Update: The office of the municipal town clerk tells Baristanet that the actual price for the license Cerrigone purchased was $1,150,000. The clerk’s office also confirms that Dick Grabowksy purchased Cecere’s license at auction for $1,236,000 in August 2015.
Gerry Cerrigone and Bobby Gaccione, restaurant owners of Salute, Salugo, and Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen, have purchased a liquor license from the former South Park Restaurant for a whopping $1.2 million. “$1.2 million for a Montclair liquor license is just ridiculous,” says Cerrifgone, “when other [past] licenses were bought for around $700,000.00.”
This purchase followed his initial attempts to purchase the liquor license from Richard Cecere’s. Cerrigone’s plans fell through when the license was court ordered to be sold at auction.
Cerrigone plans to open a full bar soon, at his signature Fish eatery, FIN, on Glenridge Avenue in Montclair.
The target date to open the full bar service is Tuesday, April 26, with a full selection of wine, craft beer, champagne, and cocktails.
Cerrigone is adamant about keeping FIN a Montclair-style BYO despite the new costly liquor license. ” We’ve built up a faithful clientele over the past five years who have made us what we are today. There’s no way I’m going to tell them they can’t continue to bring their wine to dinner at FIN. These customers are used to bringing their own, and will continue to do so. And no, there’s never going to be a corkage fee.”
FIN’s varied wine list will be accessible and drinker-friendly, listed by several price points: $20+under, $30+ under, $40+under, $50+under and “Reserve”.
What about his latest Montclair enterprise next door? The yet unnamed gastropub, which occupies the former Montclair Feed building, will be separate but connected to FIN via a front hallway. And lucky for Cerrigone, that means the costly liquor license does double duty.
Executive Chef and Partner Michael Juliano is planning a menu with classic pub fare plus his own twist on a selection of gourmet french fries and mac ‘n cheese dishes. The new pub will have a soft opening around August 15. With three restaurants on one block, Cerrigone is also providing much needed parking relief for patrons in the form of complimentary valet parking for all.