Red Bank Food and Wine Walk (07/21/2013)

zzzzzEvent Time: 2:00pm – 6:00pm

1:30pm ticket purchase

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Red Bank New Jersey has the perfect event for food and wine lovers. Join Red Bank for their annual food and wine walk. Happening every third Thursday of the month, it is the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends or with a special friend as a date. Purchase a $35 wrist band for access to all the best the restaurants of Red Bank have to offer. Enjoy the afternoon strolling through the historic and scenic town as you sample all the food and wine that is offered throughout the business district in Red Bank.

Red Bank will offer a limited amount of wrist bands for the day. Wrist bands can be purchase at 1:30, just a half hour before the events starts and can be brought at the following locations:

  • Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar – 11 Bridge Avenue
  • Red Restaurant & Lounge – 3 Broad Street
  • Teak – 64 Monmouth Street

Don’t forget to bring your id, as this is a 21 and only offer and they will be checked before purchase is allowed. Once you have received your wrist band you will be given a map, because of course you don’t want to get lost. And of you go on your adventure.

The following is a list of participating establishments. Don’t forget not everyone serves liquor, in the places without liquor you will receive two samples of food instead. Asterisks indicate that they do serve alcohol.

  • Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza, 12 Broad Street
  • *Buona Sera, 50 Maple Avenue
  • The Bistro at Red Bank, 14 Broad Street
  • Bonndocks Fishery, 1 Marine Park
  • Carter & Cavero Old World Olive Oil, 19 Monmouth Street
  • The Cheese Cave, 14 Monmouth Street
  • Cupcake Magician, 54 Monmouth Street
  • *Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar, 11 Bridge Avenue
  • Dish, A Restaurant, 13 White Street
  • *The Downtown, 10 W. Front Street
  • Front Street Trattoria, 31 W. Front Street
  • Gaetano’s, 10 Wallace Street
  • *Jamian’s Food & Drink, 79 Monmouth Street
  • Jr.’s Burgers, 17 W. Front Street
  • La Pastaria, 30 Linden Place
  • Lil Cutie Pops, 16 Monmouth Street
  • *Pazzo MMX, 141 W. Front Street
  • Readie’s Market Cafe, 39 Broad Street
  • *red Restaurant & Lounge, 3 Broad Street
  • Siam Garden, 2 Bridge Avenue
  • Sicilia Cafe, 128 Broad Street
  • Sugarush, 37 E. Front Street
  • *Taste, 2 Bridge Avenue
  • *Teak, 64 Monmouth Street
  • *The Wine Cellar, 23 Monmouth Street
  • The Globe Hotel 20 E. Front Street

It’s a sure way to have a great time while visiting us here at the comfort inn. Take a cab in to be safe and enjoy the afternoon. Don’t forget to tell us what was your favorite and least favorite!


The INN-Side Story – It’s Not Where You Sleep It’s Who You Sleep With – Our Tagline

It's Not Where You Sleep It's Who You Sleep With

February EMACC 30 Second Commercial Winners

For this weeks INN-Side Story post I decided to write about our tag-line and how it came about. In next weeks post we’ll give the scoop on one of employees so you can get to know them better.

I attended my first Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council breakfast on February 17th, 2010 at Branches in Long Branch.  I am not typically a morning person  and breakfast as a meal doesn’t really appeal to me. (Branches does put out a fantastic spread!)  I am more of the “Business After Hours” type and I sit on that committee with the Chamber.

I had met with Bill Atkins, owner of Red Bank Limo a few weeks prior and we discussed several marketing ideas.  He suggested that I attend the breakfast because it attracts a different crowd than business after hours giving me more exposure.  He did warn me, however, that I needed to be prepared to stand up and give a 30 second commercial. There are few things less terrifying for me than public speaking. Needless to say I spent the 3 days prior to the breakfast nervous and scrambling to figure out what to say.  Ted Friedli of Excel Travel is a master of the tagline and making people laugh, because of that I’ve remembered him since my first Chamber event back in July. “Make Us Happy, Go Away”. I knew it had to be memorable, but what can you say about a hotel that is really exciting to non-hotel people?

