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Latest News in Riverdale, NJ

Wes' Tavern in Riverdale to be demolished for a strip mall with a new bar

RIVERDALE — Wes' Tavern, a run-down dive bar on Hamburg Turnpike known for $6 lunch specials, will be demolished and replaced with a strip mall with a new restaurant/bar.Planning Board officials approved the mixed use building for 57 Hamburg Turnpike in the spring, and work on the project is expected to begin in March. The developer will be submitting blueprints for the borough to review in about 35 days.The footprint of the new building is about four times the size Wes' Tavern. It's a two-story building wi...

RIVERDALE — Wes' Tavern, a run-down dive bar on Hamburg Turnpike known for $6 lunch specials, will be demolished and replaced with a strip mall with a new restaurant/bar.

Planning Board officials approved the mixed use building for 57 Hamburg Turnpike in the spring, and work on the project is expected to begin in March. The developer will be submitting blueprints for the borough to review in about 35 days.

The footprint of the new building is about four times the size Wes' Tavern. It's a two-story building with 3,500 square feet for the bar/restaurant space on the first floor. There are another 4,275 square feet of retail space available for lease. The building will house eight one-bedroom apartments on the second floor. There is also a basement for a total building square footage of 23,625 square feet.

The 1.16 acre property Wes' Tavern currently occupies between Drace Place and Mead Avenue will also be improved.

Take a look inside:Bamberger mansion in West Orange up for sale

Officials welcomed the building and property upgrade with unanimous approval. Marketing of the new retail spaces has begun. Final transfer of the property is contingent upon final building approvals, explained the developer.

The new building will be noticeably different from the "horrible" one there now, said one planning board member. The roofs of the existing white building are sagging and black dirt clings to it. A railing outside appears broken and pieces of siding and trim are broken.

"The property is clearly out of date and in need of a face-lift, if you will," said John Palus, the project's engineer.

Along with the obvious aesthetic building improvement, if the developer moves forward there will be significant landscaping and drainage improvements around the property. A total of 151 plantings are planned and the building will be pushed back off Hamburg Turnpike. It will also get a small outdoor patio with a accessible ramp alongside it.

In an effort to improve the awkward layout of the property, the developer is reducing the entrance from two driveways to one. The site will get new asphalt and an underground infiltration system will be installed to capture rain run-off.

"We think it will be an outstanding-looking building," said Doug Bern, the applicant's attorney.

Scott Berkowitz, one of the principals for the development, said the idea to overhaul the site came out of conversations he had in the borough's building department. Berkowitz founded a metal fabrication company called EVS Metal. It was originally located in Pompton Plains and was relocated to Kenner Court in the borough. Joesph Young, the owner of Cornerstone Chiropractic in Riverdale, is also a partner.

"We love Riverdale and we don't need to make a lot of money on this," he said.

Berkowitz said he sees this as a fun opportunity to upgrade the site, create a town center, and give back to the community.

"It’s just the right thing to do," he told the NorthJersey.com and USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey. "Give people a place to go. Clean up that mess. Start the new sidewalk. Put a patio out there. You gotta do the right thing at times and if you have a couple bucks you know, why not."

Berkowitz is excited to get the project moving but said it's a slow process and there are a lot of steps even after Planning Board review. He expects the plans to be finalized by the end of the year but construction will have to wait until after the winter.

From Wes' to Scotty's

At first the restaurant and bar will reemerge as Wes' Tavern and at some point it will become Scotty's Oyster Bar — a concept Berkowitz said he came up with.

He envisions a family restaurant that sells seafood and bar food but isn't high end or "snooty." He's seeking someone to partner with to lease the space and run the restaurant. The restaurant will be completely built out with a kitchen and ready to go, he said.

Berkowitz said he prefers to give a chance to someone new with a dream, instead of a restaurateur who already owns multiple businesses.

"We’re going to make it a turnkey solution for anybody who wants to walk in and give their heart and soul to something," Berkowitz said.

"It’s going to be a place where you can bring your family, your friends and hang out and have reasonably priced food and good times and make some memories," he said.

All of the retail and restaurant space on the first floor of the new building is being advertised for lease by the The Goldstein Group.

