PRINCETON: Triumph Brewery will move into former post office (Updated)


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By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Triumph Brewing Co., a mainstay in Princeton’s dining scene for more than 20 years, will look to move into the former post office on Palmer Square, Triumph’s owner and the developer of the property said this week.
The site, located in the heart of Princeton’s upscale shopping and dining district, is “arguably one of the top locations in town,” said Triumph’s owner Adam Rechnitz by phone on Tuesday.
He said the old post office provides a “marginally” bigger space, as his brewpub is “kind of outgrowing” its Nassau Street location. He said the new spot would allow for more seating, especially for private parties.
David Eichler, president of LCOR Ventures, the California-based company that won the bidding war in 2013 to obtain the post office property, said Triumph is a “phenomenal draw” that represents a “win” for not only for that historic building but Palmer Square as a whole.
In analyzing what to do with the building, the thought all along was to find use or uses “that were unique,” Mr. Eichler said. The “prominent building,” he said, “needs something cool.”
The new restaurant/brewpub is not expected to open until 2017, as the project must go through regular municipal review and approval, both men said. An application was filed last week with the town. The building is zoned for retail and restaurant use, according to Mayor Liz Lempert.
The proposal would redesign a now vacant 1930s-era building to remove the part of the building that had been used for loading bays and putting in a “glass enclosed space that will serve as the main entrance to the restaurant,” according to the application filed with the town.
“This new design feature will help enliven Palmer Square East by bringing pedestrian activity and illumination to an area in town that has always suffered in ignominy,” the document read. In addition, a mezzanine would be built in the erstwhile mail sorting room and an elevator installed.
The days and hours of operation would be Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday to Saturday and noon until midnight Sunday.
Triumph last week marked 21 years in Princeton, with another location in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
The former post office was constructed in 1932, and is listed on the state and national registries of historic places. The mural, “Columbia Under the Palm,” a piece of artwork that hung in the lobby, will be preserved and left on display for restaurant goers.
The “proposed renovation design intends to preserve the existing lobby to the greatest extent possible, re-purposing it into a featured dining room of the new plan. As part of this, the historic mural in the south alcove will be preserved, protected and on display for diners and visitors to the restaurant,” according to the application filed with the town.
The U.S. Postal Service moved and reopened in November on Nassau Street, in the same building that has a 7-Eleven. “We all mourned the loss of the post office when it moved,” Mayor Lempert said Tuesday.
The agency still owns the Palmer Square property for now. Postal Service spokesman Ray V. Daiutolo Sr. said Monday that the closing on the property would occur “sometime in the summer.” The sale price has not been disclosed.

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