Good Time Charley’s and Charlie Brown’s both cast a beefy shadow on the Kingston dining scene before they closed, but the latest eatery set for the site of those former steakhouses has enough ambition for three restaurants.
If everything comes together as planned, The Pind (“village” in Punjabi) will be a fusion cuisine restaurant slash sports bar slash nightclub, said Raymond Haldeman, a restaurant consultant overseeing the makeover. Design firm Leslie John Hoeser and Associates, which designed The Moshulu in Philadelphia, has been hired to brighten the interiors with a more contemporary look and feel.
In the main dining area, The Pind’s menu will have the aim of being both global and extensive. Items slated for inclusion on the menu include appetizers such as gorgonzola pie with cayenne cream and entrees such as boneless breast of chicken stuffed with broccoli and ricotta soufflé.
Haldeman said The Pind will be out to satisfy diners at a number of price points simultaneously.
“You can be a party of six, and one person could have a $9 flatbread margherita pizza, and the person next to them could have a $28 sliced tenderloin filet with merlot reduction,” he said. “We’re (going to be) someplace between The Cheesecake Factory and the Eno Terras of the world—the price diversity of The Cheesecake Factory and the quality of Eno Terra.”
The fusion element will come in with the menu’s planned Indian touches. Set to appear on the menu are dishes like black-eyed pea tikka croquette and guava garam-masala ribs with jicama cilantro slaw.
The main restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner.
The sports bar, to be called KIXX, will have a separate entrance. The bar menu will be expected to be more casual, but no less innovative, offering items such as Texas Ranch Pizza with chicken breast, barbecue sauce, cilantro, red onion and mozzarella.
Fans of Monday Night Football might want to dress up at least a little, though, because after 10 p.m., the sports bar will morph into The Aqua Lounge, planned as a late-night spot that will remain open as late as New Jersey law allows, Haldeman said.
He said the sports bar will “evolve” over the course of the evenings into the lounge, which will feature a beefed-up sound system and a dance floor. He can imagine patrons choosing to spend a whole night at the complex, rather than hopping from place to place.
“It’s Saturday night, you’ve already parked the car, just had dinner in the restaurant, the waiter will say to you, ‘Our sports bar evolves into a lounge with dancing, we’re open until 2 a.m.,” he said.
Management is also banking on five private party rooms ranging in capacity from 30 to 300 to attract numerous corporate and social events in the area. Haldeman said they are already booking Holiday events.
Haldeman, who has owned and operated night clubs in Miami Beach, specializes in grand openings. He said he has never had a grand opening attended by fewer than 1,000 people, and though he didn’t have details yet, he has similar ambitions that the The Pind can make a big splash. Invitations to the grand opening are expected to be available on The Pind website, thepind.com, prior to the opening date.
Haldeman said the complex will be a boon to night owls, a market he feels is underserved. People who get out of work late often have nowhere to go, and he wants The Pind and the Aqua Lounge to be a refuge for them.
“No matter what, a year from now, 12:35, 1 a.m. this place will have people in it,” he said.
Getting 18,000 square feet of restaurant and catering space prepared for opening is can’t be easy. Haldeman admitted it was a bit overwhelming at first, even for someone of his experience.
“But every day something gets done, we get a little closer,” he said. “The place is starting to look nice, I’m hiring people, it’s all coming together.”
The Pind will be open seven days a week The grand opening is planned for late October or early November. The Pind will be located at 4591 Route 27, Kingston. Phone: (609) 497-9500.