Saturday, August 28, 2010


These last few weeks have been incredibly fulfilling, because so many of our efforts came to fruition. You are not going to believe the great weekend of Indian culinary fare we are planning for September 24th, 25th and 26th! Ron Rittenhouse, our executive chef, is busy putting the final touches on a special Indian dinner that is sure to delight the senses and bring a special touch to our ethnic and cultural heritage, to Frenchtown. Hey, it was just the Independence Day of India (August 15th) inspired us to plan a special menu to celebrate this special country's culinary fare that is embraced by countries throughout the world--so why not Frenchtown??? After all, Pete is an Indian-born US citizen, so why not incorporate that into the fabric of our great and historic establishment, that has honored and hosted so many previous owners' passions. We've played with some of the traditional spices from India and incorporated them into our menu choices, much as we have done with our traditional Chilean spices and those from Spain, in honor of my own heritage. But since India's Independence Day just passed, why not delve deeper and beyond the simple spices...why not actually offer our patrons a taste of India? We can do it!!!

We'll just extend the August Indian Independence Day celebration into September...and keep enjoying our traditions--the old and the new--while we have fun delivering the best service , best food and best drinks we possibly can. This picture of Kasey Goyette, our lead bartender, and one of our dear and loyal patrons, "Stoney," says it all, as they enjoy the music on a recent Sunday and create a dance floor right there in our Bar! Now that's having fun!!!

And this just piggy-backs so many other things that have recently happened. From hosting fantastic and entertaining Sunday Musical Afternoon series (visit our youtube channel to see some webclips I've uploaded, in addition to these performances:

We had such a good time hosting performances featuring Mike Pfeiffer, Ray McGeehan, Chuck Schaeffer, and The Royal Arboretum,

to being able to support this year's National Night Out, sponsored by the Frenchtown Police Department, the Lions Club, and the Borough of Frenchtown, to celebrating our 1st anniversary since we received the keys "that changed our lives"--the keys that opened the doors to The National much, so fast!

Last night we had another installment of our Wednesday Ladies' Night, with 1/2 off drinks from 5 - 7 p.m. We were so happy to see so many familiar faces, friends breaking up their mid-week by coming together and sharing some time with each other--and with us. How lucky are we? And, their feedback is invaluable--we learned, for instance, that some of our lady patrons want us to host a DANCE night! Oh yes, dancing in the Rat Pub Lounge. So, Pete and I better start investigating how to make this possible...

And how about a trivia night? Hey, why not? Oh so many good ideas, just waiting to be put in place. Pete and I are very fortunate to be able to count on so many friends in the community who have managed to take the baton and run with it. Our special nights and events thus far have grown organically, grown out of the goodness of their hearts, grown because the community wanted them in town--whether it be Open Mic Night on Thursdays, or the People's Poetry on the 3rd Sunday of every month.

Don't forget that we have another installment of our People's Poetry coming up in September--our August session was inspiring and filled with humorous moments that lightened all of our spirits on that afternoon.

Where do we go from here? Up to you, my friends...up to you. Post a comment with your feedback or email me with your specific ideas. I always appreciate what you share. Don't forget to look us up on facebook. Stay up to the minute on activities and events by signing our guestbook, or post comments on our facebook fanpage to share with others.

I'll write soon about our upcoming the meantime, drop by to The National Hotel and say "hi" to the gang:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Musical Afternoon Series Hits the Spot!!!

There are so many reasons to be proud of our little corner of the world...from the beauty and history of Frenchtown itself, to the businesses around town that welcome outsiders "into the fold" and encourage them to come back to our little town, to the local residents who go out of their way to support our local establishments and be a part of our community.

Today, we have the pleasure of hosting another session of our Sunday Musical Afternoon series. It's a day that we have been anxiously awaiting for a few weeks: Mike Pfeiffer will perform from 5 - 7 p.m. upstairs in our Restaurant & Bar. If you have been fortunate enough to catch him during our Thursday Open Mic Night series, then you know you have to come to The National Hotel today. What a performer! Just super. I'll try to capture some of it today on video & will post it to The National Hotel NJ youtube channel. In the meantime here's one from an impromptu jam session where musicians jumped in at The Rat:

For us, having recently celebrated our one-year anniversary of the date we took ownership of The National Hotel, it's just another gift Frenchtown has given us. One year. Oh yes, we remember the renovations in the dark, using flashlights to make our way around the shuttered building because JCP&L was busy restoring power to homes who had suffered losses during a recent storm, and was therefore unable to establish new lines...and the water that had been turned off and took yet another week to have in our building. Oh yes, we remember cleaning borrowing buckets of water from our neighbors...But no matter the challenges, we are so pleased with the result today--especially, because The National Hotel has become family to so many people who come through its doors frequently to enjoy wonderful food, great drinks, and above all, that sense of community, that warmth you feel when you see familiar faces, old friends and new.

Yesterday was Frenchtown's National Night Out, an annual celebration and "give-back" to the community, where the Frenchtown Police Dept. organizes a special day in town with lots of activities for the children, good food, and fun for the whole family, together with the Lions Club. Pete and I stopped by to share in a little bit of the fun, and we were greeted by SOOOOO many people that we felt as if we were floating. The music was fun, the food hit the spot, and the Birch Beer was awesome!

We loved seeing the kids enjoying themselves in gigantic inflatable bounce houses and slides...and to see their anxious faces when the raffle drawing came, each one waiting to see who would win the bicycles and helmets, raffle tickets in hand...incredible fun! Congratulations Frenchtown!

Alright, lots to do to the races...getting ready for this afternoon's performance, while actually still having warm memories from last week's fabulous performance by The Royal Arboretum, featuring Lee and Kristen. I'm not done editing, but will share clips soon...