Baristaville’s Priciest Sandwich

Two Montclair men with big appetites paid $4,000 each for naming rights to a new sandwich creation at last Saturday night’s MFEE’s Dancin’ In The Streets fundraiser. Newly elected council member Rich Murnick went head to head with local entrepreneur Jeff Appel in a bidding war to get their sandwich name up on the menu at the now famous Watchung Deli.
During the live auction, deli owners Gary Kiffer and Robert Johanssen were astounded when the bidding quickly jumped to $5,000. They suggested each bidder get the prize for $4,000 each, netting $8,000 for MFEE.
“Murnick is thinking about naming his “The McMurnick” while Appel may choose “The Kid’doo” in honor of Club Kid’Doo, the new kids’ club he’s opening in Montclair, says Johanssen.


We’re guessing the Kid’doo sandwich will have some Aussie-flavor to it. Club Kid’doo, (which we gave you a heads up about here), is being built (above) at 15 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. The Down Under-themed kid’s paradise will include an opera house modeled after the one in Sydney, a fully-equipped broadcasting studio, digital STARLAB, a full-service salon for adults and kids, outpost for learning toys and books, KidFresh cafe, a party playspace and a Wi-Fi commons area for parents. Find out more here.
Meanwhile, feel free to leave Rich and Jeff your sandwich-creating suggestions in comments.

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  1. Shouldn’t Murnick name his “The All-in”?
    Personally, I’m a fan of irony. I would construct a triple decker sandwich with deep fried pork, melted cheese, french fries and coleslaw and name it “The MeMe”.

  2. Not sure what ingredients to suggest, but i admire these two gentlemen for their generosity.
    Over the years, i’ve seen the montclair schoolchildren (my own included) benefit tremendously from the monies and support provided by the MFEE.
    The $4000 EACH that these men donated will translate into supplies, equipment and other forms of support for the schools.

  3. Can’t someone around here start serving “Fat Cat” sandwiches? I can’t believe I have to drive all the way to New Brunswick for a fix. (Actually, some of the grease trucks on the NJIT/Rutgers Newark campus do have Fat Cats, but I haven’t actually tried one there.)

  4. Having been in Sydney, having actually even been to the opera there, I recall an architectural marvel set right on the waters of the harbor. How is a downtown Baristaville location for Appel’s venture therefore even remotely “modeled” on the Sydney Opera House?
    And no one is even a bit worried about the seeming financial recklessness (even if it was for charity) of a new councilman who engages in a competition to have a sandwich named after himself?

  5. Murnick’s life blood is apparently speculation an unsettling quality in a municipal official, I’d bet.

  6. Making a donation at a charity auction only qualifies as “financial recklessness” if you can’t afford it. The sandwich naming prize was probably the lowest value item auctioned off in the evening, making this a true donation by both parties. In addition, Murnick donated one of the other auction items. No good deed goes unpunished around here.

  7. Nope, Murnick’s business is financial SPECULATION and he plays poker “for fun.” The fact that he made a donation was not an issue.

  8. I’m with cathar on this one.
    This just “seems” wrong.
    He can donate all his money- great. But for a public official to do it so, well, publicly seems odd….
    And no. I didn’t vote for him because of the Poker playing. That also didn’t wash well with me.
    But I guess this is to be expected.
    What’s next? Naming rights to Montclair property? (It’s okay if it goes to charity, right?)
    “The McMurnick Town Hall of Montclair”?
    “The McMurnick Municipal Building of Montclair”?

  9. The fact that he made a donation was an issue with cathar – as his post above states.
    And his business is financial MANAGEMENT and PLANNING, unless you consider insurance policies, 401K’s, 529 plans, tax planning and financial asset management to be SPECULATION. Your mattress must be very lumpy with all of that cash stuffed in there.

  10. It’s a sandwich. Get over it. I’m more interested in knowing who paid to have lunch with Ethel Kennedy, and what the price tag was for the meal.

  11. Prof,
    If Ronald McDonald would foot the bill, I’d gladly accept naming the new school after him.

  12. unless you consider insurance policies, 401K’s, 529 plans, tax planning and financial asset management to be SPECULATION.
    I don’t know what the other 3 things entail, but 401Ks are definitely speculation. 100% gambling at its finest.
    I love how the only two options I have for retirement planning in this country are Social Security (which I probably won’t see a single penny of) and my 401K (which goes up in smoke if the stock market crashes and that companies like the one Mr. Murnick used to work for take ridiculously huge chunks of to “manage” in the mean time).

