At the grand opening of the Turning Point in Ocean Township were Kelly Coughlan, general manager; Angela Jovinelly, events director; Kirk Rouff, founder an CEO; Mayor John Napolitani; Kerri Dwyer, district manager and Matt Alkon, facility director and Bonnie Iavaroni, COO.
By ED SALVAS
The newest restaurant in the growing Turning Point group is open in Ocean Township. The restaurant is also the latest addition to the Ocean Commons at Route 35 and Deal Road.
Turning Point officially opened Jan. 29 following a soft opening for family and friends over the weekend. The restaurant’s theme is “breakfast, brunch and lunch” and according to CEO and Founder Kirk Ruoff is designed to “let everyone else handle dinner and late night and to do the best job we can between 7:30 and 3 p.m.”
His plan has been working well since he opened the first Turning Point in Little Silver in 1998. The Ocean Township restaurant is the 26th location. The others are in New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and Florida. Ruoff said he started franchising the brand after the pandemic and there is now one franchise open, five more under contract and a dozen “in discussion.” He plans to keep the business in states east of the Mississippi.
The Ocean Turning Point has a dining room plus a private room for groups up to 50 people for parties, showers, bat and bar mitzvahs, and business meetings. There’s an outside patio for dining when the weather permits.
Ruoff started the business in Little Silver when he purchased a failing restaurant and decided to do just breakfast and lunch and found success. He says the menu is a traditional breakfast with some creative ideas. There are soups and sandwiches plus salads and desserts for lunch, and an extensive kids menu for both.
In addition to the new restaurant, the second floor of the building will house the Turning Point corporate office which is moving from Eatontown. There will also be a corporate training center and a test kitchen for trying out new products. Besides Ruoff, the executive office includes COO Bonnie Iavaroni and CFO Patrick Sharoo.
Among those attending the weekend opening was Ocean Township Mayor John Napolitani who praised the restaurant and said he wants to see more restaurants in town and says the Ocean Commons with its selection of restaurants, a new WAWA convenience store and gas station, a Residence by Marriott Hotel under construction and new condos is the “center of town.” He’s also working on a plan to beautify the section of Route 35 that runs through Ocean Township.