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Picnic the Restaurant Closes, Citing Rough Economy

Picnic the Restaurant, an award-winnig eatery located at 14-25 Plaza Road in Radburn, closed this week.

Picnic, the award-winning Radburn restaurant located in the Plaza Building, has closed, chef/co-owner Christine Nunn confirmed Thursday.

"I was trying to save things, but the economy got the best of us," Nunn wrote in an email to Patch. She said she would focus on catering and finishing her first book, "The Preppy Cookbook," as she regroups.

Picnic becomes the third prominent Radburn restaurant to close in the past six months, preceded in September by the Radburn Deli, and in October by Daniella's Track Side Grille, which was seized by the state for non-payment of taxes.

The restaurant broke the news on its Facebook page Thursday morning, posting, "We have closed, at least for now. In the mean time, If you'd like a Picnic, be it for two, four, or a crowd, I am happy to cater at your place!"

Picnic, which featured a rotating array of menu items made from fresh, local ingredients, had been lauded by critics and foodies alike since Nunn and Annabel Schlair opened it in 2010.  

New Jersey Monthly named Picnic one of New Jersey's Top 25 Restaurants in 2012, one of only two Bergen County eateries that made last year's list. It was the second straight year Picnic had earned that distinction.

In addition to its acclaimed food, which attracted patrons from across the New York and New Jersey area, Picnic provided a friendly hub for Radburn residents.

This fall, during the extended power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy, the restaurant, which had power, shuffled its menu to accommodate storm-wearied residents.

Instead of her usual fare, Nunn served up an assortment of comfort foods at lower-than-normal Picnic prices and allowed patrons to charge electronic devices or store food in its freezers for free even when, as it turns out now, the restaurant itself was struggling financially.

Picnic, which was put up for sale Wednesday on the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, has an asking price of $89,900.

According to the restaurant's NJMLS ad, Picnic paid $4,100 in rent each month and grossed approximately $10,000 per week.

"Don't miss the rare opportunity to walk into a already established business for the price of a start up," the ad reads.

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Tony Sina January 03, 2013 at 04:49 PM
This is absolutely awful. My wife and I had our rehearsal dinner here. We've never had a bad meal there, and nothing but praises from the invitees. Christine, you will be missed by us. Between you, Quilly, and Charcoal Pit in Teaneck, I'm scrambling to find go-to eateries!
Mei Won Sum January 03, 2013 at 05:30 PM
That Radburn Plaza building is a retail killer with those rents.
Phil Jonas January 03, 2013 at 06:02 PM
the 3 stooges that raised taxes 25% didn't help business in fair lawn.
Mark C. January 03, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I really enjoyed Picnic....after reading this I sadly don't see them coming back. I regret not going one last time. What a great place....pre-fix specials were insanely good. Christine and her staff were something special. Still shocked by this...
Wayne Robbins January 03, 2013 at 06:54 PM
wow - they bring in about $40,000. a month, pay rent of $4,100. per month - and they couldn't make ends meet...even if they spend thousands for their food, it seems like they should have made a profit anyway...sorry to see them go.
Kath H January 03, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Always sorry to hear about good restaurants closing. I do recommend Sage on Broadway. We ate there NYE and it was excellent! I hope it makes it!
jr January 03, 2013 at 09:16 PM
wow always hate to see local businesses close and after reading what they did for local residents during the storm i feel even worse because it happened to good people. i guess its a two way street though, they had problems due to rough economy and i couldnt afford to take my family out to eat there due to the tough economy.
Ellen Glassett January 04, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Christine, thank you for giving my family and I a host of great memories of special events shared at Picnic! Thank you for your excellent catering services for all of our special events (which we will still enjoy in the future). Sorry we live in a time that punishes entrepreneurs instead of celebrating them. I know like cream you will rise to the top! Love, your friend, Ellen.
doug charipper February 03, 2013 at 09:38 AM
As an opinion only, I am glad this business closed. The Management were NASTY! Doug C.

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