Story continues below gallery

The new building

The approved plans for the building call for a colonial feel with brick, masonry and siding. Awnings and signs will define the commercial components of the building, according to the plans.

An elevator is included in the plan to access the apartments. The apartments will be about 750 square feet in size. There are 76 parking spaces.

Berkowitz said the property is too narrow and deep to have it front facing on Hamburg Turnpike. The bar/restaurant side of the building will be the most visible part from the road, but the rest of the building will have enough of a presence to be seen from the road.

During the Planning Board hearings neighbors raised concerns about rodents outside and asked how the dumpsters will be handled. Others asked about water run-off and about car headlights shining onto their yards. The developer agreed to put in fencing to act as a screen from car lights.

The site is located in Riverdale's Community Redevelopment District Zone in downtown Riverdale.

The Planning Board also recently approved a mixed use retail and residential building for 4 Hamburg Turnpike down the street.

$533 million NJ Mega Millions jackpot going to one winner to be revealed Friday

UPDATE: The $533 million Mega Millions winner has been revealed.RIVERDALE — The winner of the $533 million New Jersey Mega Million jackpot came forward after 14 days. The world will learn who the newest millionaire is at a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday.New Jersey Lottery told The Record and NorthJe...

UPDATE: The $533 million Mega Millions winner has been revealed.

RIVERDALE — The winner of the $533 million New Jersey Mega Million jackpot came forward after 14 days. The world will learn who the newest millionaire is at a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday.

New Jersey Lottery told The Record and NorthJersey.com one person won all that money. About half is expected to go to federal and state taxes, leaving the winner a cool $175 million if he or she decides to go with the cash option, according to Daniel Mahler, a certified public accountant with Gisler & Mahler in Bloomingdale.

The winning ticket was sold at a Lukoil mini-mart on Route 23 in Riverdale on March 30. The owner, Ameer Krass, said he reviewed surveillance and was able to determine it was purchased by "one of our regulars."

He kept the person's identity a secret and encouraged anyone else who might know the person to do the same. Two days after New Jersey Lottery officials announced that someone had won the $521 million prize (since upped to $533 million), Krass was presented with a $30,000 check for selling the ticket. He said he plans to award bonuses to his 10 employees and donate some of the money to help build his church.

It's the fourth largest win in the game's history and the second highest for a single ticket.

The average time for the biggest winners to claim their jackpot is about 12 days, according to an analysis by The Record and Northjersey.com.

It's not unusual for winners to wait this long, and "sometimes it can be longer," said New Jersey Lottery Spokeswoman Yvette Varner.

"They are probably getting everything in order," she said before the winner came forward.

Mahler said the winner should practice saying no to requests he will most likely get and should also get professional financial help.

“These numbers are staggering,” Mahler said, adding that some people simply can't handle that type of money.

Mahler, who is also mayor of Wanaque, said his law firm represented a $38 million lottery winner in the 1980s.

“This guy has to watch himself," he said of New Jersey's big winner. "Everybody’s going to come after him. Everybody looks for a handout."

The news conference will be held at Lottery headquarters in Trenton by John M. White, New Jersey Lottery acting executive director. Elizabeth Maher Muoio, acting state treasurer, will also be there. Lottery officials would not reveal anything further today.

Advice for winner:Get ready to say no a lot, accountant tells Mega Millions mystery winner

A 'regular' winner:NJ Mega Millions winner may be 'one of our regulars' from North Jersey, but hasn't been identified

Email: [email protected] Follow Jai Agnish on Twitter and Instagram: @jaiagnish

Yelp Lists The 10 Best Hair Salons In/Near Riverdale

The 10 best hair salons in or nearby RiverdaleRIVERDALE, NJ -- Need to get the best hair care in or near Riverdale? Yelp reviewers have recommended these ten hair salons for fellow customers to relax and leave hair care to the professionals. Some of these salons do not just do hair, but make-up, lashes and more.Phone number: (973) 513-9447What they are saying: Wonderful inexpensive salon. I always wait for Roy - he's the best! I''ve never been disappointed. He does exactly what I ask. I'm a senior & who can't appre...

