Fondue. The art of dipping delicious food into an even more delicious bath of cheese, oil, or chocolate. It is a slow meal. And certainly not the most healthy. But it makes for a classy meal. A perfect date night. In the 1960s and 1970s, fondue became all the rage in the United States.

The Melting Pot opened its first fondue restaurant in Florida in 1975. As of June 2024, they operate 92 locations around the United States and Canada. Including two in New Jersey, in Red Bank and Maple Shade.

The only two remaining Melting Pot restaurants in New Jersey are in Maple Shade and Red Bank. (Google Maps, Canva)
The only two remaining Melting Pot restaurants in New Jersey are in Maple Shade and Red Bank. (Google Maps, Canva)
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There used to be many more. On June 2, the Melting Pot restaurant in Westwood, N.J. closed its doors, citing an opportunity to sell the property.

Slowly but steadily, the number of fondue options in New Jersey has dwindled dramatically over the last decade. The Melting Pot's Whippany location also closed up shop in 2019. Somerville shut down in 2018. Atlantic City in 2017. And Hoboken in 2014.

A prominent Melting Pot location in Philadelphia moved to Maple Shade, N.J. in 2015. And even the Red Bank location faced a "franchise agreement dispute," forcing a temporary closure from 2016 to 2018.

A full fondue dinner at Melting Pot is not a cheap meal. The online menu for the Red Bank location shows the "Four-Course Dinner for Two" — including cheese, salad, meat, and dessert — currently runs between $111 and $129 per couple. Add in drinks and tip, and that bill can easily soar over $200.

Melting Pot is a slow, self-guided dining experience. (Amy Zarrow)
Melting Pot is a slow, self-guided dining experience. (Amy Zarrow)
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Even so, as a national brand, Melting Pot seems to be thriving. In April 2023, they initiated the "Melting Pot Evolution," aiming to renovate and modernize one restaurant's appearance every week. The company states they want to grow their portfolio from 92 to 140 restaurants by 2026.

Unfortunately, here in New Jersey, many fondue-lovers now have to travel a ways to get their ooey, gooey cheese and chocolate fix. Or resort to making it home — perhaps relying on recipes in Melting Pot's own Dip into Something Delicious cookbook.

Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Check out Dan's weather blog or follow him on Facebook for your latest weather forecast updates.

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