InsiderNJ’s Christine Sloan had a conversation about the future of dining with restaurateur and legendary Chef David Burke.
Burke, a native of New Jersey, owns and operates close to two-dozen restaurants across the country and in Saudi Arabia. During the pandemic, Burke decided to invest more in New Jersey and pull away from New York City.
Burke, who’s responsible for changing the dining scene in the United States, owns and operates seven restaurants in the Garden State. They include 1776 By David Burke in Morristown; Drifthouse by David Burke in Sea Bright; Orchard Park by David Burke at the Chateau Grande Hotel in East Brunswick; Red Horse by David Burke in Rumson; Son Cubano in West New York and Ventanas in Fort Lee. He recently added a new restaurant to his food empire — THE GOAT in Union Beach.
“We vamped it but the growth and momentum in towns like Union Beach, Keyport, Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Leonardo, and Keansburg is great,” Burke said.
“We’re getting in on the real estate, and we want to do more stuff down there. I think (Superstorm) Sandy was one thing — a tragedy that had a silver lining to help build these communities back up, as well as the pandemic that had a silver lining because people left the City and moved down here.”
In the interview, Burke praises Democrat Governor Phil Murphy.
“First of all, Murphy did a good job because I am in New York and New Jersey,” Burke added. “I give him credit. He did a good job getting us open for beach-season. He’s a businessman and he understands the business. We were all upset at one point but by getting us open that Memorial Day — he understands we have to survive.”
But Burke, who’s also an ordained minister, says there’s much more the state can do to help restaurants in New Jersey, including helping them with marketing and giving them tax breaks.