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Verona Inn Opens


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Whether you’re a first- or third-generation Verona resident, chances are you’ve either been to or heard of the Verona Inn. A landmark in town since 1947, and originally owned by Verona residents Al and Jean Sandin, it’s familiar to residents in Verona and the surrounding towns.

The Verona Inn of 2012 though is quite different from its predecessor. As John MacEvoy, one of the owners, says, “This is not your grandparent’s Verona Inn.”  The new Verona Inn, located at 624 Bloomfield Avenue and adorned with sleek black awnings and classy spotlights, resembles the original “V.I.” in name only.

A family- friendly restaurant and pub with both indoor and outdoor dining, the new Verona Inn has been designed to “keep residents dining in town,” says MacEvoy. The space is bright and contemporary in decoration, with booths, high-top tables, a bar and an outdoor patio, which is currently open. There are large flat-screen televisions behind the bar and throughout the restaurant for convenient game viewing. If you’re feeling nostalgic and looking for a little “V.I.” history, a collection of photos from the 1950s lines the walls in the bar area.

The menu is moderately priced and has quite a variety of foods. Salads are priced from $8 to $11, specialty dishes from $14 to $16, and burgers from $8 to $10. The original Verona Inn was known for its burgers, and the new Verona Inn is no exception. Some burgers you will find on the menu are: the Killington (caramelized onion and cheddar), the Colorado (ham, barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese and onion rings), and the Eden (a veggie burger with guacamole and pico de gallo). The kids menu items are all priced at $7 and include macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, cheeseburger sliders and grilled American cheese. For those of you who have kids with food allergies, the kitchen does not use peanut oil for frying and the kitchen staff and servers will do their best to accommodate allergies where possible.

In addition to the list of burgers, there is a list of beers that deserves to be mentioned: There are 40 different beers on tap, 20 of which are craft beers.  All draft beers are pints and range in price from $4 to $6. The beers hail from Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, just to name a few. They will be updated according to season and special brews available, but here are some of the ones you will find at opening time: Flying fish, Yards, Dogfish Head, Negra Modelo and Brooklyn Blast. In addition to the specialty beers, there are also the familiar beers of Blue Moon, Yuengling, Coors Light and Guinness. If you’re not a beer drinker, have no fear. The wine and mixed drink list are extensive and include items such as the Verona 101, Chocolate Truffle, and a Berry Bojito.

When the original Verona Inn closed due to a septic problem, MacEvoy says it was like “fun interrupted”.  Moving the name, which he owned, to a new location just made sense.  The new Verona Inn was created by combining space once occupied by two businesses, Verona Camera and Sonny’s on the Avenue. For MacEvoy, bringing back the Verona Inn “was like getting the power turned back on and you realize all the things you missed.”

The owners are hoping for a lot of foot traffic from locals and for the new Verona Inn to be the place to go for sports team dinners and small group events.  The Verona Inn is open, including the outdoor patio, and ready for business. Doors open 4:00 p.m. daily except for Saturday and Sunday when they will open at 12:00 p.m. for lunch. You can follow the Verona Inn on Facebook here. The new Verona Inn page on Facebook is here.

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  1. I’m so excited about this! That Killington Burger and one of the 40 beers sound just about right for tonight’s dinner!

  2. Thrilled to hear that they are sensitive to food allergies for kids (and hopefully adults as well). I am always looking for LOCAL places that are willing to work with me and my multitude of food allergies!

  3. Would love a phone number, we’ve been trying 239-3455 for the past hour from their not-really-official Facebook page, and it just rings. Would love to check this place out the minute they open their doors!

  4. Mark, there is a website, but as of the posting of this story, it was still under construction. I understand the full menu will be on there, but as of yesterday the specials for each week and other information were on the Facebook page. That link is in the story.

  5. It’s in the works. And MyVeronaNJ.com is going to be rolling out an easy way for all Verona businesses to have a Web site very soon. We’re going to be helping restaurants, stores and professional offices, as well as home-based businesses, artists, entertainers and contractors. And if you live in Verona, but have a business elsewhere, it will help you too. Stay tuned for details…

  6. the draft beers are 14 oz.,not pints as said in the article. the only pints are guinness. the bartender told me this.

  7. We wnet last night for the first time. FYI, I have never used this before to write a note but the cocktails were so poorly poured it was an insult to a ‘good bar”

  8. We had dinner there last Thursday. Best cheeseburger I have had in ages (sorry, Smashburger) and killer onion rings. The kids, who are major foodies, tested another burger and the fish tacos and loved them. The service was prompt and attentive. I can’t speak for the bar, but I had an interesting wheat beer that was almost like a Belgian Hoegaarden in taste. We will definitely be back.

  9. I started to applaud when I read that “for those of you who have kids with food allergies, the kitchen does not use peanut oil for frying and the kitchen staff and servers will do their best to accommodate allergies where possible.” While this is great, if you or your kid DOES have a peanut allergy I would not consider this restaurant a safe choice for you. Under the kids menu is a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich option. For those who have a severe allergy to peanuts, eating next to someone who is eating this or having the chef touch the peanut butter and then prepare my child’s grilled cheese sandwich could have deadly consequences. I am not mad – people should have the right to run their restaurants the way they want but I do beleive a stronger education on food allergies would benefit the owners of The Verona Inn. If you are going to take the effort to point out that you do not fry in peanut oil but then serve a peanut sandwhich, it just does not make sense.

  10. Jennifer – I can’t say that I would eat there again with my children either. There didn’t seem to be any knowledge or great concern regarding food allergies by the wait staff that served us. I would have preferred that the chef speak to us directly too if they were unsure about something, but that didn’t happen either. I’ll reserve the VI for adult night out only!


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