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June  30

Farewell, Seven Hills

From the outside, it doesn't look like much. In fact, we can say that its charms completely eluded us for 16 years of living walking distance away. The Seven Hills Restaurant, at the corner of Washington St. and Lackawanna Place in Bloomfield, and slated for demolition as part of the downtown revitalization, is a weathered relic of a long gone era. (Photo by Scot Surbeck)


But you can't always tell a book by its cover. Inside on a Saturday night, there's a vibrant scene. Crooners with a full band, couples celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, a bar culture like something out of "Cheers." Anne Burt Feuerzeig, who wrote about it eloquently in her blog, took us there this past Saturday night with her husband Craig for a last look: Seven Hills closes tonight in anticipation of the wrecking ball. The bar will remain open on Friday nights, and the restaurant will be available for private parties.

Too bad we found it so late. It was a blast.

June 30, 2005 in Goodbyes | Permalink


Long ago, it was a great place to see pinky rings on men. And that peculiar blue-black hair color (not genuinely found in nature) males of a certain age and cultural bent oft affect. Who drove big cars and also spent a lot of time "down the shore" (usually at someplace like Joey Harrison's Surf Club where they'd be sure to run into people they knew). "Red sauce Italian food," waiters who'd served Hugh Addonizio and Tony Imperiale and a vibe that always seemed to promise that either Louis Prima or Nicky Scarfo might drop in that very night. So how could you ever go wrong there?

Now, I guess they'll all head over to the equally Mediterranean in feel I Fratelli Ristorante, which also has much better, 3-star food and warm service.

Posted by: cathar | Jun 30, 2005 10:54:41 AM

Don't forget that other venerable red-sauce/white table cloth restuarant in Bloomfield: Formia

It's like stepping into 1950's Brooklyn (or at least how I imagined it to be since I didn't live there). Hopefully they will both survive the changing tide.

Posted by: Todd | Jun 30, 2005 11:03:50 AM

I for one will truly miss the place. My husband and I happended upon it one day several years back in search of a quick drink before heading home to Glen Ridge.

We were immediately taken and have been somewhat regular patrons ever since.

I'll be by tonight to bid them farewell.

Posted by: Alexis | Jun 30, 2005 11:08:35 AM

Funny, but now that I read this I feel the same way towards Seven Hills that I feel towards ANWR under Bush: never been there, probably never would make the trip, but hate to see it go nonetheless.

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 30, 2005 2:31:07 PM

Probably equal amounts of untapped oil (in the men's hair) as there is in ANWR.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 30, 2005 2:40:00 PM

Ha! Though the oil in ANWR would be more difficult to extract.

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 30, 2005 2:56:55 PM


Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 30, 2005 3:03:24 PM

My mom who was just in town, was taking a walk and happened to drop in for lunch.

She is Italian and must have felt at home because she came home talking up a storm about the place.

I feel now like I have missed out on something kinda cool...

Posted by: Pam | Jun 30, 2005 3:12:20 PM

Try Chumley's in Saddle River; they have both singers on the CD juke (Frank and Tony - plus a lot of other great eclectic tunes), the requisite red-gravy dishes from the kitchen, and quite an interesting crowd of regulars at the bar.

Posted by: conan the grammarian | Jun 30, 2005 3:28:05 PM

Eh...I was there once. No big deal, IMHO and no great loss. :/

Posted by: Surrounded | Jun 30, 2005 8:22:16 PM


Im sorry if you were to Cool for it.

you must be from NY (where the cool guys come from)

Posted by: Fonzie | Jul 1, 2005 10:02:05 AM

Actually, no...I'm a born 'n raised Jersey Girl. But I've eaten in some finer Italian restaurants and wasn't impressed in the least with anything about it including the service. Neither was my husband. Sorry if I offended you. You must be the chef.

Posted by: Surrounded | Jul 1, 2005 10:34:22 AM

Must be from the Pine's.

Posted by: fonzie | Jul 1, 2005 11:24:19 AM

(Again) actually no...Passaic. But ya got the "P" right. :)

Incidentally, would ya like to try an *excellent* Italian restaurant? Try JERRY'S on Paterson Avenue in E. Rutherford. Just beware during football season!!! http://www.stayinthemeadowlands.com/view_restaurant.php?ID_no=136

Posted by: Surrounded | Jul 1, 2005 12:41:24 PM

Thanks, surrounded..

I was just kidding. Just comes across wrong on a message board. Seven hills isnt going to be missed for its food, just the nicky newark ambiance.

Posted by: Fonzie | Jul 1, 2005 3:27:32 PM

Oh ok, Fonz. No problem! Any greaser is a friend of mine! ;)

But still...try Jerry's. When they ask, "salad or pasta?" Choose the salad!!! It's divine!

Posted by: Surrounded | Jul 1, 2005 3:37:21 PM

I heard there is a place that makes great Cannoli around there... its only open late or someting like that?

Posted by: Fonzie | Jul 1, 2005 4:05:45 PM

If you want "Nicky Newark," try the Belmont Tavern on Bloomfield Ave. Best chicken savoy!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 2, 2005 7:03:50 AM

Yes Miss, the invented savoy. I have seen roaches there.

Posted by: Fonzie | Jul 2, 2005 10:55:03 AM

Hey, I work in NYC....I've seen roaches in many establishments there, even the "finest" establishments. And I am still alive and well, thank you very much.

Now rats on the subway platform...that's another thing....eek!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 3, 2005 10:41:30 PM

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