Olive and Ivy, Eatontown

I’m starting to see some posts on my local Next Door board about this place, so I thought I’d start a thread and see if any HOs have tried it yet…this is the former location of Apella (and after that, a Japanese place that lasted less than a year iirc). While I don’t know the people posting about it, they enjoyed it.

Olive and Ivy is BYO and they’re serving Greek food, so I know I’ll give it a try at some point. It’s on Rt 35 just north of where the Monmouth Mall is, about 1/2 mile north of Lidl. Anyone been there yet?

Recalling that I’ve seen discussion here about it, I searched. And, yes, it’s in the Apella thread. The gist: a disjointed menu.

Most of you know I’m a fan of the NJ Discussions here. But one thing I continue to see is restaurants boosted even though they do not have a liquor license. Confounding to me.

Outside of a hash house or greasy spoon, how can an adult-oriented restaurant have a healthy balance sheet without a liquor license? This simply would not work here in the Upper Midwest where I live.

*Mods can peel this off to a new thread if not appropriate here…

OMG One of the things we love about living in NJ is the fact that we have BYOB’s! Think about how very overpriced cocktails and wine can be in a restaurant… We save a lot of money this way!


Do these restaurants in NJ have “Corkage” fees for promoting BYOB?

Some of the higher end restaurants do, but in general, no. That’s what’s so great about it! For instance, on Friday night a friend and I went to a local (excellent) pizza place-I was able to grab a bottle of wine from home and just take it with me. No charge.
I’m curious (and there’s no snark behind this)…are you in the restaurant business? I’m just trying to understand why you think this is such an offensive practice when it’s a lovely thing for the customers! I’m also enough of a wine snob to see that many restaurants (fewer than in the past) have absolutely terrible wine lists.
I guess I’m just used to it having spent most of my life in a state where this is so common, and friends who live out of state are jealous! @NotJrvedivici probably has plenty to say on the topic, but I can tell you that liquor licenses are incredibly expensive and due to some antiquated laws, there are restricted numbers of licenses available (based on population, if I’m not mistaken). @gcaggiano may also want to chime in…

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Nope. Not in the business.

Realize from your post that NJ has a very different take on BYOB than that in my home state. Here in MI, if you bring your own wine to a BYO restaurant there might be as high as a $30 “Corkage Fee” to decanter and serve with your dinner. If you’re toting liquor or beer in, you’ll have to pay a tariff for glasses and/or ice. Our midwest sensibilities don’t line up with these charges, so very few mid point and better restaurants without a liquor license survive for long here.

WOOOOOOW! That certainly does explain your questions… There are definitely restaurants that charge a corkage fee, but usually those are the restaurants that have a liquor license and a wine list. So if you choose to bring your own, you’re still going to pay them for it!

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Having read through your posts, I can understand where you are coming from.

In NJ, it is much harder to get a liquor license than other states. Depending on the area, many can only be acquired by purchasing a restaurant that already has a license, and then, of course, buying the license separately. I read an article a few months ago that licenses in NJ can range in price to well over $300,000. Most are around $60K I thought I remembered reading.

So to answer your question, a liquor license can be the life OR death of a restaurant. If you can pack em in, you’re fine. But a license in a poor location even with outstanding food can spell a quick end.

NJ is pretty much crazy. I was astounded, at a young age, when visiting Maryland (I think it was) and seeing they sell beer/wine in gas stations. It is hard, when traveling to find a place that doesn’t have a bar. In NJ, I’d say most restaurants are BYOB. Very few charge corkage fees except for high-end places, as @CurlzNJ said.


How about a million dollars! That’s what two liquor licenses went for in Freehold several years back.

Re: corkage fees. State law says BYO restaurants can supply glasses, ice, etc., but may not impose a cover, corkage, or service charge.


So very different where I live. :open_mouth:

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seem to remember that one in RB went for about that much. Also- Little Silver just issues their first one since Prohibition, so I assume if that goes on market it will be quite lucrative one day.
I know there has been talk of loosening restrictions to open up the market a bit. While it may hit BYO a bit would be nice to let small business owners have an equal playing field (just hope the VJ theory doesn’t ruin some good spots).
At least process is better than NYC. There while licenses are easier, owners can only buy from certain distributors I believe; which is why outside of top end spots most places offer the same tired, unimaginative wine lists. Think Ruffino, Santa Margarita, etc… (not that those are bad offerings but no imagination, no look to value, or out of the ordinary offerings).

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Also the suspect social media reviews. not as bad as the previous spot in that location but close.

Article re: NJ liquor license reform bill

Ugh. I’m not on Yelp or TripAdvisor…do they really think people don’t notice when a slew of fantastic ‘reviews’ go up within a few days and they’re ALL raving? Did I say UGH?

“Fees for the license, which would need to be renewed annually, would be $7,500 for restaurants measuring between 800 and 2,000 square feet and $10,000 for restaurants running between 2,001 and 4,500 square feet.”

Notice, currently a liquor license is owned by an individual or entity and it is their property / asset. In NJ you do pay the market (exorbitant) price, pay your fee’s and it’s your license in perpetuity. The state / town makes it’s money on fee’s and taxes on the liquor sold.

NOW the State or Town (it doesn’t rally clarify who will be issuing the licenses) are “leasing” you a license with an annual fee of $ 7,500 to $ 10,000 per year! So mind you while this is being presented as a “logical” solution to the liquor license inequities in the state, what it really is a privatization of a public asset which will create a HUGE revenue to the state.

As some one who has a vested interest in a liquor license in the state I find this approach obviously troubling. While it does certainly make is “easier” for new/start ups to compete it’s far from a pure unbiased solution, the state is going to make a fortune annually off these changes.


Ludicrous! Pair that with a lease or mortgage payment…


also when said reviewers are from out of state (like CA or FL not NY), have this one review as their only review, or are weirdly unspecific or way too specific in their review. I honestly don’t even bother reading good reviews anymore on social media- I just go to the bad ones and judge if it looks reasonable or the person is just being an a$$.


geez, that sucks. I thought it was a good step, maybe not. I just know it shouldn’t cost 1MM if you want to sell booze at your establishment; current model is clearly broken but looks like this solution isn’t great either. I’m sure cost would be passed along to consumers anyhow.

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When you are paying $250k-$1mil up front for a liquor license your prices are already including a recoup for the upfront cost(s), so I’m not sure the current proposed model would lead to increased prices vs. current prices. The biggest thing is the state is now going to line it’s pockets by this.

Let’s have some fun!!

Current NJ population $ 8.9mil say $ 9million
Number of license per population 1 per 3,000
9 million / 3,000 = 3,000 approximate number of broad C (full service) liquor license currently in NJ.

3,000 X $ 7500 per year = $ 22,500,000 per year
3,000 X $10k per year = $ 30,000,000 per year

avg = $ 26,250,000 per year additional revenue for New Jersey

There is the state’s motivation for this…


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