By: Megan Roche
Just like all of us, Verona Inn has had to improvise, adapt, and overcome during the time of COVID 19. After being closed at the start of the pandemic, the Verona Inn has recently undergone renovations that will help ease the mind of the public when they come in to eat.
“We do an employee temperature check before and after every shift. We have also upgraded all of our HVAC filters to Merv 13 which filter out even the smallest of particles. We installed UV/Germicidal lights into our HVAC system which helps to sterilize any possible germs or bacteria that may be present,” Garrett Hendry-Bodnar, General Manager of Verona Inn, said.
In addition to their renovations, the Verona Inn also goes through a deep clean every few weeks.
“We have the building disinfected every three weeks by Purity Cleaning and after we have any employee who may have been a close contact with anyone. It’s been difficult at times for sure, but it really has been worth it to put the Verona Inn staff and customer’s minds at ease,” Hendry-Bodnar says.
Patrons are encouraged to make reservations on the Inn’s website. While reservations are not required, the Verona Inn team is using the reservation system as a way to contact people should contact tracing show that someone who dined, or a staff member has tested positive for COVID 19. All parties who may have had direct contact with the individual in question will be contacted if they make reservations.
The Verona Inn has been a staple in the community for decades, opening its doors in the mid 1940s. Originally part of a private home, the original owner, John DiBella, built a bar in his basement for his employees and friends. After discovering that he needed more space, DiBella constructed a building in his backyard, complete with running water, television, bathroom, stove, and telephone. After exchanging many hands throughout the years, the Verona Inn now stands on Bloomfield Avenue at the former home of Rose Jewelers and the Verona Camera Store.
The Inn has proudly served hundreds of customers, including some very notable faces.
“A notable favorite was when Billy Guerin, a New Jersey Devils player, pulled the Stanley Cup out of the trunk of his car the night they won it and said, “Let’s see if this thing holds beer.” Or the time Mark Gelnaw, a longtime customer and practical joker, called to see if the Inn could keep the kitchen open because Joe Thiesman wanted one of our famous cheeseburgers. Twenty minutes later, in walked Mark and Joe. Or the night the doorman wouldn’t let Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in to film their show without ID,” according to Hendry-Bodnar.
The family friendly tavern has something for everyone to enjoy. A great spot to catch a football game, the bar is stocked with local craft brews and domestic and international favorites. The menu consists of salads, creative fries, burgers, wings, and sandwiches. According to their website, the original business goal still stands today.
“Offer the very best burger on a great bun and the coldest beer available. In good times and bad, everyone loves cheeseburgers.”
If you are still uncomfortable with dining indoors, Verona Inn is still participating in patio dining (weather permitting) and curbside pickup options are available.
The Verona Inn is located at 624 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona. The Inn is open Monday through Thursday from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM. For more information on the Verona Inn, visit www.veronainn.com.