We watched so many chain restaurants come and go in New Jersey. I have such fond memories of the Death by Chocolate Dessert at Bennigans, and the steak cut fries at Ground Round, the place where you could walk through a sea of peanut shells on the floor.

That’s why it’s great to see someone trying to revive Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale, two classic chains that serve classic food that have been sorely missing in NJ since closing shop.

Bennigan’s, which went bankrupt in 2008 is already open in Vineland, but Long Branch native Paul M. Mangiamele, of Legendary Restaurant Brands, is doing his best to bring the chain back by opening several more locations in New Jersey. The article also states that Mangiamele also plans to revive another favorite chain, Steak and Ale, citing his fond memories of the restaurant throughout his life here in NJ.

Restaurant chains have had a rough go of it lately, with the current turning to locally-owned restaurants and those that cater to new culinary trends like the farm to table movement, or plant-based foods.

Just like most people, I am a fan of local businesses prospering here in the state, but I am also looking forward to the renaissance of these and other New Jersey restaurant chains—because there’s also nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite Familiar dish from a chain restaurant that you have come to know and love.

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