The new location of PJ’s Pancake House will be in the back right of this building on Main Street in Robbinsville. (2017 file photo.)

After months of delays and frustration, the Robbinsville location of PJ’s Pancake House nears completion.

Owner John Procaccini said his eatery on Main Street will open by late fall, barring any issues. Robbinsville Township director of community development Hal English echoed that, saying the township had the sense PJ’s would be open by the end of 2018.

“We’re hoping,” English said. “I’m dying for pancakes.”

Construction on PJ’s is “full speed ahead,” Procaccini said, now that they’ve advanced to fitting out the interior of the building. He estimated in early September that process would take two months.

Procaccini said structures had to be redone throughout the complex, which caused the delay. The township stopped construction early on, with English saying the developer for the plaza—of which PJ’s and Papa’s Tomato Pies are part—began to build without signed plans.

“There were glitches, more than normal, I think,” English said. “One of the buildings came out a foot higher than it was supposed to, if you look at one of the buildings in the back. There were issues. One of the buildings was leaking water when it rained. Bricks falling off. Things like that. They seem to have gotten things together and are pushing ahead.”

Now that the outside shells are complete, the plaza will begin to take shape in the coming months. The long, blue building fronting Main Street will be demolished, making the entire shopping center visible from roadway and allowing more space for parking.

The additional parking spaces could be well used once PJ’s opens up, with Procaccini saying the Robbinsville location will be the largest yet. The eatery will have a total of 200 seats—140 inside and 60 on a covered patio outside.

The Robbinsville PJ’s Pancake House will also deviate from the usual script with the addition of a sports bar element at night. Procaccini said PJ’s has a liquor license and will be aiming for a tavern feel in the evening, hours other PJ’s locations would see its crowds taper off. There are PJ’s Pancake House restaurants in Princeton, West Windsor, Ewing and Kingston.

“We just want it to open,” Procaccini said. “And, of course, people are excited. After awhile, that excitement fades. People forget. We don’t want them to forget, but I don’t think that’s happening. I think people can’t wait for us to open. We’re equally as excited. We chose Robbinsville for a reason.”

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Rob Anthes
Rob Anthes is managing editor at Community News Service, serving as the editor of the Hamilton Post and Robbinsville Advance. Rob's writing has been honored by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Free Community Papers, most recently in 2019. He is a 2019 fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. A Hamilton native, Rob is a graduate of Steinert High School and Syracuse University.