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Raymond's Famous French Toast Coming to Ridgewood

Montclair's king of brunch will be opening at the Washington Mutual building in summer of 2012, co-owner Joanne Ricci said

The construction workers at the corner of E. Ridgewood and Oak St. must have be getting a bit annoyed – as they fit old bricks into the exterior of the older Washington Mutual Bank building, scores of people each day continued to ask, "Hey, what are they putting here?"

By Friday, the mystery had been removed and their breath was saved – a white sign with red lettering notes the upcoming arrival of .

"We are very excited to come and we are really looking forward to being here," said Joanne Ricci, co-owner of Raymond's, as she poured hot cocoa for passersby during the Downtown for the Holidays celebration. "We're getting a lot of support and people are excited to have us coming. That makes Ray [Badach, co-owner] and I really thrilled."

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until summer of 2012 to savor some of the specialities. But that didn't stop Ricci from beginning community outreach on Dec. 2, greeting the folks of Ridgewood and enticing them with the out-of-this-world french toast.

The Montclair restaurant, now in its 22nd year, is one of the most notable brunch outposts in the state.

"It's the best french toast in the universe," Ricci laughed. "We pay a lot of attention to the quality of the ingredients we use. We get our eggs from a farm up in Sussex county and it's better than organic," she added.

When open, the space will be slightly bigger than its existing sister in Montclair. The design team, known for its work on Balthazar and Keith McNally in Manhattan, is getting to work to transform the space, Ricci told Patch. The look will retain the classical 1930s Parisian flair with reclaimed subway tiles, old brick and the Montclair archway.

But there will be a few changes, Ricci said.

"Because we're starting from scratch and we have a little more room, there will be a few things we can do here [that] we just can't do in Montclair because of the physical space. Still, you're going to know you're in Raymond's."

The casual American bistro, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday. It will open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. on Sundays.

While best known for breakfast and brunch, Raymond's will be pushing lunch and dinner fare too.

"We want to be here for whatever people are looking for," Ricci said. "It's not a 24-hour diner but we try to keep things at a very accessible price point, with things people really want to eat and in an environment that is really comfortable and inviting."

Raymond Helfrich December 05, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Yum! Best of luck to Joanne and Ray! (signed) Montclair's Other Raymond
limabean December 05, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Raymonds is excellent and we travel from tidgewood to montclair often. This is exciting news.
Dominick Nizza December 05, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Interesting addition.. French Toast one of my favorites. Can we get photo of the menu here and the varieties available? Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner?
maureen December 05, 2011 at 11:55 PM
I LOVE Raymond's !! We got tired of driving to Montclair , so this is great news. awesome breakfasts with big bowls of cappucino..yum
Raymond Helfrich December 06, 2011 at 03:42 AM
http://www.raymondsnj.com/ (signed) West Orange's Raymond
Lisa Ertle December 06, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Can't wait! Love the one in Montclair! Nice quality food and good atmosphere.
Dominick Nizza December 06, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Thanks Ray, for the daily link menu connection. Thank God I'm not asked to vote on my favorite Pizza. I visit my name sake (Nizza's) in NYC for that one.
Alan Seiden December 06, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Looking forward to this. The Montclair location is very good.
John Hahn December 07, 2011 at 12:45 PM
It is interesting how we each have our own references. I.e. Where Citibank is now was where Drapkins was. Newer residents will ask what is Drapkins? The so-called Washington Mutual building is the original Rite Aid location. Right Dominick? I think it was a kitchen gadget place at one time. Good Luck to Raymonds. It is another place in the village that is not a hardware store. I miss the hardware store that was to the west of Woolworth's (now It's Greek to Me.)
Lisa Baney December 07, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Does anyone remember the hardware store approximately where Country Curtains is, across from Van Ess square to the left of Talbots? (unless I am dreaming it..)? That had to be in the 1960s...
John Hahn December 07, 2011 at 01:05 PM
There were 3 hardware stores in Ridgewood. The 'Country Curtains' hardware store had a downstairs section. I do not recall where the 3rd one was. The hardware store I miss the most is Peter Bakkers in Midland Park. Yet another world class hardware store gone.
Dominick Nizza December 07, 2011 at 01:24 PM
John Hann and Lixa Baney (Taking a triip through the sixtys?), Country Curtains was a hugh Hardware Store and Drapkins had all those local school teachers and local Lawyers seeking their paper needs and legal forms. Guess it is time for a special topic by Patch Editors or Writers to start one. "Ridgewood and Glen Rock in the Sixtys" but, are there any old enough to remember that far back?
John Hahn December 07, 2011 at 01:44 PM
There is a category like that on Facebook. YEs there are many who remember the sixties.
Michael Share December 08, 2011 at 05:09 PM
The big hardware store at "Country Curtains" existed at that location far later than the 1960's. I remember going there in the 1980's and Drapkin's didn't go away that long ago relatively speaking. Let's face it though, those kind of stores can't exist anymore in a town like Ridgewood that has exorbitant rents and is so close to discount stores like Home Depot and Staple's. Raymond's will be a nice addition to Downtown. The Montclair location is very nice and seems to always draw a good crowd. So, that location has been many things over the years including Rite Aid and a Lechter's Housewares. I believe that was the location of a fine French style restaurant for a few years as well. Anyone who enjoys casual fare with an upgrade will enjoy Raymond's. Good Luck to them and open as soon as you can!
Steve December 25, 2011 at 09:36 PM
I wonder if the owners of Country Pancake House are concerned about Raymond's opening nearby and tapping in on some of their business? I think Country Pancake House will always have its devoted customer base. But I can see people not wanting to wait on that long line out the door maybe deciding to walk over to Raymond's instead.
Marcia Ringel December 05, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Hostess at Raymond's in Montclair told me tonight (12/4/12) (when I asked) that the Ridgewood branch would open Dec. 10, 2012--next Monday.
denise December 14, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Well - we are glad the day has arrived. After working out the kinks in such a few short days (we've been there 3 times already this week), we can say that the staff is getting into the grove. Sandwhiches, eggs, soups, salads are all well prepared and seasoned especially the meatloaf, wow. You are now saving us on gas money and don't need to travel to Montclair with the exception of "where's the pineapple"???? on the "famous" french toast - are you kidding, you've got to make it the same. On two minor topics - downstairs bathrooms are always a drag, and not sure $9 for what seems like 1 piece of ham, cheese and what tastes like white bread and not thick country sourdough - we won't be ordering the Ham and Cheese. Better off buying a pound of ham at Kings and making my own. Congrats on a good opening week - LimaBean

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