Connect with us


Hot Dog! Windmill Gets Approval to Return to Brick With New Restaurant, Take-Out Window

A Windmill hot dog. (Photo: Windmill/ Facebook)

A Windmill hot dog. (Photo: Windmill/ Facebook)

It’s official: a yummy Jersey Shore comfort food institution is heading back to Brick.

The township’s planning board on Wednesday night approved the popular local hot-dog chain to open a new location in Brick five years after closing its longtime space at the corner of routes 88 and 70. The new location, which will include a take-out window and outdoor seating, will be in the retail plaza diagonally across the street, in a stand-alone building on a pad site that was last used as a T-Mobile wireless store.

The pad site is located within the shopping center at 905 Route 70, a strip mall sandwiched between the convergence of Route 70, Princeton Avenue and Route 88. The shopping center current houses a Mattress Firm store and a Dunkin’ Donuts store, among other businesses such as a martial arts studio and smoke shop. Windmill is planning to renovate the pad site store, add outdoor seating and paint the building in the company’s signature colors, said Nicholas Montenegro, attorney for owner Ralph Epstein.

Get Brick News Updates Daily
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

The application before the board was straightforward: a conversion of a retail store into a restaurant, which is a permitted use in the business zone. The board was required to ratify several minor variances due to the shape of the lot, and to ensure parking and traffic flow would be safe for customers.

“They are also looking to incorporate some areas for outdoor seating for the times when weather permits,” said David H. Boesch, the engineering consultant on the project. “We’re looking to supplement some existing pavement area on the outside of the building for outdoor seating and some pavement on the outside of the building for outdoor seating.”

The restaurant will occupy the 1,032 square foot building in the shopping plaza, and will also create new green space while adding extra breathing room around the entrance from the highway. There were initially concerns that there would not be enough parking at the site, however when the numbers were crunched, the plaza actually had nine spaces more than required by ordinance.

“There was also 395 square feet of impervious coverage that had been installed by a previous tenant,” presumably without a permit, Boesch testified.

Windmill will install green space around the building, the two outdoor seating areas, a take-out window and protective bollards that will protect outdoor diners from vehicles. Between the extra parking stalls and the several hundred square feet of concrete that will be removed, Windmill’s representatives said that following meetings with the township, it was decided that two parking spaces would be removed so the entrance to the plaza from Route 70 could be widened.

“By doing that, we’re providing an extra level of safety,” said Boesch.

The location (outlined in red) of the new Windmill restaurant in Brick Township. (Credit: Planning Document)

The location (outlined in red) of the new Windmill restaurant in Brick Township. (Credit: Planning Document)

Stephen Raciti, the architect on the project, said the restaurant will contain 23 seats indoors, plus a number of tables outside. It is expected that there will be four staff members in the store at a given time. The building will not be expanded, though it will be adapted to restaurant use.

“The trash will be transported across the parking lot to a sanitation facility,” Raciti said. “We have an enclosure on the south side of the building that would be useful for carters to pick up the refuse.”

Windmill, a Jersey Shore-based chain of casual restaurants especially known for their locally-famous hot dogs, closed its Brick location in 2019 after years of operation. It long held a space located roughly across the street from the new location along with a 7-Eleven convenience store. Serving hot dogs, hamburgers, cheese fries and similar comfort foods, the chain currently operates five locations, all in Monmouth County: Belmar, Red Bank, Ocean Grove and two stores in Long Branch.

At the time of its 2019 closure, the owner of the company, Levine Levy, said the company was considering opening a smaller location in Brick since its existing restaurant was too large. The first Windmill opened its doors in the 1960s and was purchased and operated by the Levy family since 1976.

Click to comment