There’s a new chain restaurant opening in Brick on Chambers Bridge Road, but what sets it apart from all the other restaurants in the area? For starters, it looks like a garage and it has an actual used NASCAR racecar on the roof.
Quaker Steak & Lube, known for its "best wings USA" signature sauce, will open its doors to the public Oct. 10. Its location will be the former Chevy's Fresh Mex site in Brick Plaza.
The restaurant will feature over 20 wing sauces, burgers, steaks, pastas and salads. The wings are a big part of the appeal, but the restaurant prides itself on becoming a part of the community, General Manager Samuel Tecchio said.
“When you come into the restaurant, you’re coming into an experience. We want this to be a place where everybody knows who you are,” Tecchio said.
In the center of the main dining room, known as Thunder Alley, a lift has been placed with a fully functional 1928 Bucket-T Convertible on it. The car is owned by Dennis Bohanan of Old Bridge, but locals may have the chance to show off their own hot ride in the restaurant at some point.
“About three or four times a year, we are going to change the car that is on the lift in Thunder Alley with another classic muscle car. We want to create a neighborhood feel, where you can come in and tell people ‘Yes, that is my car on the lift this month.’” Tecchio said. “We have been going out to classic car shows and advertising to enthusiasts that they can show off their car in a safe location right here in our dining room.”
Along with the Bucket-T, Quaker Steak also features a fully functional spinning Harley Davidson above the entrance, an upside-down 1984 Corvette in the side café, as well as a 2012 Chevy Camaro RS on the lift above the outside dining area.
“The Harley was put on display by Harley Davidson of Ocean County, and is for sale. The Camaro out front was put on display by Pine Belt Chevy and is also for sale,” Tecchio said.
As one looks around the restaurant, one can feel the embodiment of garages all across the nation: parts of racecars grace one wall, a map of the United States made out of license plates from each state make up another.
Quaker Steak is something New Jersey has not seen before. The Brick location will be the Garden State's first.
“We are very excited to be here after seeing the appeal this restaurant has out in Ohio and Pennsylvania,” Tecchio said.
According to Tecchio, Quaker Steak & Lube has its "Best Wings USA" in the title of the restaurant after winning the title in 1988.
“We took home 'Best Overall Wings USA' in 1988 without traditional ‘Golden Garlic’ at the National Chicken Out in Cleveland, Ohio,” he said.
The restaurant has a fun, laid-back atmosphere, from the bright colors and toolbox-style host stand, to the 40 televisions hanging in the restaurant. The TVs are on spindles, so no matter where a customer sits in the restaurant he or she will have a view of one.
“We like to have fun and want to share that with our guests. They get curly straws with their drinks, a Twizzler and a “wing wag” (a hot towel) when they leave.”
One feature Quaker Steak has, that no other restaurant in the area has, is an outdoor bar.
“We have an outside seating area, along with a full bar that is an awesome feature for Brick because no one else has it,” Tecchio said.
Quaker Steak created the position Marketing Activities Coordinator for Tonia Porter for one reason: community involvement.
“For our very first VIP night, we will be collecting donations for the Ashley Lauren Foundation, a charity collecting money for families who have young children that are diagnosed with pediatric cancer,” Porter said.
Along with the VIP night, details are being finalized for fundraiser nights, where organizations can come in for a night of dining and have a portion of the proceeds donated.
“We will be discussing the final details of the fundraiser program next week,” Porter said.
Kitchen Manager TJ Heline said he is excited to start cooking and serving the menu items.
“We use fresh wings, never frozen. We have a refrigerator designated for just wings kept near the fryer so wings can be cooked right away,” Heline said.
The restaurant has started to incorporate healthy food options for diners who are watching what they eat.
“We have nice big steak burgers, and we can substitute out the beef for a piece of grilled chicken if the guest wants,” Heline said.
Quaker Steak will have daily specials on food and drinks, including a weekday happy hour, as well as football specials on Sundays and “Rutgers Saturdays” with giveaways.