I am a notorious note scribbler on scraps of paper. The night before I sat at my kitchen table with a glass of wine and I filled the backs of three grocery receipts with ideas before I arrived at “It’s Not Where You Sleep, It’s Who You Sleep With”.  In my conversation with Bill, we talked about the things that are unique about the Comfort Inn Middletown.  A few of them were, we are family owned and operated since 1962, we truly are a small business not a large corporation, we have employees that have worked for the company for over 20 years, and we have great customer service scores.  It became pretty clear that the people at the hotel were what made the difference, not what we have to offer as a building. All hotels have basically the same features.  No one other than the boutique hotels are re-creating the wheel and offering off the beaten path amenities.  It turns out that my 30 second commercial won the gold medal for both February and March and I have yet to get through it without my face turning bright red. I have started attending a few of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce “Perkolator” breakfasts held with Cliff Moore at the Keyport IHOP where my face turns equally red.

We are proud of our employees and their dedication to customer service. It makes the hotel an easy sell for me and happy guests make for a happy workComfort Inn Middletown Marquis Signplace. A real win-winComfort Inn Middletown Marquis Sign situation.   Some people do not appreciate the double entendre and to them I say, “Get your mind out of the gutter”.   Tracy says “A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste”.  Our marquis sign states it.  We’ve had guests posing under the sign and taking pictures for about a week now.  Swing on by and get your picture taken too.  If you don’t have a camera, pop on in, we do and we’d love to post your picture on our Facebook fan page. Remember “It’s not Where You Sleep, It’s Who You With“. Come over for a site tour or a cup of coffee, we’d love to meet you.

Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank Our New Website is Coming

Middletown Red Bank Comfort Inn New Website

Our New Website Home Page

The Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank, NJ will debut our new website in the coming days. This is a very big and exciting thing for us.  I have been working with L.E.T. Group out of Sarasota, FL.  Bethany Brown at L.E.T. took this website (which is very corporate looking) as the shell and all I said was I’d like to “beach it up a bit”.  This is what she came up with. I couldn’t be happier with the results.  Bethany may think I’m a bit loony from my overly “excited” emails to her.

We are going to have all sorts of wonderful functionality with this new website.  We will be able to list all of the area events, links to local places (and there will be many), add .pdf documents and much more.  Just looking at it is making me long for the summer sun and beach.   If you’d like to have a link on our new website, email me.  We’d love to promote your location on our site.

Tracy and I are busy proofing all of the pages and we are hoping to go live next week or early the week after.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  We’d love to hear from you.

Comfort Inn Middletown on Google Maps

When I first started here as the Sales Manager in July of 2009 one of the first things I did was update and correct our Comfort Inn Middletown hotel information on Google Maps.  Google continues to be the number one search engine in the United States. If a guest or potential  was searching for us using Google our Google Maps information is the first thing that comes up.  To make it even easier for people unfamiliar with our area I added our best GPS address as well. There was some effort involved in getting all of our information corrected on the site to start.  I moved the pin placement for our location as it was incorrect, I added photos and detailed hotel information.  Now that it’s all done there are great diagnostic tools to show where people are searching and requesting directions from, total impressions, actions and search words.

It only took me an afternoon to get everything set.  Google mailed me a postcard with a pin number to confirm ownership of the business so we could access and update our information through the Local Business Center.  They will also call to confirm ownership and give you a pin number over the phone.  The second you click on “Click to Call” the phone rings so you better be ready!

Last week I finally broke down and got myself an iPhone.  I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. The available apps are in one word -AMAZING!  Google Earth and  Around Me Apps use the Google Maps locations.  I was pleased to see the hotel come up exactly the way I wanted it.  From Around Me you can call the hotel directly from the app.   I know it works because I just prank called the front desk.

If you have any location-based fun iPhone apps, let me know in the comments.  Likewise if you know of just plain cool apps let me know those too.  Thank you for reading and feel free to fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comfort Inn Middletown Partners with Jacques Exclusive Caterers

Banquet Round Set Up

First Floor Conference Room

Yesterday afternoon the staff  at the Comfort Inn Middletown was treated to a delicious lunch from Jacques Exclusive Caterers.  Kate Fazio and I have been working together to form a cross promotional relationship for our businesses.  Jacques is the caterer of choice for our meeting facilities.  Their primary location is right here in Middletown, NJ making delivery and set up a snap. Jacques Exclusive Caterers was originally founded in Brooklyn in 1955.  Whether it’s a business meeting or an elaborate 7 course meal complete with china, wait staff and in the utmost in style and elegance, Jacques will bring you the best.

