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The H-GOAT GAME – Loved Businesses Lost In Somerset Hills History #HGOAT

What started out as a walk down memory lane turned into a really interesting story about the history of businesses we’ve lost in the Somerset Hills over the last 50 years. The memories that people keep about these businesses are truly exciting to capture. Growing up is so much more than just playing around. There’s these indelible marks on us all that we remember; bowling, getting ice cream, having a pizza, sitting at the lunch counter…..whatever. So The Mr. Local History Project went out and started a game to tie mimick college basketballs March Madness.

Businesses Lost in the Somerset Hills in the last 50 years.

Take a look at the business sectors that have lost businesses over the last 50 years in the Somerset Hills. Retail establishments lead the way with over 28 businesses on the list lost, follow by 18 restaurants. Services lost came in third with 15. Rounding out the top five were bars and apparel businesses.

Business Closings in Somerset Hills 1970-2020. Click to Enlarge. The complete list of businesses is at the bottom of the story.

To create our list, the Mr. Local History Project started our research to find as many businesses that have either survived 50 years or were established over the last 50 years. We then reached out to the public to submit any business that they felt deserved to be history’s greatest of all time (HGOAT) businesses in the Somerset Hills. Finally, we then grouped together in similar fashions and created a series of brackets where people would vote. The winner moved on to the next bracket until we had a winner.

Find out what were the most loved businesses that we lost in the Somerset Hills over the last fifty years.

Here’s what happened…….

How to Play

People followed us on our Facebook page. If you like just one bracket challenge you are in the game. They visited often and voted. Each week over a four week period elimination brackets were created. Obviously, the first bracket was the most difficult to match up as we tried our best to determine “like vs. like” competitors. But as the game went on, some very difficult choices needed to be made.


The best businesses in the Somerset Hills that we remember
The HGOAT Game started with 63 businesses. You had to win 6 elimination rounds to be crowned HGOAT CHAMPION.

How They Got to the Final Four #HGOAT

The Mr. Local History Project reached out to the public to identify a good majority of businesses that are no longer around but all remember. The MLH Project then posted business against business where the public got to vote during each elimination round. The winner moved on to the next round. Some of you might have heard a similar “battle of the bands” on the radio where you vote for one of two choices. One moves on to compete in the next round against the another previous winner, as the rest fall off the list. The process continued for six rounds until the brackets are complete and we crowned a winner.

Voting took place on our Facebook page. If you didn’t have Facebook you could follow along by clicking on our Gossip Page.

Are you playing H-GOAT? Which will be the Greatest of All Time community business we loved and lost. Play online.

Consolation Matchup – Nardone’s Bakery vs. the Corner Cupboard

Championship Bracket Matchup – The Store vs. Pistilli’s

And our HGOAT Champion – Pistilli’s Italian Restaurant
THE most beloved business we lost in the Somerset Hills

HGOAT Game Bracket Results

Take a look back at some of the great business matchups – Click image to Enlarge
The Greatest of All Time game of the loved businesses we lost in the Somerset Hills - Mr Local History
The Greatest of All Time game of the loved businesses we lost in the Somerset Hills – Mr Local History

HGOAT Business Listings (Alphabetical)

If there’s a blank below, post a comment if you know.