The 10 best hair salons in or nearby Riverdale

RIVERDALE, NJ -- Need to get the best hair care in or near Riverdale? Yelp reviewers have recommended these ten hair salons for fellow customers to relax and leave hair care to the professionals. Some of these salons do not just do hair, but make-up, lashes and more.

Phone number: (973) 513-9447

What they are saying: Wonderful inexpensive salon. I always wait for Roy - he's the best! I''ve never been disappointed. He does exactly what I ask. I'm a senior & who can't appreciate a $12 haircut? If only I could have my hair colored here as well, this would be perfection.

Phone number: (862) 666-9228

What they are saying: Ame is amazing! She is very friendly, knows what she is doing and really is a pleasure to be around! The salon is beautiful and you can tell that the whole staff takes pride in what they do. I'm so happy that I found this place. Can't wait to go back again!

3. 2w Hair Bar.

72 Hamburg Turnpike Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (862) 666-9312

What they are saying: Went here for the first time. Fatima was my stylist and she did an amazing job on my hair! I had to go to a formal night out and normally my hair does not hold a curl at all due to the length and me using keratin. My hair did not go flat the entire night. Even though it rains it still didn't go flat at all. Also, I felt the prices were very reasonable. Area is easily accessible from the highway and there was plenty of parking. I will definitely be coming back and actually already have my second appointment book for January with the same stylist.

4. The Hair Club.

23C Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 838-0229

What they are saying: Best haircut I've ever had! Had a lovely conversation with the beautiful women working here, could not have asked for a better style. She knew exactly what would look great on us, and tried it first to see if we like it. But we loved it! We will be going back here for our haircuts for a long time!

5. On The Cutting Edge Salon.

229 Wannaque Ave Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

Phone number: (973) 835-4918

What they are saying: I was in search of a salon closer to home and cane across On THe Cutting Edge. I went in not just for a trim and highlight but a photo of an entirely different hair cut and color! Leta nailed it! I actually just went back today with my daughter for color and cut and she has never been happier! We will be back!!!!

6. Fantastic Sams Hair Studio.

1161 Route 23 South Kinnelon, NJ 07405

Phone number: (973) 838-6002

What they are saying: I love getting my haircut here. I always ask for Liz she does a GREAT job! My haircut always looks great!

7. Bel Viso Beauty Bar.

72 Hamburg Turnpike Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 230-7727

What they are saying: Been going to Rosemarie for almost a year now. Love my lashes. Rosemarie is meticulous with her work. Salon is extremely clean. If you are looking to get lashes, wax, facial at a reasonable price with friendly people stop by or call you will not be disappointed.

8. Heads Up.

216 Wanaque Ave Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

Phone number: (973) 835-7273

What they are saying: After walking into Susan's salon nearly 20 years ago, I can compliment all the stylists skill set and overall unisex salon service. Over the years, Susan, the owner has been my stylist for color, perms, cuts, layers and updo's for special occasions. She's been with me through it all! I gave other salons a chance here and there, but had to go back for corrective color or other. She has a creative way of managing the hair to make it work. With just some input, she patiently listens to what your needs are and then takes it into her own hands for outstanding work. Kudos! The entire staff is fantastic!

9. Metro Hair Salon.

210-1 Main St Butler, NJ 07405

Phone number: (973) 713-4824

What they are saying: Bonnie is amazing. So creative and the best hair designer and colorist! The salon has a great vibe too!

10. John's Hair Place.

44 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 835-9805

What they are saying: I have been visiting Johns Hair Place since my son Evan was 7 mos old. John has been more than patient with my son and he has taken extra time to teach him to style his own hair. I am more than happy with the nice "boy's" haircuts that John does. We have been regular clients for 3 years and plan to keep coming back for many years to come.

Is there another hair salon in Riverdale missing from this list? Please leave a comment if so.

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Yelp Lists 10 Best Restaurants In Riverdale

Looking for a place to eat in Riverdale, Yelp has the top picksTRI-BORO, NJ -- Want to try a more variety of food, or find a new place to have the favorite meal? Yelp has helped those curious find the best places for food, including Riverdale. Here are Yelps top 10 restaurants in Riverdale along with reviewers are saying about them.1. Coney Island Pizza40 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457Phone number: (973) 476-9223What they are saying: BYOB. Started off with two good different salads. The...

