Dunellen Hotel and Rathskeller Thanks First Responders with a Special Lunch

This past Saturday, the Dunellen Hotel and Rathskeller hosted a special lunch to express their gratitude towards the first responders who courageously put out the fire that broke out in the historic building in the early hours of December 3, 2023. Thanks to the swift actions of the responding agencies, the blaze was contained to the walls of the establishment and there were no injuries caused by this incident.

The agencies that responded to the fire include the Dunellen Fire Department, Dunellen Police Department, Dunellen Office of Emergency Management, Dunellen Rescue Squad, Green Brook Fire Department, Middlesex Fire Department, North Stelton Fire Department, River Road Fire Department, South Plainfield Fire Department, Metuchen Fire Department, and New Market Fire Department. 

"We're thankful to the Dunellen Hotel for recognizing the departments who responded to the fire and we're grateful that we were able to suppress it and save the building," said Dunellen Fire Chief Bill Scott. Green Brook Fire Chief Rick Connolly shared this sentiment, saying, "We're glad the damage was minimal and repairable and that no one got hurt. Our responders came together and responded quickly and effectively and we're happy that we were able to save a historic building in the borough."

Built in 1869, the Dunellen Hotel and Rathskeller predates the formation of the Borough of Dunellen and is a cherished landmark within the community, holding a special place in the hearts of residents and visitors alike, including Dunellen Mayor Jason F. Cilento who was also in attendance for this moment. “Thank you to the Dunellen Hotel for honoring the first responders who swiftly saved one of the Borough of Dunellen's historic buildings and landmarks,” said Mayor Cilento.

Following the fire, the Dunellen Hotel and Rathskeller remained closed while repairs took place and anticipation of its reopening grew. Finally, on April 23, 2024, owners Rich and Jim along with their staff held their grand re-opening celebration that was attended by members of the community, Mayor Cilento, and New Jersey State Senator Jon Bramnick. Owner Rich Hendricks reflected on the events of December 3, stating, "We're very lucky for the way everyone responded and saved the building. I was impressed with the way they coordinated their efforts." 

This event served not only as a celebration of the individuals who saved the historic Dunellen Hotel and Rathskeller, but as a reminder of the power of community. “This community is filled with people who come together and support each other through good times and bad. We truly are a Miracle Mile," said Dunellen Borough Council President Teresa Albertson.