The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern • Ho-Ho-Kus
The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern recently reopened following an extensive, seven-month renovation under new ownership. Touching virtually every aspect of one of the towns’ most beloved and historic buildings, the work addressed both the physical and philosophical, including the addition of a casual 33-seat Tavern, a bluestone patio for outdoor dining and a complete renovation of the Inn’s four dining rooms, each evoking a personality or period in the town’s history. With its updated classic American menu featuring many locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, the restaurant is poised to attract both sophisticated Inn diners with oysters, small plates, composed entrees, and a steak house menu. And the more informal Tavern, guests can enjoy new twists on comfort classics with small plates, entrée salads, soup, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and main entrees . The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serving Sunday Brunch every Sunday from 11am to 3pm. Long a fixture on Ho-Ho-Kus’ dining scene, the Inn’s renovation aimed to update its physical space and culinary point of view, while maintaining its beloved status among locals, said Gordon Hamm, co-owner. “In years past, the restaurant was a celebratory dining destination for many locals. We’re aiming to strike a better balance, becoming a warm, welcoming neighborhood family-friendly eatery that is as appealing for a casual weekday dinner as it is for a grand wedding rehearsal or a high-tech business luncheon.” To that end, the dress code is “smart casual, jeans are welcome,” said Hamm. To strike that balance, Hamm and his wife, Laurie, Ho-Ho-Kus residents who had long admired the historic landmark, invested more than seven months and upwards of $1.5 million in a top-to-bottom renovation of the Inn and reworking of its menu. The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern will focus on sourcing local and seasonal, sustainable ingredients from local farms in the region of NJ, Pennsylvania, and New York state. In an effort to make families feel at home, offers a three-course children’s menu of healthy, kid-friendly fare. The Hamms also oversaw the complete redecoration of the Inn’s dining rooms, including the always popular first-floor Crystal Room which now features a dramatic color palette of crimson with glossy black trim, a Ushak-inspired Axminster wool carpet; a custom temperature-controlled wine cabinet accommodating 1,100 bottles that spans one wall, an etched glass mirror over the original marble fireplace, and the Inn’s striking crystal chandelier complemented by eight crystal wall sconces and new shantung silk shades. The Inn’s Library is also an inviting space featuring beautifully upholstered furnishings, a custom bar with red crocodile-embossed patent leather stools and a fireplace, where guests can gather for games such as chess and backgammon or log onto the web with wireless Internet access. Likewise, the cozy Tavern features a new eight-seat bar of solid heart pine, a working fireplace and four big-screen televisions amid plentiful local memorabilia, making it an appealing space for families to gather for game-watching and pub fare. In addition, a significantly enhanced exterior (including new driveway, landscaping and lighting), new ADA-compliant Tavern bathroom and entry, and a refurbished second floor service bar are among the practical improvements. An appeal to local residents for historical memorabilia turned up an abundance of vintage art and artifacts that can now be found throughout the Inn. Recent notable accolades include Zagat rating, award-winning 201 Magazine “Best of Bergen” ‘Favorite New Restaurant’ and ‘Favorite Neighborhood Bar’, Bergen Health & Life ‘Most Romantic’, Open Table Diner’s Choice Winner, and the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for it’s outstanding wine menu. The Inn’s daily offerings include domestic, imported, and local craft beer, seasonal cocktail menu, daily specials, daily specials, children’s menu, and locally sourced/seasonal menu. The Inn’s amenities include an outdoor patio dining, parking lot/valet, gift certificates, corporate meeting space, private dining customizable for 15-150 guests, A/V equipped rooms, and wireless internet throughout. Special weekly and monthly promotions include ongoing happy hour specials, Monday BYOB & Kids Eat Free (see restrictions on website), Tuesday Veteran/Senior Discount, Wednesday special monthly events (wine tastings, dinners, spirit tastings, craft beer tastings, dinners), Thursday Ladies Night and Live Summer Entertainment, and Sunday Brunch. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Reservations are recommended. The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern is located at One East Franklin Turnpike. Reservations can be made by calling 201-445-4115.