The Box Car Bar & Grill will begin opening next week, owners say, first with coffee and continental breakfast served inside the Short Hills Train Station waiting room.
Two or three weeks after that the rest of the bar and grill will open, too, said co-owner Jeff Tauber.
"It's a long-time coming for the suffering commuters," Tauber said. "But it's going to be worth it. This is something the neighborhood desperately needs."
While many agree with him, there have been some grumblings about the construction, which has taken months beyond what they expected and has displaced the men's room to a portable toilet outside.
"Those days are almost over," he said.
And some residents have questioned whether the neighborhood needs a restaurant with a liquor license.
"We hope it will reinvigorate the area," said Tauber, who with his wife, Jane (who helped choose the interior fixtures) lives in Short Hills.
The Box Car Bar & Grill will serve 18 different wines by the glass and will have an array of food, from breakfast and coffee for commuters to sandwiches and pizza for lunch and dinner fare in the evening. Commuters will be able to order ahead and grab take out on their way home.
The owners have kept the character of the historic building that once was a used as the train station’s baggage room and a waiting room for commuters.
"We thought we had to do that. It wasn't in the lease, but it's the right thing to do," Tauber said. "We had talks with the historical society about maintaining the historic nature of the building."
On one end of the building is the bar and grill and the other is the brick oven and sandwich bar.
"There are going to be a lot of surprised commuters in a few days," Tauber said.