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Riverwinds Complex May See a Second Restaurant & Bar.  Early Stage Proposal

Riverwinds Complex May See a Second Restaurant & Bar.  Early Stage Proposal
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Another exciting development is in the early stages for the popular Riverwinds complex in West Deptford, as a new bar and restaurant along with retail is proposed for 18 acres of land within the 600 acre property.

This is the third proposed Riverwinds project I covered recently that while in the early stages, is reaching a contractual stage with West Deptford requiring the developers to be formerly named as redevelopers.  The other two projects are residential developments and proposed separately by Hovnanian and Alterra Group.

For the new restaurant project, in January the Ciconte team was named by West Deptford as the redeveloper of an 18 acre landlocked lot situated at the corner of Riverwinds Dr and Eagle Point Rd.   The parcel is directly next to the Riverwinds Golf & Tennis Club building, and across Riverwinds Drive from the first tee of the  Golf Course.

Currently the property is owned by the Township and is part of a large Township Redevelopment Plan.  New Jersey law requires these steps take place (such as naming a redeveloper) before they can execute any legal contracts, including the selling  of Township land which is part of a Redevelopment Zone.

Along with West Deptford naming the Ciconte team the redeveloper of the property, an agreement to sell the 18 acres of land is being formulated with the price set at $459,000.

A new restaurant is proposed for Riverwinds. (Image map: Google)

Many South Jersey residents are familiar with the Ciconte Restaurant Group, or at least one of their many restaurant brands.  They are the owners/partners of several very popular restaurant brands including Cinder Bar (Clarksboro, Wiliamstown), The Village Pub (Swedesboro, Washington Twp), Landmark Americana (Glassboro) and Ciconte’s Pizza which has five locations.  Additionally, they own unused liquor licenses in Greenwich Twp (Gibbstown), and Marlton.

This is very early stage information on the West Deptford restaurant project, and it is not a guarantee that the project will move through to development.

Ciconte (“Redeveloper”) has proposed a redevelopment project for the Subject Property which includes the development and construction of a restaurant, bar with ancillary storage and retail space (the “Redevelopment Project”) and has proposed to purchase the Subject Property from the Township for the amount of Four Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand Dollars ($459,000).

West Deptford Resolution regarding naming Ciconte the Redeveloper of an 18-acre riverwinds parcel

The document goes on to say that the Township and Ciconte have reached agreement on the form the Agreement of Sale and on a Redevelopment Agreement.  The current resolution sets an expiration date of March 31, 2024 where during that timeframe it is expected that the property agreement for sale is executed.

The full scope of the development is not public at this point.

While it is likely that a concept plan was presented to West Deptford officials regarding the plans for the property to facilitate the redeveloper decision, those concepts are not available to the public.

Example items i’ve eaten at either Cinder Bar or Village Pub

Honestly I did not ask for the concept plans, as my requests in December for the proposed Riverwinds residential projects’ concept plans were rejected by West Deptford and it’s attorneys.  I then spoke to the West Deptford attorney representing the Township who states those early stage documents are protected by NJ law.  I’ll have more information on that in a separate article, but I realized I was not going to get the Ciconte presentation either

New Riverfront Restaurant on Solid Ground

While the new proposal is on 18 acres of land which does not have direct waterfront access, this proposal may actually be on more solid ground than if it had a riverfront view!

First off, there is very solid ground with the Ciconte Restaurant Group as they are a very reputable, successful and financially viable company which was grown from one pizza shop in West Deptford to almost a dozen different restaurants in multiple concepts, including the wildly popular Cinder Bar and Village Pub restaurants.

Cinder Bar Williamstown – At Opening

Consider the Cinder Bar restaurants…  They are in an elite group of newer restaurant openings in South Jersey that have connected with customers at another level.  Cinder Bars upscale yet casual designs, coupled with a menu featuring well know tavern classics with upscale twists… immediately packed the two restaurants with customers who return again and again.

Secondly the 18 acres for the project are part of original “God’s Mother Earth” solid ground and should offer a stronger foundation to develop on…. hopefully avoiding larger foundation costs associated with driving pilings deep into the earth to support the foundation.

To explain that point, many may not be aware that the two large outcroppings of the Riverwinds property into the Delaware River were actually created by the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1960s! 

The effort 60 years ago was part of a project to dredge out the Delaware River to be deeper, to enable larger ships to move up the river to the ports north such as Philadelphia and Gloucester City.

As the soil along the riverbed was pulled up, the project team in the early 60s needed a place to relocate the dredged soil to, and placed it along the banks of the Delaware River.

Today if you look at the two coves cut into the shoreline on either side of the core Riverwinds Community outcroppings, the most inner-points of those two coves defines where the original shoreline was 60 years ago!

And since the new soil placed from river dredgings has only been in place about 60 years.. while it is very solid ground for people, roads and cars… large heavy buildings developed on the “fill dirt” likely need long pilings driven deep into the firmer “mother earth” solid ground below the fill.

When the existing Riverwinds Restaurant project was developed, its prime location at the point of the land along the river was fully on filled-in soil, and required foundation pilings driven much deeper into the solid earth below the dredge fill.

But it’s likely a slightly different story for the Ciconte project… at least to some degree.

A new restaurant is in early stage planning for Riverwinds. Green line shows the where the (image: Google Maps)

From my analysis of historical imagery (, the line of “dredge fill to solid earth soil” runs right through the Tennis complex.  Designers and Engineers at the time smartly developed the large Tennis facility building on the solid earth portion of the land, and the tennis courts are in the filled land.

So bringing this back to the Ciconte property… not only is the 18-acre parcel situated more “firmly” on solid ground, by my calculations it sits back a a good distance from what was the original shoreline!

Imagery from 1957 show that the land for the proposed restaurant project was utilized for farming.

That being said I am told that the entire Riverwinds area does have many feet of dredging placed on top (including the property for the proposed restaurant)… so there is a chance that some special foundation work will be needed.

Another big advantage for the Ciconte location is that the Riverwinds Golf Course is very popular, and currently the Golf carts move right past the property on their way to the course. So the new restaurant and bar should pick up an immediate customer base just from the golfers, and then since it’s a Ciconte project I expect it to quickly become a destination restaurant.

Links and Location

Ciconte Riverwinds Restaurant & Bar (Early Stage Proposal)
Riverwinds Dr and Eagle Point Rd.  
West Deptford, NJ

Ciconte Restaurant Group