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Food for Thought: Library Promotes Area Restaurants

Initiative provides discounts to W. Caldwell library members at participating eateries.

April Judge has cooked up a recipe to assist the West Caldwell Public Library while promoting area restaurants.

Judge, the library's director, launched a Dining Around the Caldwells initiative this month that provides restaurant discounts to library card holders and members of Friends of the West Caldwell Library.

According to Judge, the library will provide discount coupons that can only be used at the participating eatery that has been selected as the Restaurant of the Month.

The coupon, better known as the Restaurant Reward Passport, can be obtained at any of the library service desks, Judge said.

The year-long initiative includes a contest to win either an IPod Nano or a digital camera. To enter, you must visit each Restaurant of the Month, keep the receipt and fill out and return the passport to the library by Aug. 1, 2011.

With nine restaurants currently participating, Judge seeks three more to fill out the year. According to Judge, the restaurants are encouraged to each donate $200 to the library in exchange for the publicity of the program.

"The benefit to the participating restaurants is that the library supplies them with lots of publicity and the library develops partnerships with local merchants," Judge said. 

Vitella's Cucina, July's Restaurant of the Month, is among the participating eateries along with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Franco's Pizzeria, Manhattan Bagel, Cleveland's  Tap Room, Michael's Pizzeria & Restaurant, Russillo's Ristorante & Pizzeria, Cloverleaf Tavern and The Original Pancake House. 

Since there weren't enough interested West Caldwell restaurants, the program was extended to establishments outside of town as well.

According to Judge, most restaurants will offer a 10 percent discount, while Michael's Pizzeria & Restaurant will also feature dinner specials when its the Restaurant of the Month in December.

"I came up with the idea, which is based on a city-wide program that was held in Minnesota," Judge said. "That program partnered the local libraries with businesses throughout the city—not just restaurants."

For more information on Dining Around the Caldwells and for restaurants interested in participating in the program, contact Judge at 973-226-5441.

Restaurant of the Month

July—Vitella's Cucina, 40 Clinton Road, West Caldwell

August—Chipotle Mexican Grill, 749 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

September—Franco's Pizzeria, 907 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

October—Manhattan Bagel, 764 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

November—Cleveland's Tap Room, 555 Passaic Ave., West Caldwell

December—Michael's Pizzeria & Restaurant, 669 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

January—Open

February—Russillo's Ristorante & Pizzeria, 675 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

March—Cloverleaf Tavern, 395 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell

April—Open

May—Open

June—The Original Pancake House, 817 Bloomfield Ave., West Caldwell

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