  13. There are relatively safe investment vehicles for 401K plans.
    You can put your 401K in ‘cash’ if you really want to be safe.

  14. Naming sandwich at Watchung Deli for charity >> Naming public buildings after yourself
    Reductio ad absurdum

  15. Mike – based on your financial acumen, paying a financial adviser to help you manage your assets might not be a bad idea.

  16. Like Caesar’s wife, an incoming ouncilman should try and remain somewhat above reproach, badonkadonky. The issue was one of ill-timed impropriety, particularly given the stir his pretensions to being Bret Maverick have previously aroused. Getting involved in an auction of sandwich naming rights, whatever the cause, was not the wisest thing to do a month before taking his council seat.

  17. Spicoli,
    I’ve never once claimed to be good at financial planning (beyond not getting myself into debt, that is) and I don’t make nearly enough money to hire my own personal financial advisor.
    That being said, I’ve also never once asked someone who did profess being a Finance Professional what would happen to the money in my 401k if we did have another stock market crash without flustered laughter and a response of “That could never happen” without any supporting info beyond blind faith in the market.
    In an economy of banks’ stocks going from $35 a share to buy-outs of $1 a share overnight; it just haphazard to this casual observer for so much of my retirement to be tied up in something so volatile for as long as it’s going to be (nearly 40 more years by my best guess) is a bad idea.
    If my company is willing to put X% of my salary into the stock market (and match a portion of that with their own money), then why can’t they put it into bonds or a money-market account? Sure, the MMA percentage may go up or down. But, at least it won’t lose any money.
    Thanks for the info. I’ve already got mine set to as “Conservative” as it can be.

  18. Plenty of philanthropic people bid on lots of items at that auction–are you saying that because Murnick is on the Town Council he shouldn’t have? That money is a donation to a charity that supports our public schools–I can’t think of anything MORE appropriate!

  19. “I can’t think of anything MORE appropriate!”
    Make your point, but don’t exaggerate.
    But to answer your question: Yes.
    But not as much as his side job as Professional Poker Player.
    (Perhaps we can get our Nanny/Gov to pay down the NJ debt with his fortune?)

  20. GNM – A 401K is a tax deferred savings account. There is no requirement that the savings in that account be used to purchase publicly traded equities, so I don’t understand your fear of losing it all in the stock market. Check your 401K options. I am certain that there are a selection of funds (money market/guaranteed interest, bond funds and a variety of equity-related funds) that will allow you to achieve the risk/return profile that you desire. If you are concerned about the market crashing, put everything in a money market fund that has no risk of decreasing in value.
    Any good financial adviser will recommend that you diversify your holdings to reduce the risk associated with market fluctuations. If you are financially conservative (and you definitely fall into this category based on your comments) you would never put all of your money in stocks/equities. But, if you are young, you would be doing yourself a great disservice by not having some equity holdings since over the long run (5+ years based on historical averages) equities will give you much better returns than other types of investments. Money market accounts pay less than inflation over the long term, so the purchasing power of the account erodes over time.
    The key is to build a financial plan that fits your age, income and needs. You can do this yourself or work with a professional. And financial planners will work with people at every age and income level. The first conversation is free and you can get some good advice.

  21. ‘Your neighbor, before you put up any further dumb posts, read, actually read, what I posted first. And then try and parse out what I was saying. It’ll much help if you still decide to press on with your own attempt at a silencing riposte.

  22. back to the topic of this post… i think it’s sad that folks around here actually think watchung deli serves sandwiches worth ordering, never mind bidding on!

  23. Um, cathar? What makes you think I was responding to you? (Oh, must be your enormous ego.) Actually, my reaction was to the collective disgruntlement that the donation engendered in the majority of the posters here. I don’t care to go parse whatever your post attempted to convey.
    What you all seem to miss is that this is a person making a donation of his own money to a worthy cause–why are all of your knickers in such a twist?

  24. The sandwich donation actually went for the MOST money. Whatever you think of Murnick, the guy gives away $4,000 for a really good cause and you attack him and call him reckless? How about saying thank you.

  25. What happened to the posters names? Maybe the powers that be have realized that the rating game is being affected by WHO the poster is and not what he or she is saying.

Comments are closed.