Tonight the Brooklawn NJ Planning Board approved an exciting new restaurant and bar for the Brooklawn circle, on the property that years ago was home to Private Eyes and before that, Bogey’s!
And yes… the Bogey family own the property and will be developing the restaurant!
Specifically, the property is where Creek Road meets the Brooklawn Circle, across from the Westbrook Bowling Alley.
Well technically… with recent roadwork updates, Creek Road doesn’t fully connect to the circle any longer. More on that in a second.
The property is bordered by Route 47 (at the Big Timber Creek bridge), on the front side is Creek Road (and Westbrook Lanes across the street)… and in the back it has the Big Timber Creek!
And with this proposal… they plan on taking full advantage of the views and boat access of the creek! (or “crick”, as we called it! ha)
Last week South Jersey Observer posted that this meeting was coming… and this is the outcome with some additional details!
Brooklawn Waterfront Restaurant
While I don’t recall them stating that “Bogey’s” was the name of the new restaurant, it’s clearly marked that way on the site plan. The husband and wife team are listed on the Planning Board application, and back in 2019 they took ownership of the liquor license formerly held by Ponzio’s/Metro diner!
There is a Bogey’s bar at the Pitman Country Club, and we do not believe they are connected to this Brooklawn project (there’s a reason I worded the title of this post as I did!)
The new Brooklawn waterfront restaurant will be a single floor building, raised up higher so that it is above the risk of floods from the Big Timber Creek… and will be positioned to the back of the property closer to the water!
The site plan indicates a wrap-around deck on the back and side, which should provide awesome views to the waterway. The Big Timber Creek gets some boat traffic from a handful of marinas along the short portion of navigable waterway, but the big draw for the docks will be the boats docked along the Delaware River!
From the siteplan that we obtained, it appears the the front of the restaurant will be on the side, and the loading/trash area will be on the Creek Road side. Keep in mind the property sits back from Creek Road, and will have many rows of parking between the building and the roadway.
While there will be new boat docks installed, it was made very clear that this is not a “store your boat here” marina.. and that the docks are for use of boaters to come and visit the restaurant… by boat!
If you werent aware, the Big Timber Creek opens into the Delaware River where marinas are located along both sides of the Delaware… including Gloucester City, National Park, Camden, and of course on the Pennsylvania side of the river!
And if you’ve docked your boat along the Delaware, you know you are always looking for new places to visit with your boat… and it’s a long boat ride from Gloucester City to the Jersey Shore!
So a bar/restaurant like National Park’s Coconut Grove can become very popular with boaters in the area, and a Brooklawn waterfront restaurant should prove to be another stop to add into the regular itinerary!
The full property will have 85 parking spots.
We learned in the discussion that the other adjacent buildings… the large multi-business building on Creek Road and the Garage/Auto shop, are also owned by the Bogey’s.
So that they best provide enough parking for all of the businesses, a portion of existing Creek Rd “warehouse” retail building will be removed, and the impacted businesses would be relocated into another store opening.
Restaurant Access and Recent Roadway Changes
Access to the property will be from Creek Road only.
With recent updates to the Circle and Route 47, the 47 side of the property was fully curbed and driveways on to the Bogey property were removed. In a way this actually helps the project.. as they will not need approval from the State of New Jersey.
And if you haven’t been down that way in a couple years.. you may not know that Creek Road was modified here… well the full “Creek Road to Rt 130” Traffic pattern was changed.
Today while you can turn onto Creek Road from 47 North (after driving over the bridge), you can no longer drive from Creek road (say from Bellmawr) directly into the Circle! There is literally a turnaround there, that still surprises drivers! You have to turn much earlier at Salem Road and use a new traffic light intersection at Clancy’s Bar!
Lastly.. you can’t be on the circle and turn directly on to Creek Road! This has made it a little more difficult for some to get to Westbrook Lanes.
This does seem to lead to a much safe entrance and exit to the property, as access from the higher-speed Rt 47, and challenging Brooklawn Circle.. are basically eliminated.
Planning Board Session
The Planning Board was provided the site plan and elevations in advance of the meeting.
42Freeway is very appreciative that we were provided the site plans, exactly as we requested!
There were some questions regarding landscaping along Route 47, and who would maintain it. A quick check of Google street maps showed it really wasn’t a concern.
Questions were raised regarding cars stored at the auto garage portion of the property. The developer agreed that the approval was contingent on their removal.
And it was also requested that the restaurant add special grease trap system. I am not an expert on this.. but simply the town did not want the the quantity of grease a restaurant can create to be added to the town sewer system.
The Planning Board did approve the project.
Mayor Branella spoke positively on the project, and how well the multiple parties involved worked together to get it to this stage of approval.
So if you are new around these parts, or maybe just too young to remember.. the Bogey family previously operated a bar on the same property… but it was located at the very front of the property close to Creek Road and the Brooklawn circle.
Back in the late 70s and very early 80s, the bar was known as Bogey’s Circle Bar and was very much a local watering hole.
Sometime during the early 80s, Bogey’s transitioned into Russ Kolin’s Private Eyes, which is when most people would remember the former bar building.
Russ had a good story behind his business… he actually was a “Private Eye” detective, who started the Private Eyes bar. Several newspaper articles at the time told his interesting story.
From the 80s into the early 90s, Private Eyes was in the heart of the Rock-n-roll glam/metal era, and Private Eyes was in a key spot in the cover band bar rotation!
But all good things must come to an end, and in the early 90s, Private Eyes closed.
The Courier-Post chronicled the demolition of the building on November 8th, 1995. The town of Brooklawn had acquired the property through foreclosure, and Mayor at the time Michael Mevoli said “Finally it’s coming down. We’re just looking to get taxes”
Well 26 years later, it looks like Brooklawn is ready to bring life back to the old Bogey’s Circle Bar location.
And a waterfront Restaurant seems to be a much better plan than what was there 30 years ago!
The timeline on this project has not been determined. This is a very early stage town planning approval.