Looking for a place to eat in Riverdale, Yelp has the top picks

TRI-BORO, NJ -- Want to try a more variety of food, or find a new place to have the favorite meal? Yelp has helped those curious find the best places for food, including Riverdale. Here are Yelps top 10 restaurants in Riverdale along with reviewers are saying about them.

1. Coney Island Pizza

40 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 476-9223

What they are saying: BYOB. Started off with two good different salads. They brought out a complimentary big hot pretzel which was delicious! Interesting selections of pie, of which we split a Popeye pizza (spinach, ricotta and bruschetta) to save room for dessert. Finished off the meal with a Nutella banana pie, which had the perfect amount of crunch and was delicious. Brought home quite a bit of leftovers. Very friendly staff, our waiter Keshav, was attentive, courteous and friendly. We'll be back!

2. Boniello's

72 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 831-0222

What they are saying: We came here last night and had a delicious meal. We ordered the mussels, a personal Fra Diavolo pizza with pepperoni added, and a Chicken Boniello dinner over angel hair with 2 side salads added. Everything was great. The mussels tasted pretty fishy, but the sauce was so good that it made up for it. The pizza was cooked perfectly. I loved the crust and was so glad we had the mussels sauce to dip it in. (They also gave us bread, but that was nothing to write home about.) The side salads were really nice too. For $4 it was definitely worth it. The Chicken Boniello was great too. I don't usually order chicken dishes when I'm out, but the girl at the table next to us got it and it looked so good we had to try it. It was chicken in a pink sauce with mushrooms over angel hair, and we loved it. Good service, BYOB, can't really go wrong here. I can't wait to go back!

3. Blu Alehouse

92 Rt 23 N Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 831-4258

What they are saying: I like this place. It definitely has that "large sports bar feel" but with a more contemporary feel. It's clean, it's open, and the service is always super friendly. I do have to say, service being that friendly on the regular is huge for me in places like these. They still make you feel like you're important even though they have a packed house with hundreds of people. I've been here a few times now, on a raging Saturday, a 'country' popping Thursday and a football Sunday. I think that allows me to believe I've covered my ground. Overall they are consistent, they get drinks out pretty quick, the food is good for bar food. I enjoy this place more than any other sports bar in the area. The crowd is also always enjoying themselves. I like coming here and don't mind driving the few minutes extra than the other sports bar near me. Nice job Blu!

4. Brookside Bistro

26 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 616-0606

What they are saying: This bistro is a gem! We were here on a Sunday and did the small plates menu with wine pairing. I cannot say enough about the delicious 5 course plates and accompanying wine. We will be back as often as possible! Service was exceptional! Thank you, Wendy and chef-husband for a great meal (and experience).

5. Precious Chinese Cuisine

72 Paterson Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 616-0166

What they are saying: My friend lives in Riverdale so when we order Chinese we always order from here. This was the first time I actually called them and ordered pick up strictly for myself. The woman was so nice!! Food is always really good! Will definitely return!!!

6. Flamming Grill & Supreme Buffet

92 Rt 23 N Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (862) 377-0598

What they are saying: Great buffet with plenty of options to satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Flaming grill has literally every buffet type option I've experienced at other buffets in my day but tops them all in my opinion with their hibachi station.All the food is hot and fresh and constantly being refreshed. I sampled a little bit of everything including their delicious hibachi bar and self serve ice cream with about 8 different options. The hibachi station allows you to customize your dish to your liking and has plenty of options from beef to chicken to shrimp. I wish I took a picture of station because its pretty impressive. They have a huge selection of desserts which is always nice to finish off your meal.The waitresses here are really nice and very quick with cleaning up your table so you aren't left with a million empty dirty plates taking up valuable room. The prices are reasonable especially for what they offer here. I will definitely be back!

7. Italian Table Trattoria/Pizza

92 Rt 23 N Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 248-9900

What they are saying: Best Italian food so far in our area. Their spiedini and spaghetti and meatballs meal are amazing! They also have prompt and polite service, too! Also, their prices are comparable to the other Italian restaurants in the area.