The Comfort Inn Middletown  features two very well-appointed and flexible meeting rooms. One is on the first floor and its fraternal twin is on the second floor.  In a banquet style set up the room can hold up 10 rounds seating 8.  This type of table set up is perfect for social meetings, kid’s birthday parties, baby & bridal showers, religious celebrations, rehearsal dinners and  family parties.  We can host your wedding room block in the hotel and help you plan a morning after bridal brunch on-site.

For our Corporate clients the room can be set in a classroom style set for 80 people and theatre style for 100 people.  A U-shape or horseshoe set can fit up to 33 and a hollow square for 44.  The hotel offers modern A/V equipment for  rental including 50 ” flat screen TV, LCD Projector and CD/DVD player.

If your plans include a need for a meeting room and great food, the Comfort Inn Middletown and Jacques Exclusive Caterers are your partners in creating memorable, worry-free events. To contact Barb Youchah for meeting space at the Comfort Inn call 732.671.3400 or email. To contact Kate Fazio at Jacques call 1.866.522.7837 or email.

Comfort Inn Middletown Welcoming Storm Victims

We are bustling and busy over here at the Comfort Inn Middletown checking in and welcoming the victims of the dreadful weekend storm. It sure did a number on a lot of our guests. We’ve been hearing the stories all day long. Our hotel has a generator thankfully so we can always be your port in any storm. Our hearts go out to everyone affected. If you are  finding yourself without power or floating around in flood waters come on over.  At least for now we have room at the INN. Lois and Ellen are working at the Front Desk and are waiting to welcome you.  We’ve got hot coffee in the lobby so you can relax.  The Outback Steakhouse is right next door so you can treat yourself to a feast.  If you don’t mind driving, our key card sleeves have a 15% discount at the Houlihans in Holmdel. You can reach us by calling 732.671.3400 and we have a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast in the morning to get your day started right.  We’re pet friendly too, bring your furry friends.

The Inn-Side Story – Meet Our Comfort Inn Hotel Family

The INN-Side Story is going to be a weekly post to the blog so you can meet our Comfort Inn Hotel Family here in Middletown, NJ. Our hotel has been owned and operated by the Pappas and Morris families since it opened it’s doors in 1962 as the Howard Johnson’s. Back at that time both the Howard Johnson Restaurant and Lodge were owned by the families.

The Howard Johnson Restaurant was leveled  and the Outback Steakhouse opened on August 4, 1998.  The Comfort Inn Middletown opened May 5, 2005. Renovations continued on the hotel throughout 2006 and into 2007. The grand re-opening ceremony was in September 2007. Two state of the art conference rooms were added, the breakfast rooms was upgraded, hotel rooms were updated and the facade was replaced among many other upgrades.

Spiro Pappas GM of the Comfort Inn Middletown

Spiro Pappas wins "Franchisee of the Year" award in 1998

Meet Our Principal Owner and General Manager Spiro Pappas:

Spiro has had a long history with both the Howard Johnson Restaurant and hotel. He started with the company on June 3, 1975 and as he says “May that day live in infamy.” He worked in the restaurant as a Chef and as the Assistant Manager of the hotel. In 1983 he married his beautiful wife and was promoted to hotel General Manager. He has had a very successful career and was named “Manager of the Year” with Howard Johnson for the first out 4 times in 1987. Between 1998 and 1990 he and his wife had a son and a daughter.

Spiro earned his Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) in 1995.   He served as the Chairman of the Franchise Board for Howard Johnsons from 1997-1998. Spiro is also very active in the community and in ’96 he was elected to the Parish Council at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. He served as the President from 2003-5 and Vice President 2009-10. He was the Vice President of CBA’s Alumni Association for 2007-8 and President 2009-10. He has also served as the VP of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association.

As the General Manager, Spiro is completely hands on in the day-to-day operations of the hotel. Most days you will find him answering the phone at the front desk, assisting housekeeping, or doing maintenance work on the grounds. He also enjoys entertaining guests with tales of the business and can be found having a cup of coffee with them in our breakfast room most mornings.  He is very dedicated to the hotel, his guests and employees.  Employee turnover is not an issue for him, many of his employees have worked him over ten years. He makes a special effort to treat them as individuals and recognize their unique talents.

Keep an eye out for future Inn-Side story posts.  I am going to try to highlight a person per week.  I am collecting stories, photos and memories to post here.  If you’ve had any experiences you would like to share I’d love to post them.  Please email us anything you would like to contribute, we’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to leave you comments below as well.

The Comfort Inn Middletown – “It’s not where you sleep, it’s who you sleep with.”