NameTown/AreaTypeCurrently There/Comments
A&PBasking RidgeGroceryDevelopment
A&PPluckeminGroceryMarket Fresh
AcmeBernardsville CenterGroceryKings
Adrienne’s PlaceBernardsvilleApparelBy VW
Apgar AssociatesFar HillsServicesDe Munn Place, Far Hills 
AppogeeBasking Ridge VillageApparelSoul Sisters
Atlas Market (Deli)BernardsvilleDeli29 West Street
AT&T HeadquartersBasking RidgeCorporateVerizon Wireless
Audi BernardsvilleBernardsvilleAutoEmpty
Autumn House FurnitureBernardsvilleRetailOlcott Square
Baker’s Auto PartsBernardsvilleAutoSomerset Hills Handyman  18 Quimby Lane
Bardy FarmsBasking RidgeFarmThe Barrons Development
Base CampBasking RidgeApparelBasking Ridge Dentistry
Basking In JavaBasking RidgeServicesPerrotti’s
Bedminster MotorsBedminsterAutoMain Street and 27 Morristown Road Bernardsville
Bernards Television CompanyBernardsvilleRetailM. Cunningham  37 Olcott Square
Bernardsville Camera MartBernardsvilleRetailBagel Bin
Bevels SaddleryGladstoneRetail
Bills CorallBasking RidgeBar/EateryCafé Rustica
Bistro IIBernardsvilleRestaurantThe Claremont Tavern, 121 Claremont Road
Bon MarcheBernardsville CenterRetailBill Ramsey – 92 Morristown Road
Brass PennyGladstoneBar/EateryGladstone Tavern
Brookdale DeliOlcott DistrictDeli19 Olcott Square – Carl and Ruthie Hackert. Now Buona Pizza
Burger KingBernardsville CenterRestaurantChilpotle
BusinessTownTypeCurrent Store
BuxtonsBernardsvilleRestaurantWhen Buxtons was Buxtons (after it was Pipers and the Shaggy Shingle
C&E Auto BodyBernardsvilleAuto
Carmine’s Beauty SalonBernardsvilleRetailBernardsville Auto Repair 75 Mine Brook Road
Carriage Trade GiftsBernardsvilleRetail75 Route 202 Bernardsville
Catch Penny PubBernardsvilleBar/EateryUnder Bernards Inn
Charlies AuntBernardsvilleRetailIn front of DQ
Charlies Spirits & DeliBernardsvilleDeliBernards Café – 8 Mine Brook Road
ChatfieldsGladstoneBar/EateryGladstone Tavern
ChristinesBernardsvilleRestaurantNext to Huffman Koos
Cigars and Fire TrucksBernardsvilleRetail165 Morristown Road
City Federal SavingsPluckeminBank315 US 206 – Investors Savings Bank
Clara LouiseOlcott DistrictApparelKnown in Westfield 5 Olcott Square
Classic FashionsBasking RidgeApparelPerrotti’s – 75 S. Maple Avenue
Cobbler ShopBernardsvilleServicesCraft Hair Studio – 13 Mine Brook Road
Collins CornerFar HillsRetailAntiques
Conkling MillerBernardsvilleRetail117 Morristown Road
Copper Kettle DeliGladstoneRestaurantMoved to Basking Ridge (2000) 
Corner CupboardBasking RidgeServicesBlue Café
Country Casuals IILyons MallApparel
County Neighbor LiquorsBasking RidgeRetailOwner Bob Pretzfelder would buy us dinner (to go) from the Corner Cupboard. every night we worked
Crest JewelersBasking RidgeRetailSomerset Hills Florist 94 S. Finley Ave
Curran PharmacyLyons MallPharmacyLyons Mall
Debus DrugsGladstoneRetailGeorge DeSesso – Main Street
Dee’s DeliBernardsville CenterDeli1980s
Delan FlowersBernardsvilleServicesBetween Bernards Café & Diamond Dream 10 Mine Brook Road
Dewy Meadow FarmBasking RidgeFarmFuture Rental Complex
Diamond Dream JewelersBernardsvilleRetail165 Morristown Road
Diehl’s JewelersOlcott DistrictApparel Envy Lash  – 24 Olcott Square
Door DécorBernardsvilleRetailacross from train
Doug Lowrie Auto BodyBernardsvilleAuto57 Morristown Road
Duke’s Cafe & GrilleBasking Ridge VillageRestaurant2008-2009 where Blue Café
