Plans Scrapped for Upscale Restaurant at Historic Vasiloff House

If new owner isn't willing to restore the 1929 property on the corner of Linwood and Paramus avenues, demolition is likely.

The chef of New Jersey's most romantic restaurant hoped to construct a large restaurant on a historic property in Ridgewood, Patch reported in July.

But unable to obtain one of Ridgewood's prized liquor licenses – plus facing what would undoubtedly be a lengthy process – multiple sources said Cafe Matisse's Peter Loria decided to halt any development plans at 833 Linwood Avenue, known as the "Vasiloff" house.

Tarvin Real Estate agent Melinda Cronk, the listing agent, confirmed Tuesday that Loria is no longer eyeing the property.

The Rutherford-based chef in fact moved on to Montclair to open a second restaurant. But the township's planning board panned his conceptual design, Baristanet reported.

With a liquor license so elusive in Ridgewood, Cronk doesn't expect Loria to stake out property in the village again.

Still, the "Vasiloff" house remains one of the villlage's most unique properties. The Saddle River runs directly to the west of the property border and the lower portion of the land lies in the flood plain; there are also tennis courts in the rear of the 2.46 acre property.

Although it needs significant TLC, Cronk is hopeful the next owner won't demolish the Tudor-style structure, built in 1929.

"The hope is that, if a residential buyer can’t be found, then possibly a business with the means to take on the restoration" will do so, Cronk said.

Across the street, in Paramus, another historic home is being demolished to create a parking lot for the Alpine Learning Center.

The realtor said there has been interest in the property, which is listed for $990,000.

Stephanie in GR January 30, 2013 at 01:06 PM
This mess with liquor licenses being more rare than finding diamonds in Rridgewood is lame. What is this, 1850? Too bad we couldn't have had a wonderful dining establishment in a renovated historic structure. Maybe now a new owner will destroy the home and put up another bank or nail salon.
anonymous January 30, 2013 at 02:32 PM
How come liquor licenses are so difficult to obtain in Ridgewood? If there were more I think we would be able to attract a higher caliber of restaurants.
James Kleimann January 30, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Just as a point of clarity, the property is zoned residential. Any business interest would need a variance.
Moist Cake January 30, 2013 at 03:25 PM
$990,000.... and.... The Saddle River runs directly to the west of the property border and the lower portion of the land lies in the flood plain and.... it needs TLC. AKA, its a bad investment for 2.46 acers for a restoration. Bulldoze it and subdivide, its the new ridgewood way. Maybe ridgewooder can building his chessecake factory there.
Donna Evans January 30, 2013 at 04:01 PM
The number of liquor licenses in any town in NJ is limited by state law, and is calculated on a per-capita basis in NJ. If you want more licenses in Ridgewood it will either need to become more crowded or state law will need to be changed.
kevin January 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Stephanie How many liquor licenses are available in GR and how much are they.
jp1 January 30, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I always had the impression that a liquor license was based on the population of the town,right or wrong.
kevin January 30, 2013 at 07:52 PM
This is from the state website: The number of licenses to sell alcohol for consumption on a licensed premises (restaurants and bars) and to sell alcohol for off premise consumption (packaged goods) within a municipality is determined based upon the population. A municipality may issue one consumption license for every 3,000 of its population. As to distribution licenses, which allow the sale of alcohol for off premise consumption, a municipality may issue one license for every 7,500 of its population. A municipality is allowed to ban all sales of alcohol within its borders if it so desires.
News Man January 30, 2013 at 09:07 PM
If that is the case, how come Hoboken has so many? Buying and Selling of Liquor licenses are big business... Perhaps, the Council could investigate this and on how to secure more?
News Man January 30, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Perhaps, that question could be offered and tonight's Council meeting?
Aannoomm January 30, 2013 at 09:25 PM
From what I understand, a few licenses are being sat on. Held, but not used. Also, there is enough population to release more, but then those that are held would depreciate in value.
JT January 31, 2013 at 12:22 AM
What is your problem? All you do is complain and never have anything positive to say.
Mikka H January 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Rocco is sitting on one......i think it's the old brass lamp lic.
jp1 January 31, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Do you know tis to be a fact or is it just rumor?
Aannoomm January 31, 2013 at 01:40 PM
This could be a easy revenue stream for the village. If it is based on population and several are not being utilized, is the population truly being represented?
Brian January 31, 2013 at 02:10 PM
I think the zoning would be possible especially because Route 17 right there is now going to be commercial property. The investment by that business would have helped develop a difficult, large, property to create something new and exciting instead of 4 new development houses on a culdesak. The liquor licenses, as we have discussed before, are a disgrace. Some are pocketed and the result is that we have 5 bars in the whole town. Opening up 2-3 more licenses would give us a chance to really upgrade the restaurant scene and to draw more shoppers to town. The whole process could feed on itself to revitalize the downtown shopping district. It is disappointing that this opportunity wont happen. It would be good for Ridgewood to have a real top notch restaurant. You could even see it being developed as a small inn or something with a top restaurant. A great restaurant could have become a draw that would upgrade the food scene in town, support local farms, etc.
anonymous January 31, 2013 at 02:21 PM
As Ridgewood has a population of about 25,000, we can have 8 consumption licenses. I think there are only 4 in use right now, Blend, MacMurphy's, Smith Brothers and Park West. Are there 4 that are being sat on? As for distribution licenses, according to state law we can only have 3, which we have greatly surpassed with Super Cellers, Wine Sellers, Cervino's, Cordially's and Harding's. Were some of those grandfathered in?
Mike Deutsch January 31, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Hey, Ridgewood Council! Buy it with Green Acres Money! Going north on Paramus Road there are only two properties between the Vasilov house and that abandoned house. Buy all four properties, it's mostly flood plain anyway.
I live here too January 31, 2013 at 03:52 PM
What about a time limit for how long one can SIT on a liquor license. This would force the sleeping licenses back into use.
jp1 January 31, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Everyone seems to complain about the lack of a bar in a restaurant, but you can bring your own and there are many good establishments without a liquor license.
Brian January 31, 2013 at 05:00 PM
It is not so much about wanting to go to a place with liquor, the bigger issue is the quality of restaurants. Restaurants without a bar have a limited profit margin. They charge more for entrees but this small amount does not make up the difference in profit if they were to have a liquor license. This limits the chefs/owners who are willing to invest in a town like Ridgewood. We have several good restaurants but few, if any, great restaurants.


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