Rowan Boulevard’s newest big-name addition is drawing guests from more than just the vicinity of the university.
Originally planned for a summer 2016 unveiling, Chickie’s & Pete’s officially opened two weeks ago, bringing another taste of Philadelphia, as well as the first bar, to the growing downtown district. The crab house occupies part of the first floor of 220 Rowan Boulevard, down a short way from South Philly-favorite Tony Luke’s.
The Glassboro Chickie’s & Pete’s is the brand’s 15th restaurant in the country and fourth in New Jersey. The location also marks new ground for the chain: the first in a college town.
In a statement released last fall, CEO Pete Ciarrocchi said that coming to the borough “is a fantastic opportunity for us, not only because of Rowan University, but also because of the growing population in Glassboro and the surrounding area. Clearly, Glassboro is on the move and we want to be a part of it!”
Thus far, the bar in its corner spot downtown is proving to be appealing to both Rowan students and residents of nearby towns. Students living in the 220 or Rowan Boulevard Apartments, some just steps away, now have an immediate go-to.
“It’s so convenient,” said junior psychology major Alaina Giovanni. “It’s like the closest restaurant to my building other than Domino’s, which I don’t want to eat all the time.”
Added Ed Stillwagon, a resident of Glassboro: “We’ve needed an establishment like this for a long time, so it’s good to see a brand-name restaurant come here.
“There haven’t been many additions to this area as far as this type of venue for a long time,” Stillwagon, 62, said.
The 8,000 square foot restaurant offers everything typical of a Chickie’s & Pete’s – full bar, dining areas (seating up to 300 people), several TVs – but it also features a fire-pit area out front, creating a complementary environment for guests. And with its unique menu, the restaurant signals more variety on Rowan Boulevard.
“It was kind of a nice sports atmosphere. Good food, good vibe, so I think it will do well,” said Paul Proman, 53, of Edison. “I think for the kids and for the dads and moms that come down, it’s great that we have options to go out to eat.”
Options are what the restaurant’s Vice President of Operations Joe Carpinella highlighted at the chain’s opening in Glassboro. The restaurant became just the second sports-bar offering immediate to campus in addition to Landmark Americana.
To Carpinella, an increase in the number of places people will frequently dine will only continue to help the area.
“It’s great to have a bunch of businesses around. The more that you have around, the more attractions there are to bring people to the area, and it makes it better for everybody,” he said.
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