Hills Buy Miele’s For New Restaurant

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Miele’s Italian Restaurant served its last meal on December 24. But the stoves at the eatery, which had anchored the western end of Bloomfield Avenue since 1954, won’t be cold for long: Jimmy Hill and his son Brian have bought the place and will be opening their own family-friendly restaurant there soon. The senior Hill has had a hand in several Verona businesses in the last 40 years, including the Fred Hill Sports Academy, O’Neill’s Bar, Lakeside Deli and Eight Hills Caterers, a name chosen to reflect the eight members of the original Hill clan.

Family will be more obvious in the name of the new place, which will be called Jimmy’s Family Kitchen. “It is meant to honor my father,” says Brian Hill, who is giving up a nearly 10-year career in medical device sales for the restaurant business. “He does a lot for a lot of people.” But there’s also a nod to the wider Hill family in the restaurant’s logo, which says “Est. 2024,” with the last two digits in a signature red. Twenty-four was the jersey number of family patriarch Fred Hill, the legendary Rutgers baseball coach who passed away in 2019.

Brian Hill, a 2011 graduate of Verona High School, hopes that Jimmy’s Family Kitchen will also be seen as the Hill family giving back to Verona. “This town has done so much for our family.” His grandmother, Evelyn, worked in Town Hall for many years; his aunt Nancy Apisa was a first-grade teacher at Laning Avenue School; his aunt Tracey Hill owns the spirit wear business Academy Apparel; and aunt Karen Jandoli owns the Dekko & Co. salon. (Uncle Fred Hill runs the Team Hill Foundation, which is not based in town and provides leadership and sports training to at-risk youth.)

The Hills bought Miele’s from Steve Amadeo, whose late parents, Jerry and Joann, bought it from the founders in 1974. Jimmy Hill says he had a conversation about the restaurant’s future with Steve Amadeo a few years back, a conversation that re-opened this past summer. “It wasn’t a long discussion,” says Hill, who isn’t disclosing the terms of the deal. “We met where we met,” he says simply.

Jimmy’s Family Kitchen will open quickly because Amadeo had remodeled the space early last year and the Hills have offered jobs to all of Miele’s staff. They will be adding more, including the former pastry chef of Ariane Kitchen & Bar. “We will bake all our own bread in-house every day,” Brian Hill says. The plan is to serve dinner and day-time parties in the 70-seat restaurant from Wednesday to Monday. The restaurant has a liquor license, but the Hills say the bar will be a complement to the food and not a late-night destination.

The menu for Jimmy’s Family Kitchen isn’t yet set in stone (or posted online), but it will include Miele’s favorites like Chicken Savoy and Shrimp Beeps, as well as Hill family touches. “We’re going to do a great meatball,” says Brian Hill with a laugh, a nod to an infamous family meatball competition in 2020. The younger Hill, whose plans to go to cooking school in Italy that year were scuttled by the pandemic, is also promising lasagna, French onion soup, classic salads and a kids menu with sliders. What else is offered will depend on what the Hills hear from their customers. “We want them to give us feedback,” says Brian. Adds his father: “There will be fewer items, but the freshest and highest quality in everything.”

Brian Hill is looking forward to the feedback and to the work that lies ahead. He’s not a starry-eyed restaurant novice, having worked under his father most weekends and summers. “It’s going to be the hardest, but the easiest thing I’ve ever done.”

Jimmy’s Family Kitchen
125 Bloomfield Avenue
Verona
Dinner: Wednesday to Monday
Daytime: Parties and events only

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news! What a wonderful development for Verona. So glad to see the Hills proliferating. Can hardly wait to try it out on my next visit.

  2. I’m filled with Delight! I grew up going to Mieles and now this feels like the perfect transition for 2024!

  3. I grew up in Verona, and know most of the wonderful Hill children. Congratulations on this new and exciting endeavor. I wish you all the best and happiness for years to come.

  4. I also grew up in Verona and experienced the excellent pizza, and meatball sandwiches. it was a hangout for guys who would meet after a date. One evening me and two friends sat down and as we looked to our left there sat Connie Francis. Miele’s was well know in Essex County for their food with many celebrities patronizing the establishment. Many, many very fond memories still fill my mind of Meile’s.

    John Carroll
    Class of 1963

  5. Congrats to the Hill family, great news can’t wait for them to open! Love Verona been here 26 years seeing great things happening. Live in area could smell Meile’s good food cooking. PS good luck that’s we need in town not traffic!

  6. Had many great meals, times at Miele’s. Although I have been out of the area for many years I will return for a visit and will look forward to trying out Jimmys. Congratulations and good luck.

  7. Great to hear Mieles will be taken over by the Hill family. I remember the wonderful aromas while being in the vicinity of the restaurant. My mom loved their pizza. Good luck with your endeavors.so many wonderful childhood memories of Verona. Im so grateful I grew up there.
    Dawn Peterson
    Class of 1978

  8. I was born in Verona in 1950, graduated Verona High School in 1968, captained the Football, basketball and golf team. My wife Dorothy from Caldwell. We meant at Mieles in 1979. We returned to Annin Lofts in 2019. Mieles is and was always special. We look forward to the Hills success. Hey Jimmy Hill, your roommate at Montclair State, Jim Apostolico is close friend. He will join me for a night there.

    Kerry and Dorothy

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