8. Chili's

58 Rte 23 N Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 616-0382

What they are saying: My usual spot I come for lunch. Super convenient with the new tablet system that allows fast service. I like that they have a rewards membership that you can sign up and ear points towards free items. I usually get the lunch specials and pick the house salad and the chicken bacon ranch quesadillas with fries that are really good and at a good price. Everything comes out super quick and is really fresh. I love their chips and salsa as well as their guacamole as well. Being able to pay on the tablet eliminates having to chase down the waitress for your check and makes leaving to get back to work on time a much easier obstacle.

9. Black Bull Steakhouse & Seafood

88 Newark Pompton Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 831-2825

What they are saying: We will be back. Not only was the meat eater of the family happy the vegetarian was pleasantly surprised !!!! I'm so happy we found a place that we both could enjoy.

10. Riverdale Luncheonette

45 Hamburg Tpke Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone number: (973) 831-0836

What they are saying: I have a serious predisposition to love places like this. It's the sort of old-school lunch counter that's become increasingly rare these days. At the Riverdale Luncheonette, expect to find a great price on a simple meal served with a smile. I sat at the counter and ordered one of the specials, a grilled chicken sandwich that came with macaroni salad. It was served fresh off the griddle on a fresh crusty half sub. The macaroni salad was of the vinegar variety, sprinkled generously with pepper. Service was super friendly and the decor was simple and clean. This will definitely be one of my go-to lunch spots in the area, they have a good variety of food and it's not all fried garbage so I can feel mildly healthy. Breakfast and lunch only, and I'm pretty sure it's cash only. A great neighborhood place!

Is there a restaurant missing from Yelps! top 10? Please leave a comment.

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More from Tri-Boro

Morris County's $533M Lotto Winner Revealed

The winner is a man from Michigan brought to New Jersey for work. RIVERDALE, NJ — Two weeks after a single ticket won the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot, the winner's identity has been revealed: Richard Wahl from Vernon, New Jersey. The Wahl family has opted for the cash option, meaning they will take home $175 million after taxes.The winning ticket was sold at the Lukoil South gas station on Route 23 in Riverdale on March 30. Although the owner said last week that Wahl was a regular customer, Wahl disputed that cha...

The winner is a man from Michigan brought to New Jersey for work.

RIVERDALE, NJ — Two weeks after a single ticket won the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot, the winner's identity has been revealed: Richard Wahl from Vernon, New Jersey. The Wahl family has opted for the cash option, meaning they will take home $175 million after taxes.

The winning ticket was sold at the Lukoil South gas station on Route 23 in Riverdale on March 30. Although the owner said last week that Wahl was a regular customer, Wahl disputed that characterization, saying, "I've been in there maybe four or five times."

Wahl, 47, who is originally from Michigan, played the lottery after chatting with a coworker about retirement. It was only the second time he had ever played Mega Millions, he said.

"Baby, we get to go on vacation," Wahl said, recounting how he told his wife they won the jackpot, tearing up as he spoke. He declined to say where they were headed, but that they were flying out tonight.

"We believe God has a plan, so for us the plan is to do a lot of good things with it," Wahl said, saying he wants to use the money to change the lives of his family, friends, and those in need.

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Wahl said the family would not "go out and party it up," and would rely on financial advisors to make the most of their winnings. He declined to speak further about how specifically he would use the money for his family, but did say he looks forward to helping his retired mother and has always dreamed of rebuilding a 1960s Corvette.

He said the family is looking forward to contributing to communities in Mexico, where his wife is from.

A manager at AAK Foodservice, Wahl said he's helping the company find a replacement before retiring.

The winning numbers were 11, 28, 31, 46 and 59, and the gold Mega Ball was 1. Wahl said he used easy pick numbers when he bought the ticket, calling it proof that it was "God's plan."

It’s not unusual for winners of particularly large jackpots to wait several days, if not weeks, before stepping forward. Winners usually consult legal and financial professionals before claiming their life-changing winnings.

Wahl took home the 4th largest Mega Millions lottery jackpot in history, and the largest in New Jersey history.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

New Jersey Lottery Acting Executive Director John M. White, left, pictured with winner Richard Wahl. Image via New Jersey Lottery Commission.

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