By Melody Kettle

Richie Cecere is considering reopening his eponymous, yet defunct, supper club.  But before he does, he wants your opinion.

Richie Cecere’s Restaurant & Supper Club (2 Erie Street) opened in June 2002.  Construction of the  three-floor, mahogany and white onyx temple to jazz and feathered dancing girls, took seven years, and millions of dollars to complete. In January 2012, Cecere closed the doors.  For over a year, Cecere’s has idled in vacant limbo.

Richie Cecere's exterior

Richie Cecere’s exterior

So what went wrong?  Cecere spoke, in hindsight, that a premium was placed on the music shows, and not on the food.  Cecere says, “people referred to Richie’s as a “jazz club” and put the food in a subordinate position.”

Following the closing of Cecere’s, the rumor mill swirled; developers and restauranteurs tried unsuccessfully to obtain ownership of Cecere’s.   Most recently, Cecere received an offer for the restaurant and liquor license from highly regarded NJ restauranteurs who recently attempted to secure a space in Montclair.

If Cecere refuses the offer and opts to reopen, he plans to make the food – especially the chef – a priority.   Cecere would entertain a chef partner, “but he’d have to have a really big name.”  Cecere also adds, “putting on a show every week was hard work but very thrilling and the feeling of over 350 people coming from all over the tri state area to see the show was a thrill of a lifetime and dream come true.”

So, what does Montclair want? Does Montclair want Cecere’s back? If Cecere’s did return, what would you want to be different?



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