Patsy’s, a NYC landmark restaurant and eatery of choice for many celebrities, is opening a pop-up restaurant in the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park.
Mayor John Moor, who was involved in the original planning for the project, said, “I’m thrilled. With everybody working together it came together so quickly.”
Moor said it all began with a Zoom call in November and resulted in an iconic NYC restaurant opening in the city in just under three months.
“I was supportive and everybody pulled it off in such a small time frame,” he said.
John Fudge, whose father Vinnie owned Jay David’s, a popular men’s clothing store on Cookman Avenue for 48 years, was instrumental in helping Patsy’s owner Sal Scognamillo with the project. When Scognamillo reached out to Fudge saying he wanted to open a franchise and showed an interest in Asbury Park, Fudge was ready to help.
Fudge then reached out to Al and Carolyn Manzo, of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” who now manage food and beverage service at the Berkeley Carteret to propose the idea of the pop up.
“He loved it,” Fudge said.
Scognamillo is very excited about the adventure.
“We’re very blessed, we have good people helping us,” he said.
Patsy’s is located at 236 W 56th Street in the heart of the theater district and with Broadway closed for almost a year now, his business has suffered.
He said his wife told him they have to think outside the box and she felt that Asbury Park, with its diversity, is similar to New York City.
“It just felt right, we are going to try our best,” Scognamillo said.
His father Pasquale, the real “Patsy” now lives in Neptune so Scognamillo is familiar with the area.
Scognamillo brought his kitchen crew and hired local wait staff, who are now being trained.
“They are a good crew, very friendly,” he said.
It will be a family affair with his son, Joseph, supervising and his wife, Lisa, hostessing
“That’s how Italians are, we don’t trust anybody,” he said laughing.
The restaurant is a temporary project opening Feb. 5 through April and will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Sundays tickets will be sold for family style dining.
Since word got out, Fudge says reservations have been coming in with the first two weekends already booked.
Due to Covid-19 the restaurant will be limited to 100 people.
“We will be Covid compliant,” Fudge said.
There will be a separate entrance for the restaurant which will take patrons upstairs.
“It will be a full bar, it’s going to be great,” Fudge said.
There will be a complete menu of the same classic Italian specialties enjoyed by such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, Sylvester Stallone, Daniel Craig and Danny Aiello.
Mayor Moor said he is also excited because music industry producer Billy Terrell was on the original Zoom call and discussed bringing musical shows to the Paramount.
Moor sees this as an opening for other NYC restaurants and performers to head south to Asbury Park.
“It could lead to a plus, plus, plus for everybody,” he said.