The Sentinel in New Jersey reports that the town of South River celebrated the grand opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts store Feb. 12, describing it as a landmark occasion in the borough.
The Dunkin’ Donuts is not only the first South River location for the franchise, it is also the first restaurant with a national presence that has chosen to set up shop in the borough. Officials expressed hope that the new operation, located at the corner of Thomas and Main streets, would draw more local residents to the downtown area.
“Whenever a new business opens in the borough, it is good news,” Mayor Ray Eppinger said. “The owners did a great job renovating this location and it really looks good. Everyone hopes that this store does well and helps the neighboring businesses too by increasing foot traffic in the area.”
The Dunkin’ Donuts is located on a site that previously housed an insurance agency, pharmacy and bank. The building there had long been vacant.
Councilman John Krenzel said that, when campaigning last year, he and Councilman John Trzeciak were repeatedly asked when the Dunkin’ Donuts was opening.
“It has finally opened and South River is all the better for it,” Krenzel said. “The store is a clean and bright addition to the downtown area.”
Krenzel said he hopes the shop will serve as an anchor, helping to bring visitors to other downtown stores.
Both he and Eppinger attended the grand-opening ceremony, along with franchisee Igor Zak, who will operate the store, according to a press release from communications firm RF Binder, on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts.
“As a small business owner with many years of experience with Dunkin’ Donuts, I am excited to bring my passion and enthusiasm to South River,” Zak said. “I see this store as an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate South River, and we’re confident that our presence here will drive more traffic to the other businesses in the area as well.”
Eppinger said he was honored to be able to cut the ribbon.
“It is nice to know that this property is being revitalized without the use of eminent domain,” he said.