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Lawrenceville Inn, NJ - BIG Change

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I was about to recommend the Lawrenceville Inn in Lawrenceville on another thread (the one right below this one) only to learn from their web site that the Inn no longer offers a la carte dining. They are now focusing on private affairs, special events, etc. This seems to be yet another example of fine dining establishments in central Jersey closing or changing direction in a big way.

http://www.lawrencevilleinn.com

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  1. Is it just me or does this change seem totally bizarre? I don't understand why any restaurant would limit themselves to only special events. Were they really that busy with private events that they didn't have time for a la carte diners?

    I love how the website says they are "all about the community" yet this change will severely restrict the number of people in the community who will actually be able to dine there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: punkin712

      Yes, it's unfortunate. They closed up shop as a restaurant in August. I suspect they did not have enough seating to make a go of it, plus their prices were pushing Acacia levels, and I'm not sure there's room for more than one Acacia in Lawrenceville Village. There are still some good options within a block or two, however, including Chambers Walk and Vidalia. Also I saw that Princeton's Peacock Inn has bought a house on Main Street in Lawrenceville - does anyone know what they plan for it - B&B or restaurant?

      1. re: MercerChow

        Interesting about The Peacock Inn...

        What is the status of the Peacock? The last thing I heard was that Bobby Trigg of The Ferry House had bought and was completely renovating the Peacock. That may be old news by now. Do you have an update?

        BTW, I recall reading a year or so ago that things had gone noticeably downhill at The Lawrenceville Inn when Chef Scott left.

        1. re: ambrose

          Drove by the Peacock yesterday. Workers trucks in the driveway, so they must still be renovating.

    2. We thought something was fishy...actually thought they were closing for good, but this is even more bizarre.

      I agree with punkin - I can't fathom why they'd so severely limit their scope to only special events. Not very "community" if you ask me. But MercerChow makes a good point, too - their prices were getting to be rather lofty.

      I wonder how long they'll last...

      1 Reply
      1. re: SarahEats

        From a common sense prospective, if they were doing the business I'm sure they would have been delighted to remain open. Perhaps this wouldn't have happened If the "community "supported them a little more. It's better they scaled back rather than go belly up.

      2. Yes, last time I was at Lville Inn it had majorly gone downhill--must have been the new chef. It used to be my favorite restaurant in the area, but the last time I was there the food was mediocre and the menu brief and uninspired (a $20 hamburger, a bland seafood and pasta dish, etc.) Interesting about the Peacock Inn, at which I have always had bad experiences--hopefully the new ownership will improve it.

        1. FYI, just saw a 'For Sale' sign in front of the Lawrenceville Inn this morning.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MercerChow

            It is true that the Lawrenceville Inn has changed hands. The new owner Christine, is bringing ala carte dining back, but will be closed Monday and Tuesday. She seems like she knows what she is doing and is quite qualified to make a go at this... Fingers crossed as a symbol of good luck for the new owners. We look forward to trying the Inn again! I heard that they were opening next weekend... 10/17

            1. re: fletchphil

              I started this discussion almost a year ago and am absolutely delighted that the inn will once again offer a la carte dining. My fingers too are crossed that Chef Christine makes a go of it. What a time to be opening, or reopening, a restaurant!

              The web site states that the inn will reopen on October 18. Other than that, there's not much information. In fact, it looks like some information from the old site is mixed in with new information. Very bizarre.

              http://lawrencevilleinn.com/

          2. Well you can recommend it again! The Lawrenceville Inn was recently bought by a local woman, Christine Busch, who has re-opened the restaurant in September of 2008. Since I work as a staff member there, I can tell you firsthand things are very different in a VERY GREAT way. Definetly give this place a second chance, Check out our website and stop on in. (www.lawrencevilleinn.com)

            6 Replies
            1. re: kellybell123

              I tried to call the Inn to see if I could come in for brunch today. I only succeeded in reaching voicemail. Since I live locally, I drove to the restaurant to find it was "closed for reorganization" according to the sign on the door. It would probably be a good idea to have that message on your voicemail as well as on the website if the restaurant is closed beyond one day. Looking forward to trying you again soon.

              1. re: BelleJo

                According to their web site "We regret to inform you that we have officially closed our doors! The Staff of The Lawrenceville Inn would like to extend the warmest wishes and thank yous to our loyal and supportive customers."

                Ken

                1. re: kenrbnsn

                  Wow, this must surely be some kind of record. It seems to me that the Lawrenceville Inn just reopened under new ownership. I didn't even have a chance to visit the new Inn.

                  I'm afraid this is a sign of the times. I just recently posted a note that Artisan Kitchen, a brand spanking new restaurant in Lebanon, NJ had closed after less than nine months in business. Very sad to see this happening.

                  1. re: ambrose

                    It's open, it's closed, it's open, it's closed!! According to the web site, the Inn is going to try again.

                    http://lawrencevilleinn.com/

                    1. re: ambrose

                      And now... back open! Dfferent owners, again. I plan on going next week, will let you all know...

                  2. re: kenrbnsn

                    Thanks for the update but I'm sorry to hear that a potentially lovely restaurant like this with local ownership was unable to survive.