The Fireplace – a legendary Route 17 eatery – is no more. The 65-year-old staple of Bergen County dining closed its doors for good on Friday.
Its ownership announced the grim news on Thursday:
GOP gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli was there along with hundreds of disappointed patrons. Reflecting on the day, Ciattarelli alluded to the impact Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 restrictions had on the state’s small business community; roughly 1/3rd of New Jersey small businesses closed in 2020.
“While heartbreaking, I was happy to join others from all around the region to celebrate 65 years of memories, community, and the best hamburgers in town at the Fireplace,” Ciattarelli opined on Facebook. “This year, let’s elect a governor that supports small businesses. Let’s fix NJ.”
How did the legacy media cover the Fireplace story?
Our friend Jim Arakelian – a longtime Bergen GOP activist – shared a revealing anecodate via social media:
“While I was there yesterday, I approached a NYC reporter and told him NJ Governor Candidate Jack Ciattarelli was here and asked if he wanted to speak to him. He snapped back “In covering the story, not politics”. I said “but sir, this story has everything to do with politics. Did you not read the statement by the owners before you came out to cover the story? Politics is a big part of this story. These people were closed down longer than any other restaurants in the country by our Governor under his executive orders. All of our small businesses suffered by his incompetence. Jack is here to tell NJ residents that he will follow the science, not politics. He won’t close down the state to mandate vote by mail only. He won’t punish hardworking people to promote Murphy’s his socialist agenda. He’s put the people of NJ first. So yes, policies has everything to do with what’s happening today”. He looked at me and said, “ok where is he”.
I checked out the coverage of the closure, Save Jerseyans, and didn’t find a single Ciattarelli mention in any of the mainstream media rags’ write-ups.