On Friday, September 26, Park Place Restaurant & Lounge will be celebrating 25 years in business in downtown Milford. Open seven days a week, the restaurant features casual dining on the Mispillion River and nightly entertainment. During the 25 year celebration, local entertainers Mike Hines & The Look will be performing as the lounge will be serving drinks at 1989 prices, the year the establishment opened its doors.
Twenty-five years ago Gene and Jeanie Fitzgerald, owners of the Kent & Sussex Inn, decided to purchase the restaurant on Park Ave which was at that time known as Casablanca. The race was on to get the new establishment up and running as Gene and Jeanie wanted to honor the contract that the previous owners had with Mike Hines to play at the venue just two weeks later. After fourteen days of long hours, the business was open and Hines became the first act featured at Park Place. Located on Park Ave, the name became Park Place as the owners joked that they would have the monopoly on downtown entertainment in Milford at that time.
“I absolutely love this business, you can never say that you’ve seen it all,” commented Jeanie Fitzgerald. “I always enjoyed meeting new people and seeing them return, it will be nice to see some Park Place alumni here during the event.”
In 1995 their son Chris joined the business and four years later their daughter Erin started working full time. Over the last 25 years, Chris Fitzgerald states that they have seen many businesses come and go in the downtown area. Fitzgerald believes that their business’ ability to evolve with the market and the commitment from their staff has made Park Place a significant staple in the downtown nightlife and entertainment. On September 26, in honor of the commitment of those staff members, Park Place will feature several of their popular bartenders from over the past three decades, including Rob Parsons, Chrissy Frazier, Chrissy Sarro and Alycia Hovey.
“This place has been good to me and the Fitzgeralds are a great family to work for,” commented Hovey, who has been a bartender at Park Place for over 20 years. “working behind the bar all these years I used to tell myself to grow up and get a real job but this is what I love doing and its a good living, its like being the host of a party every night with food, drinks, and entertainment.”
While looking backwards at their last 25 years in business, the Fitzgerald family is excited about what the future will bring. As Jeanie states she is “ready to retire and enjoy her grandchildren”, Chris and Erin will continue the family tradition focusing on dining and entertainment.
“Park Place has always been a part of our lives, we do not know anything but this,” commented Erin. “It is a constantly changing business but we are still anchored to our philosophies of serving great food and providing fun entertainment,” stated Chris. “Building on those philosophies we will evolve to fit the flavor and the tides of the restaurant and entertainment business.”
Starting the celebration on September 26, Park Place will host a happy hour buffet that will feature favorite food from their pub and dining menu. In addition, event goers are encouraged to check out their full menu that includes other favorites including the dungeness crab legs, baby back ribs and New York strip. At 9pm Mike Hines & The Look will take the stage until 1am. For more information on the event our about Park Place’s menu, individuals are encouraged to call the restaurant at 302-422-2112 or visit them online at http://www.parkplacemilford.com and on Facebook.