Enough demand for 18 more restaurants

Can the downtown area fit another 18 restuarants, on top of the existing handful already in business? Consultants that put together the Rahway Survey think so.

“Significant unmet consumer demand” within three miles of the train station (“primary trade area”) can support an additional 18 full-service restaurants, according to Community Insights, which compiled the Rahway Survey.

Preferences for full-service restaurants range from Italian, Mexican and Asian to upscale casual, steakhouses, seafood, diners and fine food. Although restaurants can vary greatly in size, consultants estimated that most of the eateries recommended would require between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet. There’s also consumer demand for a sports bar and taverns and pubs, according to the report.

The report recommended an audit of the city’s available liquor licenses and reach out to owners of pocket licenses to minimize the risk of losing them as a result of inactivity. The city also might look into permitting BYO operations since it’s not likely that there will be sufficient licenses available to all who want one; “a common problem in older downtown areas.”

So where would we put all these restaurants? Check back Monday for recommendations from consultants on where they would go, along with other retail stores.

Previous Rahway Survey posts:
Retail supply and demand
Survey: Restaurants would draw us downtown (among other things)
Rahway Survey results are in