EWING, N.J. (January 19, 2016) – Freddie’s Tavern, a historic township restaurant opened by the Urbano family in 1933, has been purchased by Ewing businessman Bud Patel and his wife, Sweta, with the support of a $1.37 million Small Business Administration (SBA) loan from Unity Bank Unity Bank of Clinton. But don’t expect many immediate changes at the popular tavern.
“Freddie Junior, the previous owner, and his father, Freddie Senior, the owner before that, who still lives on the adjacent property, have been a tremendous help in this transition,” said Bud Patel. “Freddie Senior is literally here every single day and even has the keys to the restaurant. I love having both of the Urbanos around and that will never change as long we own Freddie’s.”
The Railroad Avenue restaurant is located across the street from the West Trenton railroad station and less than a mile from Trenton-Mercer Airport. The Urbanos were unable to continue managing the restaurant within the family and decided to sell the restaurant and its 2.1-acre property, which includes a four-bedroom home, seven large garages and an in-ground pool.
“I was not looking for a new venture, but I could not pass up Freddie’s,” Patel said. “I think there are opportunities to modernize and expand the catering function, which will bring enhanced value. It was obvious the purchase was going to be a complex process so choosing the right bank was very important to me from the very beginning. It was a reasonably large purchase price and naturally there were considerable emotions involved with the Urbano family. Unity Bank helped make a deal that I probably wouldn’t have normally been involved with a reality. If they could make this deal happen with all of its moving parts, I know they can make just about any deal go through.”
Patel plans to modernize the restaurant and property, which has parking for 75 cars, with new flooring, exterior lighting and eventually an upgraded banquet facility. A few additions are being planned for the menu as well. Freddie’s has about 30 employees, many who have worked at the restaurant for years.
“It was a pleasure working with Bud and Sweta Patel because it is obvious they have great respect for the history of Freddie’s in Ewing,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “They are committed to making enhancements that will make the facility an even better community resource. We are certain the restaurant will be a Ewing institution for many years to come.”
Unity participates in the 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s primary program to help start-up and existing small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. The bank also participates in the SBA 504 Loan program, an economic development program that offers small businesses long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization. Unity Bank is consistently among the top 10 of New Jersey SBA lenders in loan volume. The program also serves parts of Pennsylvania and is expanding into New York.