HIGHLAND PARK – Mete Mavus wants to do right by Highland Park.
His new restaurant, Meeting Point, in the former Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse building at 247 Raritan Avenue, had a soft opening Monday and will have a grand opening in about a month. Mavus, who owns nine restaurants in Turkey, said he just wants to focus on Highland Park right now.
“I want to be ready for them (customers). I will do my best for them,” he said.
Mavus said he wants the Meeting Point to be known for its fresh foods and the salad bar.
“Everybody loves the salad bar. It’s Greek, Italian, Turkish, Russian and American. And we will add more,” he said.
In addition to the salad bar, some of the other offerings include crab cakes, cobb and Caesar salads, the Meeting Point jumbo burger, linguine with clam sauce and zuppa di pesce. The price point is $8 to $25.
The Meeting Point is open from noon to 10 p.m. every day, but Mavus plans to offer Sunday brunch after the grand opening. Once Sunday brunch begins, the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. on Sundays. He’s also toying with the idea of offering Saturday brunch.
Currently, the restaurant is “bring your own bottle,” but Mavus is working on obtaining a liquor license.
Mavus, who wants to put roots down in Highland Park, couldn’t believe a corner restaurant was available.
“It was the location,” he said of one of the aspects that attracted him to Highland Park.
It was also that Highland Park is a walking borough.
“We walk everywhere in Turkey. We love to walk,” he said.
James McCrone, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, the non-profit that promotes businesses along Raritan Avenue, is happy to see a new venture in the borough.
“We’re excited to see new life breathed into this important center of Highland Park. We know Meeting Point will do well and it will be good for the town as a whole,” he said.
The restaurant had been vacant since November, when the Charlie Brown’s in Highland Park closed along with 13 other Charlie Brown’s by the Mountainside-based CB Holdings.
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