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Karl's Appliance to Open in Route 18 Center

New business set to call Rt. 18 and East Brunswick home.

The Route 18 Shopping Center is going to be home to East Brunswick’s newest business—Karl’s Appliance.

Owner Dan Schwartz said the company is renovating two store fronts, the former Gap and a bagel shop, into one larger facility and that it could be open for business sometime in late December or early January, with a Grand Opening set for the spring.

A January opening would include strictly merchandise, and once the showroom is completed, much of that merchandise will be on display in a series of cabinets designed to give customers an idea of what it would look like in their homes.

According to Larry Pinilis, a real estate agent working for the mall, a 14,000-square-foot restaurant also is slated to move into the  center.

“We’re taking the former Gap store and the other was a bagel shop next to it and making it all one large area,” said Schwartz. “We sell major appliances and grills, so what will happen is a new floor is going in and around the perimeter area will be kitchen vignettes that have different cabinet styles.”

Karl’s has six other locations in New Jersey, and the company has been looking for a seventh since it’s Perth Amboy location closed two years ago. Schwartz said Route 18 is going to be a great location, and that the township has been very supportive during preparations for the new store.

“We’ve been looking for a space in the Middlesex County area, trying to find a good spot to suit our needs and to help the market,” he said. “We found this location. It faces Route 18 and despite the bad economy, we’re making an investment coming to town.”

Schwartz commended Mayor David Stahl, Economic Development Coordinator Ed Cohen and the municipal government for expediting the process, particularly with obtaining Certificate of Occupancy certificates in a timely manner. He said his experience moving to East Brunswick is vastly different than his experiences with other towns.

“Very key has been the work of Mayor Stahl, and Ed Cohen,” said Schwartz. “Ed’s been very helpful, and we’ve also had the support of the East Brunswick municipal government. It has been fantastic, particularly compared to experiences we have had in other locations we’ve opened, where it seemed like the municipal government didn’t want businesses to come to town. It was a refreshing experience.”

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Dan F December 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Where exactly is this going to be?
John Saccenti (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM
In the shopping center where the Gap used to be. There is a Pearl Vision center there. Southbound side of the highway before Tices.
Norman December 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Is his the place where Bagel Cafe recently moved? Are they the shop that is referenced as "used to be there"?
paula feld December 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Wonder which restaurant is moving in, didnt even know the Bagel Cafe ever opened up! That area has always been such a risk. Good luck to the new occupants.
Ralph Wiggums December 12, 2012 at 04:42 AM
That's good news. I wish them the best of luck. Especially since that shopping center is a complete, dilapidated dump. My son used to go to martial arts lessons when there was a training center there next to Carvel. The roof leaked all the time, the outside facade was literally falling apart and anybody that moved in was usually out of business fairly quickly because nobody has a clue what's in there (or even that there's a shopping center there). Toss in giant potholes in the parking lot that were never cared for, and it gave the impression it was intentionally neglected to either avoid spending money or trying to get tenants out of there. I was glad the martial arts academy moved because I was tired of classes being canceled for property reasons. Hopefully they fix this shopping center up really nice because they lost some really good local businesses that tried real hard to make it work there. Soccer Stadium was a nice alternative to the big box sports stores, and it appears there was once a pizza place, spa, and bakery that now look like backdrops to the Walking Dead. Good luck to the new place....it will be nice if this shopping center gets turned around and gives the area a boost.
Ralph Wiggums December 12, 2012 at 04:44 AM
When East Brunswick residents leave posts on this site not having a clue where this shopping center even is, or what may possibly be there or not be there, that is saying a lot about why this place has never succeeded.
Christopher December 12, 2012 at 05:17 AM
This shopping center once was thriving, anchored by the Wiz and the Gap, and some good little stores in between. A few quality stores and good upkeep by the property managers, and they could revive this location..
WMS826 December 13, 2012 at 01:40 AM
What dump that center always was. Best of luck but with no one else to draw people int that center most likely it will be a bust.
Mark Portnoy December 15, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I went to Halal food place that just opened there this year and it is a disaster. Rent must be so cheap that anyone can open a place in that mall.
Myrna January 15, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Perle Vision is no longer there; it has relocated to Rte 18 North, just before Mid State Mall. Carvel is also gone. Not sure what if anything is still open.There does seem to be signs of rebuiiding the facade.
Su February 23, 2013 at 08:53 PM
@Mark, I've been there too and it's not a disaster. My family has frequented that place. The food is very good, and the owners are honest and hard working. Good for them!
Norman March 08, 2013 at 02:22 PM
I went with my family too when it first opened...food was just "ok"..the owner was a very nice guy and really tried his best to be a good host but alas he was very green at running a restaurant....never went back
Norman March 08, 2013 at 02:24 PM
He Su.."how do you do"? ...Yes the owners seem honest and hard working and kudos to them for that...BUT let's be honest ourselves...the food is mediocre at best...not "very good" unless they have upgraded from the last time I was there.
Mark Portnoy March 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
@Su, this is not about how hard working the owner is when you rate a restaurant. Food was by no way a restaurant quality.... BUT then how can you expect good Halal food made in old pizza place stove.
Norman March 08, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Mark..funny story about that location. At one time it opened as a Middle Eastern "gyro grill" kind of place. I tried it when it first opened and the food was "bleh" and I did not go back. A few months later I was driving by and I saw a sign for a "Luigi's Famous Brick Oven Pizza" or something like that. When I went inside the guy behind the counter did not look like a "Luigi" to me...if you know what I mean. Even though i had only been to the old place once he looked familiar..he was in fact the guy who owned the Middle Eastern Place and just transformed it into a pizza joint. I could not resist asking him... "So you are Luigi"? He just smiled and nodded his head....TRUE STORY!


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