Yesterday’s Restaurant 3153 Route 35, Hazlet, NJ 07730
If you’ve lived in Hazlet New Jersey or in any of the neighboring Bayshore communities, then you have probably already dined at the iconic restaurant known as Yesterday’s. That being the case, you are already aware of the diverse menu, the fantastic family atmosphere and of course the all-you-can-eat mussels and salad bar that is included with all dinner entrees. What you may not know is the history of Yesterday’s and who is responsible for bringing us so much good food for so many years. We had the opportunity to speak with Joe Spalliero who along with his parents, Vinnie and Marie Spalliero, are the driving force behind the restaurant’s continued success. Joe was kind of enough to give us a trip back in time as he detailed the origin of Yesterday’s.
The first restaurant was established in 1967 by Joe’s paternal grandparents, Joseph and Josephine Spalliero. The establishment began as a pizza restaurant called Tony’s Pizza and it was one of the fledgling businesses located on Route 35, in a section of Hazlet that would eventually become the thriving shopping area that is recognized as being today. After initial success, the Spalliero’s decided to expand the pizza business into a larger full scale restaurant and changed the name to The Roman Inn. The local community was delighted with the expanded menu offerings and the larger sized accommodations. The Roman Inn had made a huge splash in the New Jersey dining scene!
In 1984, the Spalliero family decided to update The Roman Inn and expand the business to accommodate larger sized, formal events and weddings. It was at this time that Yesterday’s was born. The business grew dramatically over the next few years. It became apparent that if Yesterday’s were to continue it’s level of quality food and service, that the next generation of family members would need to take the reigns and carry the restaurant into the next decade. The year was 1990, and brothers Mario and Vinnie Spalliero took over ownership of Yesterday’s.
The restaurant continued to be a staple of the local community for the next two decades until March of 2010 when it was destroyed in a huge fire that leveled the entire structure. It was at this point that Joe Spalliero stepped up and vowed to rebuild Yesterday’s and to continue the tradition that his family had started many years ago. Joe lead the rebuilding process, performing much of the work himself. He and his friends helped to transform the main dining room into a warm and rustic space with ample light and comfortable seating. The extensive detail work that can be found in the bar area and throughout the banquet rooms emotes an upscale feel worthy of any special event. There are two separate banquet rooms available and they can accommodate parties of up to 120 people. Events such as baby showers, corporate functions, repasts and weddings are hosted and always made to be a memorable experience.
The main dining area is family friendly and Yesterday’s welcomes everyone to dine here, from kids to seniors. Some of the most popular dishes they serve are the eggplant rolatini, stuffed flounder and their selections of steak dinners. The soup, salad and mussels bar, is included with all the entrees and is continually being stocked and Although the menu is considered Italian-American they have offerings that will satisfy everyone.
Yesterday’s has some unbelievable promotions running at this time that make a night out an event that won’t break the bank. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the “Early Bird” menu which is available on Monday through Thursday from 3:30-5:00. They also have an amazing lunch menu where for a limited time, you can get a fresh and tasty meal for the unheard of price of $5. Yes it seems unbelievable to offer a lunch meal for this price but the Spalliero family has always tried to keep the prices reasonable for it’s visitors. They understand that there are many dining options at the Jersey Shore and they are committed to always providing the highest quality meals, ample portions, friendly service and reasonable prices. This has been the philosophy for over 50 Years!
We asked Joe what made him want to to become involved in the restaurant industry. “As a little kid, I was always hanging around at the restaurant. We weren’t allowed to work because we were too young but just being around it, starting at that age, you see what it’s about.” Little did Joe realize that one day he’d be running the whole show. He stresses that although it’s hard work, he enjoys being at the restaurant and seeing the happy patrons that have become friends through the years. As he scans the restaurant, Joe smiles with pride as he explains that although the majority of the people are locals, there are a number of people who have transplanted to other parts of the country but always make a point to come back to Yesterday’s when they visit the area. “They tell me they miss the Mussels” he says with a chuckle. And let’s face it, when it comes to Yesterday’s offering of all you can eat Mussels, combined with an exceptional menu and the friendly and competent wait staff, can you really blame them for making this a go-to stop while visiting the Hazlet area? Most diners at Yesterday’s would agree, you can’t blame them one bit!