Monday, July 31, 2017


Grateful. It's the word that comes to mind. EIGHT YEARS AGO TODAY, with fresh keys in hand after all the legal and financial meetings to make the purchase of The National Hotel a reality, we stand hand-in-hand not only with our daughters (now in college), but with the Frenchtown community.

July 2009, shuttered
Our lives have become immensely intertwined and joyfully transformed. And The National Hotel--the edifice itself--appears to have taken on new life, breathing, singing, embracing. This is a complete metamorphosis from how we found the building, shuttered for nearly 18 months, with renovations that awaited us, and challenges we had no idea we'd have to face.

It's trite, but honest: We had, and continue to have, a love affair with this grand old establishment. Every step of the way, every room that had to be renovated, refurbished, and restored, was just another chapter in the lives we were building that would include each of us. In a small way or in a big way, our daughters, Pete, and I, along with so many friends and friends-yet-to-be-made in and around Frenchtown, contributed to the business we are proud to call our home away from home, in the very best little gem of a town anywhere in the world.

Turning the corner onto Race Street from
Route 12 during Gay Pride month
Every time we drive down Route 12 into Frenchtown, with the beautiful vistas of Pennsylvania across and behind Frenchtown, we remark at the beauty of this part of the world. "People pay money to vacation where we call home," Pete has often remarked to me. True. Simply true.

Today, we have new programs and events to announce. Remember to get up-to-the-minute information by liking our facebook page. Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming evenings that will be filled with music, but for now, please mark your calendars with the following:

  • Tuesday: Bi-Weekly Trivia continues in The Rat on August 8th, 8 - 10pm
  • Wednesday:
    • Announcing half-priced appetizers and drinks will now be available in BOTH our bars (upstairs and in The Rat): 4 - 7pm
    • Karaoke in The Rat: 8pm - midnight
  • Thursday: 
  • Friday: Spotlight Friday Music Series launch!! 
    • August 4th: Join Mike Wojk and his Trio of Madness starts 
  • Saturday:
    • Prix-fixe BRUNCH: 10am - 1pm
    • Saturday Night Live Music series: August 5th--Scofflaw with Mojo Creeksnake and Jesse Ketchel
  • Sunday:

Eight years later, we have learned the ebb and flow of life near the Delaware River, always with the support of our Frenchtown community. From bringing music back into the building, to adding new programming to engender that sense of community that is inexplicable in so many other towns and cities, it has always been the Frenchtown residents and the surrounding communities who have come to our aid and who have buoyed our spirits. THANK YOU!

As always, please continue to email us with your feedback, leave a comment on this blog, and stay up-to-date with everything being planned, by checking our website, calling us at 908.996.3200 or: 

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 Thank you again for your continued support and patronage.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Before I could even acknowledge the New Year, I see March already ready to run away with the end of February. The pages on our calendars turn much too fast these days. I suppose the older I get the more I will find myself trying to hold onto just a few more minutes from the present. Living in the present, securely embracing the moment--each moment--is my goal for 2017. There are so many wonderful neighbors that Pete and I have had the privilege of getting to know in Frenchtown; so many new faces that have already become frequent guests this month; so many things for which to be grateful.

It's in this spirit that Pete and I are pleased to announce our 4th annual Valentine's Day Contest, with three (3) great prizes to be awarded:
  1. one overnight stay at The National Hotel for two;
  2. dinner for two in The National Hotel's Restaurant and Bar;
  3. dessert and after-dinner drinks for two in The National Hotel's Restaurant and Bar.
So what do YOU have to do? Simple. Send us a 250-word minimum/400-word maximum essay about the most meaningfully romantic moment of your relationship, and why you think your particular story is relevant to Frenchtown, NJ or any of the surrounding Hunterdon County, NJ or Bucks County, PA areas. Deadline for submission is Monday, February 13th, and winners will be announced on February 14th on our facebook page.

Historic photo of original backyard of
The National Hotel, provided by a
descendant of the Apgar family.
There is so much history and natural beauty in our little corner of the world, with the Delaware River providing countless poems and art renderings, to the sheer romance of establishments such as The National Hotel, that has provided comfort to so many throughout its long history. And to us, Valentine's Day provides us with the opportunity to showcase the exquisite labor of love by our executive chef, Geoffrey Thomas. Our Valentine's Day menu that is available all weekend starting tonight, is a testament to his passion:

Of course, between the live music this weekend featuring Jimmy Garabo on Saturday (9-11pm) and Gary Reed on Sunday (5-7pm), you just can't go wrong with making Frenchtown your Valentine's Day/Valentine's Weekend destination!

Don't forget to make your reservations NOW so you can properly plan that special person in your life. Better yet, contact us via email or at 908.996.3200 and make it a getaway or a staycation, with our Valentine's Day exclusive overnight packages. You will not be disappointed. Our knowledgeable General Manager, Marlon Aranha, will take care of every detail. With enough lead time, he could even schedule an appointment for massage sessions at Euphoria Studio, designed exclusively for our overnight guests, just a short stroll from The National Hotel.

Our programs don't stop there, because we will have a post-Valentine's Day special Karaoke celebration on the 15th of February. FUN, all in caps!! Remember to join us for our weekly Thursday Open Mic Night in The Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a. The Rat), and every other Tuesday, catch our Bi-Weekly Trivia, but not February 21st, because we will be closed for our annual building re-fresh. This is when we close our doors for one week and do all the work that needs to happen to continue our high standards to better serve you when we reopen on February 28th. 

Frenchtown provides so many choices, all unique, all sure to be memories you will long treasure. We hope to welcome you to The National Hotel in the very near future. And if you agree with us and have a little bit of time, please take a minute to vote for us in this year's Hunterdon Happenings List--just vote one time per email address in any (or all) of the categories listed below--and THANK YOU in advance for your help in sharing how much you care about The National Hotel:
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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