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Jun 15, 2007 10:57 AM

Update on Ryland Inn (NJ)


The following article appeared about a week ago in the NJ Star-Ledger. Based on various sources whom I trust, the information is pretty accurate BUT does not discuss all the problems that came together to cause a 'perfect storm' for this restaurant.

  1. It is very difficult to believe that the restaurant will reopen. I am dissapointed that Mr. Shelton is trying so hard to hide the truth. Insurance problems? Structural Problems? None of these would cause you not to mow your grass or tend to your award wining garden. When I saw the new menu on his web site in January, I knew things were bad. One of the wines listed was Yellow Tail.

    1. I think this will be the next "Four Seasons...55 and up" development. No parents live in the Renasiance in Monroe. wooo hooo

      :) Hope I made everyone happy!!!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Angelina

        Yes, I believe I heard the restaurant is being turned into the clubhouse :-)

        1. re: sivyaleah

          ha ha ...thank you....sivyaleah....I only think of you as "Ms. Westfield" because you are so on the money with places by you!! ha ha...maybe you should move by me, RGR, seal, bgut1.......just a thought!!!


          1. re: Angelina

            Thanks :-)

            Well, with the flooding problems, they could put a pool in too...

            I'm glad I saw this before they pull our posts for going off-topic.

            1. re: sivyaleah

              Well, our very own Angie and Sivy Comedy Show. LOL

              Craig Shelton had put the Ryland Inn up for sale. I think that was a couple of years ago and I doubt he had developers in mind. Obviously, nothing came of it. I've never been a fan. We went there a couple of times for special occasions, but the food never wowed me. Before the closure, my husand and I had discussed trying the bistro menu. Looks as though that's not going to happen....

              1. re: RGR

                Hey, RGR, are you sure that the Inn itself was put up for sale? A couple of years ago, some land right next to the Inn was definitely for sale and this sparked all kinds of rumors that the Inn itself was being sold. As I recall, the land was sold and developed. Even now, there is a separate parcel of land nearby that is for sale.

                Since my original post, there has been some activity on the property. The grass has been cut and today there were a couple of guys "whacking weeds" and tidying things up. I believe the restaurant will reopen but it will be completely different from The Ryland Inn of old. Whether Craig Shelton is still involved remains a mystery.

                1. re: ambrose

                  Hey, ambrose,

                  Yes, I'm positive that Shelton put the restaurant up for sale some time ago. Obviously, nothing ever came of it. Afaik, he is still the owner.

      2. Interesting note in last week's Hunterdon Democrat that the Township of Readington has renewed the liquor license for The Ryland Inn. Well, whatever form the new restaurant takes, it will apparently have the same name and will serve booze, even if it's only Miller Lite and Yellow Tail!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ambrose

          Thanks for keeping us updated, ambrose. I was not a fan based on what I found to be disappointing cuisine the few times we had dinner there, which was years ago. I had been considering giving the bistro side a try before the recent closure. It will be interesting to see if it re-opens just as it was, or if Craig Shelton decides to go entirely down the bistro route.

        2. $$$ Money is probably at the root of Rylands problems.........the land, the taxes, maintenance, must have cost a ton !!...........Shelton couldn't hack it least their hacking the overgrown weeds and grass

          1 Reply
          1. re: LEOFONT

            I spoke with one of the managers about three years ago in reference to a design project they were considering. He made it clear at that meeting that they were having a great deal of trouble getting most people to see the restaurant as something other than a special occasion restaurant- that basically, their "regular" customers weren't regular enough. (I didn't think it was necessary at that point to point out the fact that the extremely high prices for Hunterdon County might have had something to do with it. Obviously the main reason they opened the grill room - an attempt to increase traffic, especially midweek.)

            So yes, add this in with the huge burden of maintenance and taxes, which only goes up every year (especially in NJ...) and you can see the writing on the wall.