the sale. However, according to borough attorney Tara St. Angelo, they are still waiting on approval from the State Historic Preservation Office.
“Because technically this property is in your historic district,” she said.
St. Angelo said she doesn’t see a problem even if she does have to submit an application. She added that this property – which was acquired by the borough through a tax foreclosure – is actually listed in the historic register as “encroaching,” meaning it detracts from the historic district.
“So anything done to this property is a positive,” she said.
Tidbits plans to renovate the property that has been running as a beer garden called, The Filling Station, since 2016 when volunteers with the Flemington Community Partnership got it up and running.
The last step will be for Tidbits to go before the planning board with its design plan and for a change of use approval.