Duke’s Wild Goose BakeryBasking Ridge VillageBakery2009-2010 – Blue Café
Dunster’s Propane GasBasking RidgeServices26 W. Oak Street – opposite Brick Academy
Famished FrogBedminsterRestaurantDelicious Heights
Far Hills Country InnFar HillsRestaurantPeapack Road,  Heinz and Debbie Keller
Far Hills Hair SalonFar HillsBeautyCorner of Rt. 2020 and Peapack Road
First National State BankBernardsvilleBankWells Fargo
First National State BankBasking RidgeBankWells Fargo
Flamingo’s Ice CreamLyons MallServices
Florios TavernBernardsvilleBar/EateryAcross from Fire Dept
Freddys TavernOlcott DistrictBar/EateryRudolph’s Steak House
FriendlysBernardsvilleRestaurantDunkin Donuts
G.F. Hill Power EquipmentGladstoneRetailLawnmowers
Game StopBernardsville CenterRetailJersey Mikes
Gardner MotorsBernardsvilleAuto65 and 118 Morristown Road
Gourmet TouchLiberty CornerBakery
GiraffeBasking RidgeRestaurantThe Vine
Grand UnionLyons MallGroceryStop N Shop
Henry Street BakeryBasking Ridge VillageBakeryBlue Café
Hill ChevroletGladstoneAuto
Hills Development CompanyPluckeminServices
Honeycomb Heath FoodsBedminsterGrocery
Huffman KoosBernardsvilleRetailRite Aid – Route 202 and North Finley 
Hurley InsuranceFar HillsServices
Jaeger LumberOlcott DistrictRetail
JerolomansBernardsvilleRetailKarl Jerlolman -125 Claremont Road
Jerry Lewis CinemaLyons MallServicesLyons Mall – Also was Ridge Cinema
Joe’s Taxi ServiceBernardsvilleServices
La Viva CoiffuresOlcott DistrictBeauty27 Olcott Square
Le Petite ChateauBernardsvilleRestaurantThe Claremont Tavern – 121 Claremont Rd
Leitners Toy ShopLyons MallRetailLyons Mall
Lemon LoungeBasking Ridge VillageRestaurantBlue Café
Liberty CyclesBasking RidgeRetailEmpty
Limestone CaféPeapackRestaurantIl Monello Italian – 89 Main Street, 
Linn MotorsBernardsvilleAutoPackard Dealer in Bernardsville
Lobel’s BoutiqueBernardsvilleRetail
Lotus Mind & Body YogaBernardsvilleServices165 Morristown Road
Lucent TechnologiesBasking RidgeCorporateDaiichi Sankyo
Ludlow RecordsOlcott DistrictRetail56 Degrees Wine 25 Claremont Road
Marauders Pharmacy (Mowders)BernardsvillePharmacy
Mardi Gras Corner RestaurantBasking Ridge VillageRestaurant1996 to 1998 where Blue Café
Mary’s Ceramic & Gift ShopFar HillsRetailRoute 206 
Mastro ShoesOlcott DistrictApparelEmpty
McGraths Paint and HardwareThe HillsRetailThe Wine Rack – 572 Allen Road
Melon ShoesBernardsvilleApparel80 Morristown Road, Unit 3A UPS Store
Millington SavingsBasking RidgeBank
Mockingbird CaféBasking Ridge VillageRestaurantBlue Cafe 
Mowders PharmacyBernardsville CenterPharmacy
Mowders PharmacyFar HillsPharmacy
Nardone’s BakeryBernardsville CenterBakery80 Morristown Road, Phillips & Fredericks Jewelers
National VideoLyons MallRetailLyons Mall
New Jersey Savings BankBasking RidgeBankWells Fargo
Nino’s PizzaLyons MallRestaurant22 Lyons Mall
O’Connors Beef ‘n Ale HouseWatchungBar/Eatery708 Mountain Blvd. 
Old Stone TavernBernardsvilleBar/EateryRudolph’s Steak House
OK ShoesBasking RidgeApparelLyons Mall
Parks Meat MarketBasking Ridge VillageRetailHaus Remodeling  – 47 South Finley Ave – Anthony Cavaluzzo
Passiac Valley Dry Cleaning and Dyeing Basking RidgeServices26 W. Oak Street – opposite Brick Academy
Peking Royale RestaurantBernardsville CenterRestaurantLi Chu Li – 
