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First Quaker Steak in NJ Approved for Brick Plaza

Chevy's to be converted into motorsports-themed wing establishment

Brick Plaza patrons will soon have a new eatery to dine in, complete with retro decor, classic cars and a menu that specializes in Buffalo wings.

The Brick Township Planning Board unanimously approved an application to convert the restaurant at 1036 Cedar Bridge Road to a Quaker Steak & Lube establishment at a Wednesday night. 

Once complete, Brick Plaza will be home to the first Quaker Steak & Lube in New Jersey.

A representative of Doherty Enterprises, which operates the existing Chevy's and will manage the Quaker Steak, explained that the restaurant offers casual dining for the whole family. While the menu is American fare, the business' specialty is Buffalo wings, said Timothy Doherty, vice president of development.

The "family-based" chain will feature a 1950s decor that evokes the classic American muscle car era, Doherty said, while incorporating a general motorsports theme. In fact, Quaker Steak will feature a race car on a lift near the front of the restaurant.

"It's very inviting, very welcoming," testified Kathy Diamond, who heads the firm that designed the Quaker Steak chain. "The environment really grabs you in."

Doherty noted the bankruptcy filing of Chevy's parent company in explaining the need to find a better use of the existing restaurant.

"We've been struggling, unfortunately, with the Chevy's in Brick," he said.

However, the Brick Plaza location is ideal. "We'd like to continue to invest in the community," Doherty said.

Robert Freud, the project's planner, said the Quaker Steak will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday. The applicant proposes to double the restaurant's workforce to 200 employees, 25 of which will be on shift at one time. 

Design Changes

In their application, the project's planner and engineer sought a modest expansion (7,080 square feet to 8,148 square feet) of the existing building alongside aesthetic improvements. Variances were sought in several areas, most notably signage.

"There's minor, minimal site improvements proposed," Freud said.

However, some board members did not think the proposed signage was necessarily minor.

"I have an issue with the number of signs," Chairman Joseph Marra said. "I would like to see (them) reduced."

Five wall signs currently exist at Chevy's; 15 were proposed. Marra noted that most applications that win board approval feature two to three wall placards.

After debate on the necessity of the signs, which Diamond, the designer, said are standard for Quaker Steak, Freud and his fellow representatives agreed to eliminate a sign, enlarge one and relocate another.

Freud's proposal did not initially include bike racks, as he "didn't think it was necessary and appropriate." But the Quaker Steak team agreed to add two racks, at Councilman Dan Toth's suggestion.

"As we're trying to be more green, it would be nice," Toth said. "I think it would fit."

Additionally, the Quaker Steak representatives agreed to work with township Planner Michael Fowler to change a proposed ground sign from one on pylons to a monument sign, after the board expressed its displeasure with pylon signs.

The conversion from Chevy's to Quaker Steak is expected to cost about $1.5 million, Doherty said.

Bob December 01, 2011 at 09:41 AM
Pass the menus!
clamdigger December 01, 2011 at 10:46 AM
since they're going '50's retro, will the waitresses be wearing Poodle skirts and saddle shoes?
Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 02:12 PM
We are lucky this site is not going to go vacant. Why would the number of signs bother anyone except for existing business owners who were denied signage. This area is not close to any homes, so who is going to complain? What the township should be more concerned about is the landscaping in this plaza and other local shopping centers. The placing of the greenery creates a real hazard when pulling out of some lots. – This is a code violation on Brick streets, but apparently not in parking lots. Brick, please do something to make visibility better. The vegetation placement is bad by Staples also. Why did engineering and zoning ever approve this? -- And the township is worried about signs. I'm worried about someone crashing into me everytime I patronize these businesses.
Joseph Woolston Brick December 01, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Have you seen their menu? http://www.thelube.com/food/menus/the_lube_core_2011.pdf if the food looks like it does on the menu, we in Brick are going to have a great place to go to. The prices are seem fair as well. Can't wait for it to open!
Melissa Thomson December 01, 2011 at 03:32 PM
I've been to one in PA and it was really a fun place to eat. Especially for racing fans!
Jill Magnusson December 01, 2011 at 03:43 PM
when will Chevy's be closing need to have fajitas before they close
tuna stick December 01, 2011 at 04:17 PM
absolutely! They're even making sure they were all born in the 50's too. Just to be authentic.
Billabong December 01, 2011 at 05:34 PM
and don't forget the grande margarita.
Noelle Mador December 01, 2011 at 07:22 PM
I am going to miss Chevy's.
TR for life December 01, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Such a horrible decision. Perfect for Bricktucky! Also, what happened to Friendlys?
AJ December 01, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Friendlys and Chevys filled for bankrupcy.When are they building the White Castle.It was going where the old poor boys subs was.
Joseph Woolston Brick December 02, 2011 at 04:28 AM
How the hell can you put it down without even having step foot in the place? It's a theme restaurant 50's style what's wrong with that?
Concerned Brick Citizen December 02, 2011 at 01:44 PM
AJ I think the White Castle didn't pass zoning. The lot was non-conforming for the use. It was determined that it would become a traffic hazard due to the proposed drive through... or the owner did have the right people connections.
DeepSigh December 02, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Hey Doherty, if you want to invest in Brick some more, make sure you use local contractors to rennovate. That being said, glad it won't become another tomb of the times. (Or another duplicate of the usual worn out choices.)
AJ December 02, 2011 at 06:25 PM
What a waste of a great historic building to tear down the Red Lion Inn,and put a drug store across the street from another.I know thats the way the big corps.do buisness.I mean even a WaWa with a gas station would be better.Just hate to see other family buisness go away.I lived in this town over fifty five years some places just remind me of the "good" old days.
Barney F December 06, 2011 at 02:28 PM
My mouth is watering! Give me some of those wings please. Just ashamed that Officer Byers was caught with a male prostitute in the parking lot of the old Chevy's. Well, when they revamp the place, maybe it will take some of that negativity with it. See you all in line a Quaker Steak soon!
. January 21, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Went to Chevy's today for lunch. Our group of 7 were the only ones in there. The place is dirty, the seats in the booths are all ripped and the food was terrible. They didn't have enough cups for all of us to have coffee. It should have closed already.
Johnny 99 February 05, 2012 at 05:46 PM
A minor point, but how out of touch with his town is a councilman who thinks that it's important to have bike racks at this location? Does he honestly think that anyone is stupid enough to ride their bicycle on the streets in this town, let alone to a location that is steps away from two of the most dangerous intersections in Brick. I would no sooner ride a bicycle on Rt. 70, Brick Blvd., or Cedar Bridge Rd. than I would jog through the Laurelton interchange at rush hour with my eyes closed. Sheesh!
Sean Conneamhe February 05, 2012 at 05:54 PM
"The bicycle racks are for the kitchen employees' bicycles." "Many adults have no cars and walk or bicycle to work." "Yes, it is dangerous." "Be thankful."
janet anderson February 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM
We are going to miss Chevy's ALOT !!! Our family moved to N. Toms River 10 yrs ago and we have loads of memories @ Chevy's. That was our go to place always. We went after 10pm for 1/2 price apps, that were always so delicious. The 1/2 price margaritas were awesome and my daughter had her bday party there.. so FuN !!!! The Anderson Clan will miss you Chevy's... we will always remember you... sigh ;-(
Book Diva Su March 09, 2012 at 04:16 AM
We'll treasure our birthday sombreros always!

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