Written by Teresa Akersten
Whether you know it as O’Neil’s, The Nest or some other bygone name, the beloved restaurant and pub at 706 Bloomfield Ave. in Verona will be no more after this weekend.
O’Neil’s has been sold to John MacEvoy, the owner of another local establishment, The Verona Inn, and Arianne Duarte, acclaimed chef/owner of CulinAriane in Montclair, who have teamed up, according to a report on NorthJersey.com.
MacEvoy and Duarte (Top Chef Season 5 contestant) recently applied to have the liquor license transferred to their names, but have kept their plans under wraps.
Duarte, a resident of Verona, has been featured on The Today Show and recently won the premiere episode of HLN's cooking competition, "Cook Your Ass Off." Her Zagat-rated Walnut Street BYOB restaurant is frequently listed among the best in the state.
In 2012, MacAvoy relocated the more than 65-year-old Verona Inn to the center of the township's business district, giving it a more upscale look and full menu.
Rather than go out quietly, O’Neil’s has big plans for Friday and Saturday night, including live music and a staff reunion.
The Eamonn Ryan Band will perform as the house band Friday night, starting at 9 p.m. “Bring your instruments and/or voices,” reads a post by Ryan on the O’Neil’s Facebook page.
On Saturday night, Maxx Black, Tony Caggiano, and Mychal Kelly (and possibly other special guests) will hit the stage.