Pepper Mill DeliBasking RidgeDeliColdwell Banker Real Estate
Per Forza Italian RestaurantBasking Ridge VillageRestaurantBlue Cafe – 1987-1996
Pink PoodleBasking RidgeBeautyLyons Mall
Pipers RestaurantBernardsvilleRestaurantJohn and Mary Garis – 99 Morristown Road
Pistilli’s RestaurantBernardsvilleRestaurantJosephine Pistilli – Applied Waste Water Pumping 0 147 Morristown Road
Queen City SavingsBasking Ridge VillageBankWhere Wells Fargo is
Quiet CyclesOlcott DistrictRetail15 Olcott Square
Ridge Beauty SalonBasking Ridge VillageBeauty24 W. Oak Street Irene Wilkenson 
Ridge ChevroletBasking Ridge VillageAutoRidge Faimly Dentistry
Ridge LiquorsBasking Ridge VillageRetailCorner of Henry Street and Maple
Ridge PharmacyBasking Ridge VillagePharmacyGotta Dance – Al Needleman and Charles Berman – 69 S. Maple Avenue – Corner of Finley and Henry Street
Shady Grove InnBasking RidgeBar/EateryVine
Sight & Sound Camera and AudioBernardsville CenterRetail
Simms JewelersBernardsvilleRetail17 Mine Brook Road
Somerset BowlingBernardsvilleServicesBernardsville Hardware
Somerset Hills Dairy FarmBernardsvilleFarmDairy on 33 Mill Street
Somerset Hills FloristBasking RidgeServicesOn Finley
Somerset Hills Pastry ShopBernardsvilleBakeryFormerly Nardone’s Bakery
Somerset Recreation BowlingBernardsvilleServicesBernardsville Hardware
Somerset TravelOlcott DistrictServicesOrganic Nest – 17 Olcoltt Square
Speed Wash LaunderetteBernardsville CenterServices
SussmansOlcott DistrictApparelRide & Reflect Meditation 11 Olcott Square
Telesco’s Beauty SalonGladstoneBeauty
The Knit ShopFar HillsRetailFar Hills Village
The Lamp Post Gift ShopBernardsville CenterRetail
The Olympic ShopBernardsvilleApparelDown from Theater
The Rug BeaterBernardsville CenterRetailNext to Lobell’s
The Sports PeopleBedminsterRetailSteve French Betty Sackmeister 
The StoreBasking Ridge VillageBar/EateryThe Washington House
The WorksBernardsvilleServices
Three Lights TavernOlcott DistrictBar/EateryEmpty – 17 Olcott Square
Three Links Social ClubBernardsvilleServicesLodge 263
Thursty TurtleBernardsvilleRestaurantShop Rite Parking Lot
Tony’s Butcher ShopBasking Ridge VillageRetailTony  Cavaluzzo supplied meat to the Store aka THE Market
Valley Squire ClothingBasking RidgeApparelPerroitti’s 75 South Maple Avenue
Village FountainBasking Ridge VillageServicesFood Services – Took over in 1955 by Dick Cleave. Barber Shop today
Village HardwareBasking Ridge VillageRetailWB Hawke – 37 South Finley Avenue
Village ToysBedminsterRetailThe Hills Village
Wachovia BankBasking Ridge VillageBankCurrent Wells Fargo
Wagon WheelBasking RidgeRestaurantMinuteman BBQ
Werring Chevy/OldsBasking Ridge VillageAutoRidge Dentistry
West & Noble IncBernardsvilleServicesAdvertising Agency
Willies TavernBedminsterBar/EateryDelicious Heights
Wilson’s TaxiBernardsvilleServicesEdwin Wilson – 
WoolworthsBernardsville CenterRetailGary’s Wine and Liquors
Ye Old Cordiality ShoppeBedminsterClothingCorner 202 and Lamington Road
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3 thoughts on “The H-GOAT GAME – Loved Businesses Lost In Somerset Hills History #HGOAT”

  1. I feel that in the bracket category that Pistilli’s pizzeria and restaurant will be the final winner of the brackets

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