Friday, July 15, 2016

Family-Friendly Fun in Frenchtown

It's such a privilege to be able to provide top-notch service to our guests. As we approach the 7th anniversary since we received the keys to The National Hotel later this month, we are so grateful for the opportunities that have come our way. Those keys did not only open the shuttered doors of The National Hotel; they unlocked a hidden gem within one of the best kept secrets in New Jersey.

Amazing cake created by Stephanie Market Haver
Through our involvement with so many patrons who choose to make The National Hotel a daily part of their lives, we have witnessed friendships blossom, and relationships deepen. This little historic building has its "finger" on the pulse of our quaint and unique Delaware River town. From being nominated as Frenchtown School's "favorite historic spot in town" by its students with a celebratory evening at Frenchtown's beautiful and thoughtful bookstore, The Book Garden--which is an HONOR in and of itself!!!--to receiving the warmth and support of our vibrant community from day one seven years ago that has never wavered, we are in awe of our neighbors and the surrounding communities.

It's going to be such a joy being able to share in the festivities on the 16th! Pete and I hope that you'll carve out time to enjoy the annual Bastille Day family-friendly celebrations on Saturday. From the River Union Stage Puppet Show behind The Book Garden to live music and entertainment on the streets of town, it's sure to be an unforgettable day.

"Local Pogo-Stick Extreme athletes Nik Taylor and Henry Cebalus, students at New Hope Solebury High School, have performed for the Pope in Vatican City, on the Great Wall of China and at the Eiffel Tower in Paris! And now they will be bringing their show to Frenchtown thanks to Village Toy Shoppe!" [] There'll be a "fashion show highlighting its je-ne-sais-quoi couture," a stilt walker, a mime, and so much more. Considering the news recently, it feels so good to be able to celebrate France, to lift spirits, to share life, and to scream loudly, Vive la France!!

At The National Hotel, we're ready to roll out the carpet for you, with weekend Additions to the Menu already posted, where you can catch the "action" while sitting on our front porch and cool off with "THE SUMMER BREEZE" (Stoli Raspberry, Chambord, Fresh Lemon Juice, Splash of Sprite and Club Soda, Lemon Wheel Garnish) and take a respite from the day's activities. The fun will continue through the night. John Sontag will perform live from 9-11 pm in The Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a. The Rat), where the conversation is always lively, and everyone is welcome. And mark your calendars for Sunday's live music performance featuring the return of David Falcone (5-7 pm).

That's the beauty of Frenchtown. It's the human capital--it's the residents who share their lives with each other, who say "hello" to each other on the street, who care for neighbors and who are warm to visitors. now this is a town that has integrity! Join us!!!

Please continue to send me your comments via email or on this blog. I look forward to seeing you soon at The National Hotel. Thank you for your continued patronage.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

There's No Place Like Frenchtown, From Easter Fun, to Community Involvement, to Fun Nights in Town

[Photo courtesy of Frenchtown Lions Club fb page]
Happy Spring! Yes, it's a little crisp outside, but boy, is it beautiful! Some of our neighbors already had the pleasure of participating in the town's annual Easter Egg Hunt earlier today thanks to the Frenchtown Lions Club! What a treat for all the little kids to experience this small-town event, where everyone comes together. 

It truly is a perfect day to experience Frenchtown's natural beauty, just taking a leisurely stroll (or, OK, you can also take a run or bike ride...why not?!) down the D&R Canal State Park (a.k.a. the tow path) that runs parallel to the Delaware River and is the perfect way to take in the day's beauty. It's where one of our daughters loves to walk our beloved family dog (who turns 11 next week!)
Frenchtown, NJ is not just the location of our business, The National Hotel, but moreover it is the nexus of our lives, where our children grew up strolling through Race and Bridge Streets, exploring Harrison and Trenton Streets, and always welcomed by all of the shops' owners and employees. We hear this all the time when our Restaurant and Bar guests express how the town embraces them each time they come by, and even when they catch our live music in our cellar tavern, The Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a The Rat, The Frenchtown Underground), they always make a point of recognizing its friendly and inviting vibe. 

[Photo courtesy of Gary Reed]
Tonight, our patrons will be able to experience this again, when Mike Chet Beck performs live in The Rat (9-11 pm), while tomorrow we'll feature the return of Gary Reed in our Restaurant and Bar (5-7pm)! This and all of the weekly programs we are able to share with our vibrant community makes us proud to be a part of the fabric of Frenchtown.

Many of our guests will be celebrating Easter Sunday tomorrow and we're so pleased to be the chosen venue to mark this celebration. It is such a great testament to the relationship that our guests have built with the town, with us, and with neighbors from Frenchtown and visitors, whereby The National Hotel's Easter Menu will allow them to enjoy themselves while permitting us to cater to their every need. We are just incredibly honored--and we'll do our best to accommodate you if you still need to make a reservation for tomorrow, but do call soon please (908.996.3200).

