The Stadium comes to Newton

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:28

NEWTON — There's a brand new restaurant in the area that covers all the bases - sports, family and fun. The Stadium, although located in Newton just past Sussex County Community College, got its start in the Meadowlands parking lot. Andrew Smith and Christopher Giordano, both of Sparta, are die-hard Jets fans. As season ticket holders, a passion rose to accompany their enthusiasm for Gang Green: tailgaiting. "They just kind of kept on taking it up a notch," said Smith's wife, Lisa. "Before we knew it, they were pretty much professional tailgaiters." The property went through a series of tenants and restaurant-related ventures. First it was a bar called Luchetti's, then, after being painted bright coral, it became Phalon's. After several years the Fredon House came to operate out of the property. When that place closed, the property stood vacant for some time. Last year, construction at the site started and it was clear that a major revamping was taking place. Smith and Giordano decided to make their enthusiasm for tailgating into a business and offer area sports fans a venue to see all their favorite teams. However, The Stadium is much more than a sports bar. It offers live music and a family-friendly atmosphere as well. Lisa Smith, a real estate agent, had her eye on the property and was the motivating factor behind the venture. The partners ended up closing on the property through a short sale and began making their vision come to life. Modeled after ESPN's studios with diamond plating on the bars and bold blues, silvers and grays, the new owners started from square one and completely renovated the property. Will The Stadium make it where other ventures have failed in the past? Smith said there are several reasons why they will, but the biggest one is the variety that the new venue offers. Not only is The Stadium the go-to place for sports, but it offers homemade appetizers that Smith said are superior to pub food. Plus, the menu includes an array of homemade specialty sandwiches and entrees. "We cater to sports enthusiasts, kids of drinking age who want to enjoy games like air hockey and foozball as well as families looking for some good food and a night out locally," said Smith. Later into the night on weekends, The Stadium transforms into a night club featuring bands and DJs. "We pull the tables aside and dancing gets going," said Smith. "Before you had to to to Morristown to find this sort of thing." Smith said The Stadium is committed to great food, great drinks and great service. A multitude of beers are available on draft and in bottles, plus mixed-drink specials. The restaurant also features keg wine which is not only green, as no bottles are involved, but very unique. The white is a combination of Pino Grigio and Chardonney while the red combines Merlot and Cabernet. Regular bottled wine is also available. Smith's daughter, Erika Sloop, is the restaurant's general manager. "We're really excited about the whole thing," she said, "We're getting a great mix of people and see families coming back again and again." Specials change daily and include such things as Dynamite Pulled Pork Potato Skins, Halftime Chips and Salsa, a Dirty Jerz Deep Fried Hot Hog, Mucho Nachos Deluxe, personal pan pizza, Mini-Man Burgers and Philly Style Chili-Cheeze-Whiz Friez. Monday's The Stadium opens for dinner at 4. Tuesday, the special is two dozen steamers for $8, and there's Poker at 7 and 9 pm. Wednesday, The Stadium features 25 cent wings until midnight and there is Karaoke and Beer Pong from 9 pm until closing. Thursday is Prime Rib Night with a 16-ounce King Cut for $14. There's also live music from 9 to 1 am. Friday and Saturdays, The Stadium is open at noon for lunch and there are two daily happy hours. Up All Night DJ's are also on from 10 pm until close. Sundays, The Stadium again opens for lunch at noon and runs sports specials all day. "Everything is fresh, and nothing is pre-processed, said Lisa Smith, "Like with the sweet potato fries, we actually cut up an fry them." The restaurant's chef is Mike Solowsky who formerly worked at PJ's, in Sparta. Smith added that the location -- in the middle of the county-- is a bonus. "The biggest thing is that we are a novelty. There's nothing like us around here," said Smith. With two floors and two full bars, multiple flat-screen TVs, daily happy hours and nighttime drink specials, The Stadium was an instant hit. But the best way to find out what's shaking at The Stadium is to head on over to 214 Newton Swartswood Road in Newton. For more information visit or call 973-300-1323.