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  • Keyaira Boone

Adventures in Kekeland: Kenilworth's Gavelstone Bar & Grill

So after a particularly satisfying pedicure session last weekend my friend Yasmin and I took off in search of an equally satisfying brunch. We ultimately chose at a place that currently has my vote for the most underrated bar in Union County. Located just two minutes from Kenilworth’s Garden State Parkway exit Gavelstone Bar & Grill is simple food done extremely well at reasonable prices.

The first time I came to this place I checked it out with a friend who lived nearby on a quiet Sunday afternoon and I thought “okay cute.” The second time I went on Wine Down Wednesday with another friend to see DJ CalQuated do his thing. It was then that I discovered their Rose’ Sangria and thought “could be a contender.” This go round I got a taste of their home fries and hospitality and thought “sold!”

I was fully prepared to skip their modest brunch buffet after I heard that it only included a few Kekeland approved options (Rule #456 Keke doesn’t do eggs). Luckily l passed the kitchen on my way to the ladies room and caught a whiff of the home fries being prepared. When it comes to brunch my motto is rarely less is more but together with the exquisite turkey bacon they made me a believer. You can’t do better for $20 in the area. Trust me I’ve tried.

My friend skipped the buffet and instead went with a few bar classics. The fact that I couldn’t get my camera ready quick enough to snap her wings before they were halfway gone let me know she didn’t regret her choice.

Of course she still saved me some because she's a real one.

This small and unassuming bar has many of the accommodations of the more popular nightclub adjacent Jersey brunch spots (including music from local DJs and flavorful cocktails).

But unlike those places it’s accessible and affordable for those who live in the area. That’s why I think it deserves a little more attention.

The space is really intimate but that sort of makes what they’ve done with it even more impressive. The couches are chic, the staff is friendly, and the Ciroc punch is on point.

The next time you want to throw back a couple of mimosas without fussing with Holland Tunnel bound traffic or tank top clad “bros” consider stepping off of the beaten path towards Gavelstone.

What You Should Know About Gavelstone

Who to Bring: Besties and Boyfriends

Decor: Industrial Themed Minimalist Comfort

Dress Code: Low Stakes Cute

Wait Time: Zero

Parkway Exit: 138

Selection: Bar Classics

Insiders Know: That it can go from tumbleweeds to

standing room only in seconds on the weekends

Price: I don’t get paid until the 15th friendly

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