It's truly amazing how the many weekly programs that we feature have started simply by a patron asking if he/she could test an idea, and now, for example, Thursday Open Mic Night is in its 6th year! We've got Party Animals Karaoke every week, and this coming Wednesday the 30th, we're hosting a Karaoke Beach Party night! Come dressed for the beach, sing some songs, and stay late into the night to win prizes for best beach outfit (men and women)!

With all the fun to be had that night (and any night in Frenchtown, really!), why worry about driving home. Just contact our friendly concierge to make a reservation for an overnight stay. We even have special packages for mid-week stays!!! Each week there's consistent programs, but we also have some surprises, such as (again) a beloved musician and patron asking if he could play some jazz once or twice a month on a Tuesday night in The Rat. How could we say no? We have Bi-Weekly Tuesday Trivia Night, so this fits in beautifully. Call us at 908.996.3200 if you'd like more information on either of those programs.

And remember, Monday is Locals' Night in The Rat. We learned this week that our House-Made French Fries were declared the winners in Hunterdon Happenings' 2016 Best French Fries competition (thanks to YOUR votes!)--but, since our Restaurant and Bar is closed every Monday, with only The Rat being open, we only serve a liquid diet, so make sure you BYOF (! So if you want the award-winning fries, please return Tuesday-Sunday!! 

This bond with our community and our neighbors is exhibited not just in being nominated (and winning thanks to the votes of so many of you) for Hunterdon Happenings Winner of Best French Fries, or in this morning's Easter Egg Hunt, or through the big events that Frenchtown holds (such as Bastille Day in July), but moreover it is often through community service, where area residents come together to help each other and the town. A prime example, and one where you too can get involved is the Frenchtown Park Clean-Up Day on April 16th. Every year, volunteers carve out time to remove debris, clean, and refresh our Frenchtown Park. Please mark your calendar and help if you are able.

Please continue to send me your comments via email or on this blog. I look forward to seeing you soon at The National Hotel. Thank you for your continued patronage.

Please continue to send me your comments via email or on this blog. I look forward to seeing you soon at The National Hotel. Thank you for your continued patronage.

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Friday, February 26, 2016


We're so proud to be part of the fabric of the Frenchtown community. It's always a rewarding experience to get feedback from guests, and we are so pleased to have a 4-star rating from TripAdvisor!! Even after closing for one week for our annual "re-birth" (in order to make sure we re-do floors, paint, and make the necessary work that ensures an optimal experience for our guests when they enter our historic 19th century building), there is always such good will from the community when we do this, such patience and support, that it buoys our spirits.

We are incredibly grateful to ALL of you who have voted for us in the Hunterdon Happening List for our award-winning French Fries--and if you haven't, there's still time!

Our dedicated staff also deserves a lot of praise--that so many of you recognize and share with us--each and every one going above and beyond helping us through the process, and returning to The National Hotel when our doors reopened on Tuesday, full of energy and a desire to exceed all expectations.

Frenchtown itself is like that from my vantage point. Each individual and unique business has established that same spirit driven by a communal goal to provide the best customer service experience to residents and visitors alike. This attention to detail and passion is evident day in and day out. Whether you stop by to experience the beauty of the products and well-designed spaces of Designs by Tranquility; or the thrilling atmosphere of a high-end oil and vinegar shop, Olive with a Twist, that encourages customers to taste the products, to just STOP time and be in the moment expanding one's palate; or walk up the steps of the quintessentially Victorian building that says, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and "Peter Pan." Walk through its front door to a bevy of rooms intricately organized to include a most delicate collection of books for all ages at The Book Garden. Frenchtown delivers a one-of-a-kind spirit-lifting experience every single day.

It's the townspeople, it's the shops, it's the restaurants, it's the Delaware's all of it. With such close proximity to other river towns, and even to metropolitan cities such as Philadelphia and New York City, Frenchtown offers the opportunity to not just have life, but to enjoy it. From live music 3 nights/week at The National Hotel (Th Open Mic Night, Sat Night Live Music Series, and Sunday Musical Afternoons), to Wed Karaoke Night, and our bi-weekly Tues Trivia Night, you'll have additional motivation to come to Frenchtown and also visit our neighboring river towns in March, during our Restaurant Week, March 20th -24th. Each one has a unique Restaurant Week experience waiting for you.

When you come to Frenchtown, make sure you don't walk down Race Street or Bridge Street in a hurry--there are faces that soon become familiar and there's a joy in greeting each other, and in looking at the store windows, just taking it all in. And of course, there's Harrison and Trenton Streets to shake things up too.

I hope you'll make some time for yourself, carve out a little piece of every day to enjoy our hidden gem, even if just to stroll through town to enjoy a healthy walk or bike ride on the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (a.k.a. town path). Walking our dog with our daughters now that one is already in college and our youngest will also be off soon, has left an indelible footprint in my mind for which I am forever grateful to Frenchtown.

I hope you too will join me.

Please continue to send me your comments via email or on this blog. I look forward to seeing you soon at The National Hotel. Thank you for your continued patronage.

Find us on Facebook  Visit our blog  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube  Find us on Google+