After a month of DMs back and forth, I finally got the opportunity to stop by the shuttered Charlie Brown’s Saturday and talk with the new tenants.
I showed up to Charlie Browns location on the corner of Hooper Avenue, at 11 Kettle Creek Road in the Silverton section of Toms River, mid afternoon Saturday. The front doors were open and inside were the people I was scheduled to meet with. A fabulous couple, Ed and Susan Koznowicz from North Dover. Ed and I had been chatting for about a month prior, as I have been itching to get more info on what is to become of the former chain steakhouse in my neighborhood of 20 years. What I saw was a lot of dust and construction to the inside of the building that in no way resembled the former place. The couple was hard at work when I arrived, but graciously stopped and took time out of their busy day to sit down in a back room with me and discuss some of their plans for the future.
It started with service and a dog.
Susan gave most of the info, speaking passionately about the couple’s vision for the new restaurant. She let me know her idea for the forthcoming name, Roxy’s Bar and Grille came from their beloved black and white Pit Bull Terrier, Roxy. Upon seeing a photo of Roxy and an artist’s mock up of the new logo, I can tell you both are in their own ways, works of art! Susan told me her and Ed were seeing a hole in the local marketplace for a 7 day a week restaurant that catered to everyone. Young, old, families, singles. From folks who just want a beer and a burger, to pallets that crave fresh seafood, raw bar, homemade pastas, and even tomahawk steaks. Susan’s vision is for a restaurant with great service, and something for everyone’s taste. While the area has a number of great places to dine, the Koznowicz’s plan is to make Roxy’s the premiere venue for quality food at an affordable price in Silverton, and hopefully successfully serving not just our community, but all of Toms River and the area.
There’s a whole lot in store.
Susan, who has been in the food service industry for over 30 years as everything from a waitress to manager and more, feels besides lunch and dinner, there is a void that needs to be filled in town for a place with a decent sit down breakfast. So yup! The plan is for Roxy’s Bar and Grille to also serve breakfast! As time goes on, they plan to have a full service brunch on weekends, with things not seen in our little neck of the woods, such as a carving station and a build your own Bloody Mary bar. Furthermore, Roxy’s will offer signature cocktails all day, everyday. along with multiple taps of local, national, and international beers. She spoke of the need for a place children can be excited about the thought of going out to dinner with their parents. A place with stuff kids enjoy. With that, Susan told me their plans to make homemade fresh milkshakes, and have a build your own Sundae Bar as well. She even mentioned “adult boozy milkshakes” for us grown up kids! They will also be fencing off a section in the back for an outdoor patio. Great idea!
Moreover, additional items Susan discussed with me about the future plans for Roxy’s included a raw bar, small sushi station, live entertainment nightly, and other events to be revealed soon.
There is a lot of work still to be done.
As I said, when I arrived, the site was dusty and fully under construction. First off, the roof had to be completely replaced. The couple’s relatives, Lou and Cathy Esposito have a stake in Roxy’s and are a big help with the work that is going on. Ed told me he has learned so much from just “doing it”, from demo work on the old Charlie Browns booths and bar, to taking up the decades old flooring by hand, and pouring a new concrete floor. The plan is to open by June, but they will not open until their shared vision for Roxy’s is where they want it to be. A management team has been put in place the Koznowicz’s feel great about, and from their website invite to apply for jobs, Susan told me they have gotten over 300 responses! You can find out more at their website, https://www.roxysnj.com/
Roxy’s will be giving back to the community!
Finally, a couple of things. I didn’t take any inside pics at the couple’s request, with the promise that in a few weeks I will do a follow up with photos of how the restaurant is coming along. Next, one thing Susan told me, that we will delve into further in our follow up, was that she plans on giving back a lot to the local community. Specifically, donating 10 percent of sales to a school or town sport, or other local team or group that diners are passionate about. She feels all clubs, sports, and children activities should be fundraised for, not just the ones we usually see in front of a store, car wash, or on a flyer for a restaurant. Lastly, Ed and Susan are genuine people. Just spending a half hour with them I could tell their love for each other and for Roxy’s Bar and Grille. I don’t know about you, but I’m pumped for this place to open! More to come on Roxy’s soon!