SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Flanagan’s Family Restaurant and Pub has been a staple in the South Plainfield community since 1984. The Plainfield Avenue establishment is open seven days a week and features a casual, family-friendly atmosphere, Sunday through Thursday food and drink specials, and live weekend entertainment as well as an extensive kid’s menu, catering options and a special in-house party menu.
When Flanagan’s opened its doors 32 years ago John Ziminiski was its first employee and he spent the next 16 years as chef of the neighborhood eatery. In 2000, Ziminski and his wife Christine purchased Flanagan’s and on March 1 the Piscataway residents will celebrate their 16th year as its owners.
“I started cooking and baking with my mom when I was just eight years old and I knew back in high school that this is what I wanted to do,” Ziminiski, who was formally trained and educated in culinary arts, said. “My dream was always to own a restaurant.”
Flanagan’s offers a menu consisting of mostly homemade items made from fresh and, whenever possible, local ingredients. “We serve only fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, fresh fish, fresh chicken. We cut our own meats,” Ziminski, who prior to Flanagan’s worked only at mom and pop, family-owned restaurants, said, adding, “I guess somewhere, along the way, restaurants have moved away from this or don't care, but Flanagan’s has been offering farm-to-table, Jersey Fresh since it opened its doors. Everything here is homemade and it’s been like that since day one.”
The restaurant offers daily lunch and dinner specials as well as soup of the day, catch of the day, and steak of the day specials and, throughout March, will be serving up corned beef and cabbage daily. Regular menu includes soups, salads, pasta, fish, sandwiches, burgers, steak and a variety of starters and sides, all made to order, including signature selections such as homemade French onion soup, Sherpard’s pie, reubens, grilled chicken sandwiches, sliced steak Jameson, the Dublin (hot corned beef and pastrami topped with sauerkraut, melted Swiss and American dressing), specialty 8-ounce burgers (made from black angus beef), steamers (Long Island caught littlenecks served in homemade broth), pasta with shrimp, and chicken and veal Parmigiana, to name a few.
In addition to homemade foods Flanagan’s also boasts a casual and welcoming dining atmosphere for all ages. “We are a family restaurant and pub and want people to come in, enjoy a delicious, homemade meal and feel comfortable and safe here,” he said. “We know our customers on a first-name basis and our goal is to make them feel comfortable.”
As part of its family-friendly focus, Flanagan’s offers a $6 Kid’s Menu all day, every day that features every thing from burgers and chicken tenders with fries and pasta to homemade fish sticks, homemade mac & cheese, chicken Parmigiana, sliced tenderloin, and more, accompanied by a beverage and dessert. Additionally, at Flanagan’s, every Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. is Family Fun Day with half-price burgers and 25-percent off all draft beers and house wines.
During Happy Hour, which is offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., customers can enjoy 50-percent off the establishment’s pub menu as well as $5 house wines and call drinks’ $4 house drinks; $2.50 domestic drafts; and $4.50 craft and imported drafts.
Additionally, at Flanagan’s, Monday is Wing Night from 7 to 11 with $.60 wings (minimum 10) as well as Fireman Happy Hour from 9 to 11 p.m.; Tuesday is Late Night Happy Hour from 9 to 11 p.m.; Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. is Teacher’s Happy Hour and from 9 to 11 p.m. is Police Happy Hour; and Thursday is Ladies Night with 50-percent off drinks from 8 to 11 p.m.
The restaurant and pub also features a VIP program. Diners can visit the Flanagan’s website (http://www.flanagansrestaurant.com) and click on the ‘Join Flanagan’s VIP’ to sign up to receive coupons and specials.
Flanagan’s offers live entertainment throughout the year; upcoming events include Rick Barth Acoustic on Saturday, March 12 and the Silent Q Rock Duo on Saturday, March 19; both shows begin at 8 p.m. Flanagan’s will also hold a St. Patrick’s Day event featuring all things Irish – food, music, beer and dancing – will be held on Thursday, March 17 beginning at 11 a.m. and, on Saturday, March 26, Flanagan’s will hold an Easter Egg Hunt from 9 to 10 p.m..
The South Plainfield restaurant also offers various on-site catering options and can be rented out for private and special occasions. “We can accommodate any size party or group,” said Ziminiski.
Most recently, Flanagan’s recently implemented a new Special Party Menu featuring a complete buffet package for parties of 25 or more. For just $20 person, including tax and tip, guests can enjoy an appetizer, chicken dish and a pasta dish accompanied by roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables as well as fresh vegetables and dip, salad, rolls and butter, soda/coffee/tea, and dessert.
“We serve fresh, homemade food that cannot be found anywhere else,” said Ziminski.
In addition to serving up fresh and affordable homemade dishes seven days a week, Flanagan’s is also dedicated to giving back to the community it has called home for over 30 years.
Every third Wednesday of the month, the restaurant donates 25-percent of food purchases to the South Plainfield Elks Scholarship Fund; each year Ziminiski prepares and donates trays of home fries for the Lions Club Easter Breakfast; special pricing is offered to the sports association’s for their dinners; and Flanagan’s is also offered free of charge as the monthly meeting location for the South Plainfield Ponytail Association. Additionally, during Lent, Ziminiski makes and donates meatless soups to the soup kitchen to the St. Mary’s Dinner Program at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Scotch Plains.
“I try and do as much as I can for the community to give back to the people that support us,” said Ziminiski, adding that over the years, Flanagan’s has served as a place of employment for dozens of South Plainfield residents while others grew up visiting the restaurant as children with their parents are now returning with families of their own. “I like seeing the progression,” he said. “I have known some of my customers and former employees since they were four or five years old. I’ve seen them grow up and now start their own families.”
Flanagan’s Restaurant and Pub is located at 2501 Plainfield Avenue at the corner of Lake Street (directly across from South Plainfield Borough Hall and the South Plainfield Memorial Library). The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 .m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m.; the pub is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday from 3 to 10 p.m.
For more information, menus and upcoming events, call (908) 757-1818 or visit http://www.flanagansrestaurant.com. You can also follow Flanagan’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FlanagansRestaurantAndPub.
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