WESTFIELD, NJ – A bison burger on a sprouted bun with aged cheddar and turkey bacon is one of many combinations that may be available at an upscale hamburger franchise anticipated to open in the downtown this spring.
Diners will also have the option of imbibing in an adult beverage at the new Bareburger franchise set to open up on Central Avenue in the subdivided space where the eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker is also anticipated to set up shop, officials said on Tuesday.
The Town Council approved transferring the unused liquor license from the former The Jolly Trolley Bar & Grill to the new ownership, Town Administrator Jim Gildea said at Tuesday's council session.
Mayor Shelley Brindle is looking forward to the possibility of the eatery bringing business into Westfield.
“It is going to be an amazing hit here,” Brindle said. “And they are contemplating a rooftop dining area.” Bareburger will be located across from the Banana Republic, she said.
The high-end hamburger chain has existing locations in Montclair, Ridgewood and New York City, among other places.
The eatery is anticipated to open in late April, following a Planning Board hearing, town officials said.
Bareburger did not return a media inquiry Wednesday seeking further details.
Westfield resident Lisa O’Dwyer is optimistic. O’Dwyer said youths tend to hang out in the downtown after school, and getting more adults to enjoy Westfield at night will be good, something the high-end burger establishment could help with.
“We need more buzz in the town,” said O’Dwyer, 54. “Cranford has a nice buzz. We’re starting to get that here with some of the new businesses coming in.”
Bareburger purchased the liquor license for about $750,000, Town Clerk Tara Rowley said. The price is approximately the going rate, officials said at Tuesday’s council session.
What’s up with Addams Tavern?
By the time Bareburger sets up shop, it could have some competition from a staple of Westfield’s nightlife, Addams Tavern, which has been on hiatus since late last December, when a court order shut down its building at 115 Elm St. over safety violations.
Gildea said the establishment is set to open shortly, but the exact timeline is to be determined by the courts, which must approve any certificate of occupancy.
“They’re very close,” he said. “They’re weeks away. They’re in the process of finalizing their inspections.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh