SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Planning Board approved three variances at its 7/9/13 meeting paving the way for Restaurant Depot to move from its location on 140 South Avenue in South Plainfield to 1760 New Durham Avenue in South Plainfield. Restaurant Depot Chief Operating Officer (COO) Larry Cohen said “Restaurant Depot opened in 1990. We have 100 locations in 26 States. We offer wholesale food distribution to restaurants, caterers, and small mom and pop café’s and restaurants. We opened in South Plainfield in 2006. We are very happy with the town. The issue is we have overgrown the facility we are in due to our own success.” Cohen went on to say “the move will allow for a more orderly operation, separate trucks from customers. The facility on South Ave only has 116 parking spaces and the new facility on 1760 New Durham Ave will allow for 283 parking spaces. There are 81 employees that will be working three shifts.”
Restaurant Depot’s engineer Mike Marinelli explained to the Board that the office section on 1760 New Durham which accounts for 6100 square feet will be removed. Restaurant Depot will install a canopy to handle indoor parking. The indoor parking area encompasses 23,000 square feet and the remaining 76,000 square feet of the building is for Restaurant Depot’s wholesale operations. Marinelli said the building on 1760 New Durham will be made more aesthetically pleasing. “The entire site will receive a top coat and the landscaping plan will add over 200 shrubs and trees to the site.”
Mayor Anesh said “I feel the proposal is 100% better than what is existing.” The site at 1760 New Durham Ave is half occupied by Canada Dry Distribution. It was previously operated by DHL Express. The parking lot and other parts of the site appear in disrepair.
There were a number of questions from citizens from the residential area in Piscataway just across the street from 1760 New Durham Avenue. The questions centered around shrubbery and signage. COO Cohen said “Restaurant Depot is looking to be a good neighbor and would try to address the concerns.” Piscataway resident Ann Mathiews said “I live 10 feet to the east. DHL was a terrible neighbor. Welcome to the neighborhood, and I am thrilled Restaurant Depot is coming.” Planning Board member Alex Barletta said “we wanted to keep Restaurant Depot in town. We are looking to be business friendly, and this will relieve problems on McKinley Street and South Ave. This is a no-brainer.” Board member Jack Pederson mentioned “the trucks in the layout are placed in the back of the building quite a distance from the residential neighborhoods.” The vote approving Restaurant Depot’s waiver requests on 1760 New Durham Ave was unanimous.