J House is a wonderful addition to our community

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

A full year after its grand opening, I finally had the opportunity to go to the J House for coffee with some friends and was serendipitously treated to a tour of the hotel, including the Chocolate Lab and the lovely eleven14 Kitchen Restaurant.

My first thought when I entered one of the very elegantly appointed lounge areas was, “I want that gorgeous coffee table for my living room.” Then, marveling at the spacious, yet surprisingly cozy, patio bar with the retractable roof, I realized, having eaten at several of the restaurants attached to the former Howard Johnson’s Hotel, that what the J House owner/builder had done here was not simply renovate an old hotel, but transform the neighborhood and inject a wonderful, positive energy into the community.

Anyone who has lived and worked in the Riverside area for as long as I have can attest to the fact that the former Howard Johnson’s had become an eyesore and a daily reminder of the flailing state of the economy. It was clear by the high turnover in the restaurant space that no business could survive there simply, in my opinion, because of its association with the motel next door.

Enter J House. Not only have they built a beautiful building both inside and out, but they have in fact created more than 75 jobs for local residents, attract travelers from far and wide to contribute to the local economy and have arguably increased the value of all of the properties in the area by replacing a budget establishment with an upscale product.

Watch out central Greenwich, here comes Riverside.

As I enjoyed a delectable macchiato and scrumptious pastries in the eleven14 dining room, I still couldn’t believe that it had taken me a whole year to get myself over there. I guess that’s what happens when you have young children. But that’s nothing compared to all the years I had waited and hoped for some kind of positive transformation.

A belated heartfelt welcome-to-the-neighborhood to the J House folks. I for one couldn’t be happier.

 

Julie Hutchison
Riverside

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