WO Residents Fear Pals Cabin Will Close

Zoning Board considers variance from CVS, but Pals owner says there are no plans to close.


CVS has applied to the West Orange Zoning Board for variances for the building and property at 265 Prospect Avenue in West Orange, according to the board's secretary Rose DeSena.

That address is the current site of Pals Cabin

Neighbors who received notices about the meeting expressed concern that the 80-year-old restaurant -- a local institution -- could become a CVS if the board approves the application at a special meeting on Nov. 8. According to the meeting agenda, the First Hartford Realty Corp., acting for CVS, has applied for a variance to have a 24-hour drive through lane.

"I will be so sad if this happens," one neighbor wrote to Patch. "We don’t need another drugstore!" 

Pals opened in 1932, when friends Martin L. (Marty) Horn and Bion Leroy (Roy) Sale joined forces. The Horn family has continued to operate the popular restaurant since that time, marking its 80th anniversary in May.

Reached by phone on Thursday afternoon, Pals co-owner Marty Horn, Jr. acknowledged the CVS application but said the restaurant was not closing.

"We are not selling the property," said Horn. "We are investigating the possibility of redeveloping the site."

Horn said he would release more information to the public after the Nov. 8 meeting.

Pals is well-known locally for its signature "Pals Famous Cream of Mushroom Soup" as well as its burgers. However, it has a including Bob Hope and Babe Ruth. The Entertainment Room also houses the piano Liberace played while he was the piano player for Pals. Unfortunately, the Horn/Liberace relationship soured when the young piano player requested a $20 raise. Martin Horn Sr. refused and Liberace headed west.

Mark Paulson October 25, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I have been told for a long time that Pal's plans to move to their other location at Mayfair farms and the CVS off of Eagle Rock will relocate to the current location. Pal's won't close but they plan to move across the street. Plans may change but that is what I heard over a year ago and I believe it to be true.
Celeste October 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Another CVS?...what- are- we, the sickest town in Jersey? There are literally four pharmacies in Eagle Rock Avenue within a five mile radius.
MSS October 26, 2012 at 03:25 AM
That is a pretty congested junction. I can't imagine a drive through being approved. Is it just me or is the stretch of Prospect Ave from Mt. Pleasant until it becomes a one lane road very confusing? I feel like I am constantly changing lanes just to go in a straight line.
chris October 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Why is this breaking news? And the food at Pal's is not good at all! Seriously.
wohopeful October 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Eighty years is a good run but there comes a time to move on and let progress forge ahead.
Ryan October 26, 2012 at 05:18 PM
It is not just you! If you're coming southbound, and you start in the far right lane at Eagle Rock, if you never change lanes you end up in the far left. Freaky.
Dennis Heffernan November 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I live a few doors down from Pals. We need construction, or the CVS itself, about as much as we need a good case of ebola. It's already nearly impossible to get in or out of our driveway thanks to the changes in the local traffic pattern. Changes which we were never informed of or given any chance to protest. Thus we didn't bother to protest at this town meeting; it's clear already the town doesn't particularly care about the impact of any development in out area. We'd hate to see Pals close. We order takeout from them often. But sic transit gloria mundi; everything passes and the business is the owners' to do with as they see fit.
Gunny November 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
It would be sad to see it go. Sort of a staple in town, and I can't really see people going to Mayfair for a burger or steak. We all know how that usually goes. But another Pharmacy? It's like saying we need another bank?! I agree with Oscar and Dennis.
Irina Kiri January 20, 2013 at 02:37 AM
I visited this place for the first time today. I would not return there again for two reasons: food and service. What a shocker! I ordered a "surf n'turf" (grilled steak and shrimp). Here's what arrived: undercooked slob of meat even for medium rare, two leaves of green garnish that looked like it's been waiting to get on my plate since last spring: disguisting, yellow with dark spots all over. I bit into shrimp; it tasted like a grilled piece of rubber, very chewy and bland. I never tried the actual steak as I was scared to eat anything there at that point. I asked the waitress to get the manager. She said that he was too busy. Eventually he, the apathetic manager showed up. I presented him the piece of the "greenery" that I retrieved from my plate, and I asked him if he was aware that poor quality food comes out of his kitchen. His response was shocking: "This is just garnishment for decoration. It's not supposed to be eaten!" I don't know about you, but I expect to eat what's on my plate. OBVIOUSLY, PAL'S PEOPLE EXPECT YOU DON'T EAT THE STUFF THE PLOP ON YOUR PLATE. To make things worse, while waiting for the manager to show up I googled reviews for Pal's online...I wish I read those before I came to eat at Pal's. So, I asked the manager if he, or owners of this place, ever cared to read people's reviews. He laughed and said that they didn't care what those reviews were. Do yourself a favor, don't eat here.
Lisa Reade February 24, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I've never had a bad meal at Pals and especially love the fresh turkey platter with real gravy. I will miss this landmark and a 24 hour CVS will clog already clogged traffic. True Kmart has a pharmacy as does Shoprite and the Cvs on Eaglerock Ave. The CVS needs a bigger parking lot but it will not beautify that area. money talks and we don't walk.
Tom G. February 24, 2013 at 04:35 PM
I went to Pal's about a month ago and won't be going back anytime soon. It was way overpriced for the lack of quality food. I paid around $18 for a thin slab of grilled chicken and a baked potato. I've had a similar meal at my office cafeteria that was better quality.


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