The Pierogie Place opened over the weekend at Rowan University’s thriving Boulevard commercial strip, and we visited them on Sunday! Read on for our photo tour and experience!
And yes the family behind The Pierogie Place are from the Ukraine but have also spent years in the USA.
So amidst all the excitement of opening a new restaurant they are dealing with the angst and feeling of helplessness regarding what is happening to their Ukraine and family members who live there. More on how you can help, below…
This is the third location for The Pierogie Place and we broke the news on the new Rowan location in early January.
The response to that January post from the 42Freeway fans truly surprised us! The Facebook stats were off the charts… it was seen by over 100,000 people, had 2,700 reactions, 1,400 comments, and almost 700 shares!
42Freeway fans are really excited for this new eatery!
The new Rowan location is at the circle, in the section that also houses Playa Bowls and the 7-Eleven. The newer Oishii Ramen is also close by.
Mark stopped in on Sunday and met up with the husband and wife ownership team Bohdan and Liz who are just amazing people. They were deep into employee training mode, so Liz had the most time to chat with me. What a wonderful person to chat with!
And for their third location (and first away from the beach), they have really upped the game in style and comfort.
I think the biggest problem they’ll have with the Rowan location is…. the students won’t want to leave!
Yes it really is that comfortable there!
We discussed their new location, pierogis, and the Ukrainian war. Yes… the couple are Ukrainian.
The Pierogie Place – Third Location
As mentioned this is the third location for the Pierogie Place, with the other two located in Wildwood and Ocean City. One location in each of three subsequent years… in the middle of a pandemic!
The idea of a pierogi shop is both unique and “Why hasn’t some done this already” at the same time. For the Pierogie Place family it has proven to be very successful in a very short amount of time.
Mark actually had a chance to try out their Wildwood location several times that first year and last year.
Liz tells me they were blown away by the positive reception of that first Wildwood boardwalk store. Without any promotion at all they quickly had a line of customers waiting to try their pierogis, and in that first day sold what they thought was going to be several days of product.
I really love their pierogis but even I was surprised to see the huge number of happily excited comments at the 42Freeway Facebook page for our January post. People REALLY love pierogis!
No seriously… why hasn’t someone done this in our area before!?
The Pierogi… Perogies… Pierogies?
They serve a traditional pierogie that has a handmade style and taste. They are a filled dumpling that is folded over a delicious filling. Thin and tender dough outside, with generous and delicious fillings inside.
Their pierogies are trans-fat free, and they are cooked with the boil method (as opposed to frying).
Pierogis are a staple food in large parts of Europe, and are typically associated with Polish or Ukrainian cuisine.
As I said, I’ve been at patron at their Wildwood location and on Sunday I got to try them again.
Well more than try… I had lunch. An order of very traditional potato and cheese with sour cream, and also an assorted order of their dessert pierogies.
Everything was fresh and delicious and bursting with flavor!
And the dessert varieties may have you thinking “Blueberries in a pierogi? Strawberries?” Well let me tell you… it not only works, it truly kicks-ass. Incredible flavors and colors!
As we explained in the January announcement post, the menu is simple following a “Do one thing, and do it right” mentality.
In the savory category are:
- Potato & Cheese
- Potato & Onion
- Potato & Cheddar
- Potato & Jalapeno Cheddar
- Potato & Bacon Cheddar
- Potato & Sauerkraut
I think a sour cream topping is the most popular choice for these savory options, but they also offer 7 total topping choices including butter, spicy chili garlic sauce, carmelized onions and more!
In the sweet category of Pierogie Place offerings, are delicious dessert-like choices;
- Sweet Cheese
The sweet options offer toppings such as sweet cream, fresh berries or powdered sugar.
The Kulchyckyj Story
Dan and Liz Kulchyckyj have three children, are of Ukranian decent but grew up in America.
For many years they were an American family who ate pierogis regularly as part of their family’s meals. With two children born in the US the family eventually went back to the Ukraine for work opportunities… where they lived for 20+ years!
In 2020 with the Covid crisis growing, the “expat” Family came back to America and eventually decided they were going to stay here.
The Ukrainian War – Bittersweet Stories and Helping Out
First off… one of the best parts about writing this website is meeting such amazing and wonderful people, and The Pierogie Place owners Bohdan and Liz really fit right in as awesome people operating locally owned businesses.
Dan met me with a huge smile and a firm handshake, and thanked me for my recent post. As he focused on the employee training process I could see him smiling and laughing with everyone during the process.
As mentioned Liz had more time to chat with me, and during our 45 minute conversation we effortlessly discussed their story, the Pierogie Place business, the 42Freeway website (including my plans)… and yes their strong concerns and worry over what is happening in the Ukraine.
It won’t be too long before they are working to open up their two beach locations so if you can, try to get over to the new Rowan location in the next 4-6 weeks and maybe you’ll catch up with someone from the family.
Along with enjoying delicious pierogis, you can offer your concern and prayers and make a donation on site (they have wrist bands).
Liz shared with me several stories of the direct and personal impact they war is having on them.
I believe her when she said friends and other family members had to talk her out of going to the the Ukraine right now. But I know their time will come… when the country needs to be rebuilt.
Liz told me her husband was in the Ukraine for 20 years soon after it declared itself as separate country in the early 90s.
Bohdan is an engineer but when the Ukraine broke free 30 years ago, he stepped away to help develop a multi-location business in the Ukraine… businesses that gave the residents jobs which were not dictated to them by the government.
Liz also told me about family members that are still in the Ukraine, and how every day they check to make sure everyone is ok.
They have not been completely spared. Multiple friends of the family have already made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Liz has a lot of energy and its clear she is a quick thinker… and the frustration of feeling helpless is very present.
“I have nephews in the Ukraine who asked me to send them helmets and bullet proof vests. But there is just no way to ship things directly to them. So we are assisting other organizations to raise money to send over so that items can be sourced locally”
Knowing some of the family’s history with helping the Ukraine I told her “your time will come. They are going to need people to rebuild the country, and without a doubt I know you, your husband and other family members will be the first ones there”
Liz provided the following Give Butter donation page which tells a part of their story… and the main thing is they have vetted out the reputable organizations to donate to.
The Give Butter model is you donate to them, and all the funds are distributed by Liz and family to the Ukrainian charities they’ve determined are best to support the Ukrainian people.
Top of her own priority list is the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital which is finding it very difficult to source supplies for the County’s ill and injured children.
Also, Wildwood area blogger Joey Contino and his Ukrainian born wife were recently featured at NJ.com, regarding the impacts of the war on their families. You can read that article here.
Links and Location
Sorry to end on such a heavy tone! Go visit the Pierogie Place and Rowan for delicious pierogis!
The Pierogie Place – Rowan Boulevard
320 Rowan Boulevard
Glassboro NJ 08028
PARKING: You cannot park in front of the restaurant as the circle is there. There is some parking behind the building and tunnels to walk through to the front. Also, one block over across from Chickie’s and Pete’s is a large parking garage with free first level parking.
Locations also on the boardwalks of Wildwood and Ocean City!