SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Steve Pantagis, who described himself as the director of the Pantagis corporation, contacted TAPintoSPF on Tuesday to confirm that, despite the assertions of Nick Pantagis last week, the iconic Snuffy's Pantagis Renaissance catering hall has closed its doors forever.
"I'm calling on behalf of my company and eight board members to confirm that Snuffy's Pantagis has closed," Steve Pantagis said, adding that Nick "had no right" to say the establishment would be open.
When asked why it was that Nick would not have a say when his business card says "Owner," Steve Pantagis responded that Nick is a minority shareholder.
"My partners and I voted unanimously. We are closing because of COVID. I apologize (to the people this has effected)," he said, noting that the voting members of the corporation are scattered across the globe, including partners who live in Greece.
Steve Pantagis, who called TAPintoSPF from his home near Williamsburg, VA, said that his family had owned the business for 49 years after his father purchased it in 1971 from William Robertson. He admitted that it took a bit of time to make the decision to close and get the word out, and that the company has been contacting people who had booked parties to explain that they could no longer continue because of COVID.
The difficult calls are being made by an outside company, rather than the staff of Snuffy's, according to Kelli Capurso, whose wedding was canceled at the banquet hall.
"It's disheartening that they didn't call themselves," she said.
Regarding the outstanding tax bill of over $389,0000 owed to the Township of Scotch Plains, Steve Pantagis said he "cannot comment at this time."
According to Township officials, the corporation will have to come up with the money by Nov 17, otherwise the property will go on tax sale. The tax sale process is similar to an auction. However, the property is not being auctioned off; rather, investors attend the tax sale to bid or “purchase” a lien on the property. A tax sale does not convey title to the successful bidder.
Long History in Scotch Plains
Snuffy's dates back to 1932, when it was established by William Robertson, who ran speakeasies in Mountainside, Garwood, and Scotch Plains during the Depression, according to MyCentralJersey.com. In 1937, an ad in the Courier News for Snuffy's Diner listed the price range as 40 cents to 65 cents for lunches and full-course dinners.
"Half of the kids I knew worked at Snuffy's when I was in high school," said Guy Kipp, a longtime Scotch Plains and Fanwood native. "When I was a kid, it was much smaller. It was called Snuffy's Steakhouse, and it was tiny. Over the years, they kept expanding, and it became part of the Scotch Plains skyline."
In November 1971, Snuffy's "Red Carpet Plan" offered a five-course dinner, a four-tier, 30 lb. wedding cake, a bottle of Canadian or Scotch Whiskey for every 10 persons, and a toast (choice of Manhattan or Martini) for just $6.25 per person. Over the next five decades, Snuffy's became a popular destination for special events, including weddings, proms, birthday, graduation, and anniversary parties, and fundraising dinners for countless non-profit organizations.
TAPintoSPF.net is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.
Are you a business interested in reaching our audience? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.