If you go to any city in America you can find an Applebee's, Chick-Fil-A, or any number of other chain restaurants. What's happening here in New Jersey may surprise some people, unless you're in the restaurant business.

We are blessed with many independent family-run restaurants, many with a long history, especially at the Jersey Shore.

Last week it was announced that famed chef David Burke has purchased the former Piero's Italian Restaurant and Banquet Hall in Union Beach. He is concentrating less on New York and more on New Jersey now.

Burke already operates six other eateries from Fort Lee to East Brunswick. Those are on the list with Burke restaurants in North Carolina, Colorado, New York and Saudi Arabia.

For a single operator or family restauranteur to buy or operate a restaurant is getting more and more unaffordable. Especially if you throw in the cost of a liquor license in most towns in New Jersey.

A Point Pleasant staple, Frankie's was recently purchased by Jack Baker's Chefs International. They now own about 16 restaurants in our state. Their properties include several in Point Pleasant Beach, and also Freehold, Belmar, Toms River, Sea Girt and Monroe. Many of them legendary eateries in their areas.

Whether or not this is a positive for the public or their employees is up for debate. It's a trend most people are unaware of. When an owner-operator or member of the family is on site and running things, they tend to be more accountable in most cases.

Will this corporate style of restaurant ownership be a positive thing in the long run? We sure hope so, because it's here and it's growing.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Brewpubs

From the website that gave you the "Friendliest bars" and places to watch the game, comes the ultimate guide to New Jersey brewpubs.

So what's a "brew pub"?

According to Thompson Island's Article on the differences between a craft brewery, microbrewery, brewpub & gastropub, it says:
 
"A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on-site in combination with significant food services. At a brewpub, the beer is primarily brewed for sale inside the restaurant or bar. Where it's legally allowed, brewpubs may sell beer to go or distribute it to some offsite destinations."

New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that have just opened in the past year.

Here is a full list of the 21 brewpubs in New Jersey according to New Jersey Craft Beer: