By SAL POLISI
A drive through Suffern reveals streets dominated by liquor stores, convenience stores, and bar and grill restaurants that get lost amid the many store fronts. Suffern desires a small city atmosphere and offers a plethora of places to go.
Although change isn’t common in Suffern, there is a new player in town who may shape the future of the village’s infrastructure.
Daniel Quirk, or Q, as he is commonly referred is a relatively young entrepreneur with a thirst for success.
Currently as part owner and manager of Bobby Q’s Smokehouse on Rt. 202 in Suffern, has always been a hustler. Quirk plans to open his smokehouse in January which will be a completely new taste for Suffern. The new restaurant also features a premium bar and many opportunities for a nightlife option.
“I’ve never starved,” says Q, “since middle school I always found a way to do what I want or get the things I think I deserve.”
A “Family” Owned Kinda Thing
With an ambition reminiscent of Money Mitch, the easily likeable hood entrepreneur from Paid in Full, Q has what it takes to be successful. He had a fully loaded Range Rover at the age of 17, always looking for an opportunity for business. He has had the same friends since the 3rd grade, and he believes in sharing the wealth.
Q can be a bit soft spoken at times, and comes off as a happy person. However, his kindness is no weakness. He needed people he could trust. It led to his business being staffed with many of his life long friends.
“In High School we used to rock Ice Berg sweaters. We would leave class to go get the new Jordans and come back at lunch wearing them,” says a long-time friend of Q’s, Vinny Schiraldi.
Q and his close knit circle always knew they would make it somewhere, all growing up in different lifestyles in Little Ferry, NJ.
“It wasn’t that our parents didn’t help us, it was they did what they could. They also expected us to do for ourselves. So we all did what we had to,” says Schiraldi.
Bobby Q’s may be the ticket the group of childhood friends needed to carve out their paths.
“You can’t make it and not put your friends on,” says Q, 30, “When you come up with people you can’t forget about them.”
This may be the type of loyalty the business world lacks, and the quite possibly the one it’s missing. The work staff, social media, and all other Web-based work is being staffed in house with people Q grew up with in Little Ferry.
“If I can keep as much as possible in house, I want to. I need people I can trust and that I know will do the right thing,” says Q, “It also doesn’t hurt the pocket to have talented friends.”
One of these talented friends is Tridane Sawyers of Richfield Park. Tridane taught himself Web-design and basic coding and found a way to capitalize on his studying.
“I build Web sites now and offer the hosting. Most people like the simplicity of my design, and I try to keep my work extremely clean.”
The young photographer has had every job you can think of, and finds working “leisure hours” the most rewarding.
“I can’t deal with the confinement of a 9-5. I like to make money while I’m relaxing,” Tridane says, “I try to have a side hustle working at all times. I need to feed my daughter, and keep the wife happy.”
Production and Construction
Nothing good in life comes easy. Building a business, especially in the food/drink industry, marketing is huge. The stress of building the image isn’t easy, especially laced with all of the headaches that come along with town policies.
The old Ireland’s building located on Rt. 202 has gone through a complete transformation. What used to be a bit of a dive featuring wing nights, has gone on to become a premier location for quality BBQ, and endless possibilities for nightlife.
Q says, “we put an out-door patio area, and opened the place up. We took a few walls out. There is a lot more space than what was utilized before.”
Every town/city has their own policies and rules when it comes to zoning and health codes. Bobby Q’s has been under construction for about five months.
“The construction team works fast, says Q, “they work too fast for the zoning board in Suffern. That may be the biggest problem.”
With the team in place, who specializes in building restaurants, they are ready to go at a moment’s notice. All the licenses and permits needed is what takes the longest. Getting the paperwork processed is the primary goal.
The Website is close to finished, and the grand opening has been pushed back. They were supposed to open in late September; it now looks more like January.
Things take time. Suffern will be bringing in the New Year with a new location for their citizens.
Food, Drinks, and Entertainment
Bobby Q’s will feature premium smokehouse/BBQ style food. With a decent menu in the works the food will be full of flavor and a different speed than everything else in the area.
The Ribs and Chicken plate, similar to the menu of Finks in Bergenfield, will be the perfect amount of food accompanied by the corn souffle.
The Texas Lollipop is also guaranteed to be a favorite. A smoked sausage
wrapped in bacon on a skewer and dipped in BBQ sauce.
The bar will feature premium liquors and beers as long with the regular domestics. Bobby Q’s will feature “fish bowl” drinks at 32 oz. These will feature different flavors in an obvious sharing portion.
There be an area which will be able to feature a DJ depending on the night. They will play a mix between hip hop and electronic music.
Ramapo Students, a Factor
Ireland’s used to be the business that inhabited the building and awkward parking lot. Ramapo students frequented the bar for many years. There was recently an alumni group that met there from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Clearly it had been a tradition for many. Shane Kelly was one student who went their all the time, and visited whenever he was around.
“We used to go there a lot. Especially on Wednesdays. They had like 20 cent wings, and the pitchers of beer were cheap too,” says Kelly.
Kelly is now a Ramapo, and ZBT alumni who spends his winters snowboarding in Vermont.
“When I first heard they were gone I was upset. Me and a few buddies would meet their when I got home from Vermont,” Kelly recalls.
Although the Ramapo legacy is affected, a new one may be born. With the closing of New Rock bar, located a few blocks form Bobby Q’s, the night life in the area has been slightly mundane. Bobby Q’s will feature a nightlife scene after the dinner hours. Dj Ammo will be one person who lends their hands to play a strong mix of hip hop and electronic.
It hasn’t been established if they are considering permitting 18 year-old party goers like New Rock once did, however it doesn’t seem likely.
“It really is too risky. I don’t condone under-age drinking and you can’t control everyone. I have been involved in nightlife for a long time, and young people always find a way,” says Q.
Even though the old tradition of Wednesday wing night at Ireland’s and $ 1 beer night at New Rock are both gone, the new students of Ramapo have a chance to make their own traditions. Bobby Q’s wants to offer the 21 year old student body a new place to drink and socialize.
When asked about the in- house production and future of the business, Q playfully says, “I want everyone to eat. No pun intended.”