2013-04-10 / Front Page

Jersey Freeze could give way to Houlihan’s

Latest proposal calls for new restaurant and bank, demolition of ice cream stand
BY CLARE MARIE CELANO
Staff Writer

An application that proposes the construction of a Houlihan’s restaurant on the property where Jersey Freeze has sat for 60 years has been filed in Freehold Borough.

A hearing date for the application has not been set by the Freehold Borough Land Use Board.

In recent years the Jersey Freeze property at Route 9 and Manalapan Avenue has been the subject of applications proposing an Olive Garden restaurant and a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. Neither plan came to fruition.

If the Houlihan’s is approved and built, it will signal the end of Jersey Freeze at the location where the ice cream stand and restaurant has been a landmark for six decades.

Part of the Jersey Freeze property is in Freehold Borough and part of the property is in Freehold Township. The Jersey Freeze restaurant sits completely in Freehold Township.

The area on the property where the Houlihan’s is proposed is an R-5 residential zone in Freehold Borough. A use variance would have to be granted by the board in order for the applicant to build the restaurant in that location.

According to Borough Administrator Joseph Bellina, the application for Houlihan’s calls for the demolition of Jersey Freeze.

Houlihan’s is proposed to sit completely in Freehold Borough, and according to Bellina, it must be completely in the borough because a liquor license that is held by the owner of Jersey Freeze was issued by Freehold Borough. The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control requires that the restaurant be located in the town where the liquor license is issued.

Plans call for a 7,900-square-foot Houlihan’s with 295 inside seats and 108 outdoor patio seats. Plans also include a 4,000-squarefoot bank on property that is in Freehold Township. A separate application for the bank would be heard by the Freehold Township Planning Board.

According to Bellina, the size of the restaurant being proposed in Freehold Borough would require 116 parking spaces. The applicant is providing 47 parking spaces in Freehold Borough and needs a waiver for that aspect of the plan.

The balance of the parking spaces that are needed to make the plan work would be on the Freehold Township portion of the property, Bellina said.

“Freehold Borough needs to be satisfied that the remaining (70) parking spaces will be available in Freehold Township,” he said, adding that the project may also have sewer issues. “This will all be part of the review process.”

Jersey Freeze owner Bruce Blackmore said, “There are preliminary discussions to put a Houlihan’s on the back of the property of Jersey Freeze. We are hoping to have additional information in the coming weeks. Jersey Freeze is looking forward to its 61st summer of great ice cream.” Contact Clare Marie Celano at ccelano@gmnews.com.

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