Updated at 10:15 p.m.

As of Thursday evening, Stage House Tavern Restaurants in Scotch Plains and Mountainside have ended their family dinner program.

“After only one day, we realized that this need was greater than even we could handle while also adhering to experts and government directions to limit work and social gatherings,” management wrote on their websites. “For the time being, we are combining all of our resources with our Somerset location. We ask that those who are truly in need at this time to reach out to them (732.873.3990) and they will do their best to help as many people as they possibly can.”

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Here is the original story:

The mandated closure of restaurant dining rooms in New Jersey due to the coronavirus pandemic has hit the industry hard and Matthew Dudek, general manager of the popular Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains, is watching it first-hand.

“It’s left pretty much every restaurant worker I know out of work right now,” Dudek said.

Though they can’t afford to pay employees currently, that restaurant and its sister, The Stage House Tavern in Mountainside, aren’t sitting idle. Instead, its workers and chefs have volunteered to help feed the community, cranking out low-cost family dinners and offering them for free to those who can’t pay.

Every family meal for now is $22.95 for those who can afford it, with proceeds going back to pay for more meals and, if there’s money left over, to local food banks, Dudek said. Additional donations will also be accepted.

Patrons are asked to pick up their meals in person, if they can.

“We have no-contact delivery or people who are on quarantine or who are high-risk so they can be fed and have a high quality of life right now,” Dudek said.

The menus will rotate based on availability and production, according to the restaurants. On Thursday, choices included baked macaroni and cheese with salad; pepper steak with cilantro rice and salad; and chicken cacciatore with roasted potatoes and broccoli.

Dudek said they’re prepared to ramp up production, if need be.

“We plan on doing this for as long as the state continues to allow us,” he added.

“Giving back to our community has always been a core part of our values at Stage House Tavern,” Stage House owners wrote on their website. “We are all in this together and we will all get through this together. We thank you in advance for your generosity and willingness to join us on this quest to ensure that no one in our community gets left behind.”

To order:

Call between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to pick up orders between noon and 6 p.m.

Stage House Tavern of Mountainside is located at 1099 US-22. Call 908-731-0366.

Stage House Tavern of Scotch Plains is located at 366 Park Ave. Call 908-322-4224.  

More on NJ Flavor:

New Jersey Date Night: The Healthy Social Distancing Date

Coronavirus Means Tough Times for NJ Restaurants. Here’s How You Can Help

New Jersey Restaurant Nightmares: Customers Behaving Badly Edition

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