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Bridgewater Courier News
SOMERVILLE – Plans to build a steakhouse at the corner of Main and Bridge streets could be ready by the end of the year.
The borough council voted unanimously on Monday to extend the deadline for Oak Somerville LLC to reach a redevelopment agreement with the borough to build the three-story restaurant and food market.
Mayor Dennis Sullivan said that developer Jack Cust Jr. is in the final stages of technical review of the project and could be ready to submit plans by the end of the year.
Proposal calls for a three-story steakhouse and food hall at Main and Bridge streets in Somerville. (Photo: Mike Deak/Central Jersey Courier News)
More time is also needed for Cust and the borough to complete negotiations for the redevelopment agreement, according to the resolution which extends the deadline by 120 days.
Cust Jr., an All-American first baseman at Immaculata High School who later played with the Oakland A’s among other MLB teams, has purchased the property from Frank McAleavy which includes several businesses, including a luncheonette, print shop, hearing aid store, newsstand, vape shop and check cashing service.
Cust, a Bridgewater resident, said he wants to bring Oak, the steakhouse, to the site along with an adjacent food hall with spaces for up to 21 vendors.
The development would be like one in Easton, Pennsylvania where Oak has become part of that city’s downtown revitalization next to the Easton Public Market.
Oak is part of the Gusto Restaurant and Hospitality Group started by Mick Gjevukaj, who opened his first restaurant in New Providence at the age of 22. After starting three more restaurants in Central Jersey, he went to Easton and opened the River Grille in 2003, Ocean in 2006 and Oak in 2017. He also started SoGo Hibachi in Denville in 2018.
Though the plans are still in the conceptual stage, the steakhouse will be on three levels with the kitchen on the second story and bars on the second and third stories.
The second story will be open, overlooking the food hall on the first floor along South Bridge Street.
The third story will offer rooftop dining with a retractable roof, “like a convertible,” Cust told the borough council last October.
The borough conditionally designated Oak Somerville as redeveloper in November 2019 and extended the 120-day deadline once before in March.
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Mike Deak is a reporter for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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