Closed yet again
By Gail Fredricks | Published March 3, 2017
Enoteca Ursino, the restaurant formerly known as Ursino, was “temporarily closed for winter break,” according to the answering machine of the restaurant.
However, a statement from Kean University’s spokeswoman Margaret McCorry states that the Terra Momo Restaurant Group completed its one-year contract with the Kean Foundation on December 31, 2016, and transitioned the management of Ursino back to the Kean Foundation. The Foundation will continue operating Ursino as a restaurant and will add new and exciting features such as summer camps, catered events and culinary classes in the distinctive space.
The renovated restaurant, described as an “Italian cuisine with a modern twist” opened in Kean University’s STEM building on May 25, 2016. Previously featuring a farm-to-table, Italian-inspired menu, it also features organic produce grown at the Liberty Hall Farm at Kean University.
This is not the first time the restaurant has closed down. In Sept. 2015, the restaurant closed down temporarily for renovations. The original Ursino, which was previously under management of Gourmet Dining, was in a tax litigation with Union Township for back property taxes of over $50,000, which has not been resolved, according to NJ.com.
The argument presented by Union Township was that property tax is owed due to the fact that the company running the restaurant with no educational intent is not exempt, even though the university is.
According to McCorry, Ursino is set to reopen in several weeks. They are updating menus, finalizing plans for summer programming and developing culinary programs that will “further enrich the campus community and the region.”
The Kean Foundation has identified key opportunities for Ursino to grow as a dining destination in the regional market, as well as providing programming and activities beyond typical dining services, which may be able to solve the problem of running a restaurant with “no educational intent.”
“We look forward to welcoming patrons to this expanded approach to dining, entertainment and education,” said McCorry in an email, “…with a refreshed Ursino menu that will delight and please.”