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Cryan's Closes, Locals React

In a surprise move, the longtime pub and restaurant closed its doors on New Year's Day.


Cryan's Beef and Ale House, the popular South Orange bar and restaurant that was a South Orange mainstay for 30 years, announced it had closed its doors effective Jan. 1, according to a recent Twitter posting.

The tweet from Cryan’s said in part, "due to the recession and economy we have closed our doors for business" effective Jan. 1, 2013.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 2, Cryan's window and doors bear "Closed" signs. 

Cryan's tweet continued, "We take with us 30 years that will never be forgotten and a lifetime of memories. We know that all of you have many Cryans SouthOrange memories too. Keep them close to your heart. It's farewell for now but look for a new Cryans coming somewhere in the near future."

Cryan's management was not immediately available for comment.

In December, state officials from the Alcohol Beverage Control announced pending charges against the bar and restaurant, after the October arrest of six underage patrons and two staff members.

In addition, Cryan’s also released surveillance video from that night showing a table had been set up just inside the entrance  of the bar to collect money for an open bar promotion. Those types of promotions are not permitted under ABC law.

Reaction to the news of Cryan's closing came swiftly via social media.

Facebook and Twitter saw messages of regret posted shortly after the announcement. "Hate to bearer of bad news but #Cryans is officially closed. Sad day for South Orange, the #SHU Community," read one.

There is no word yet on what will happen to the building, or to its contents. 

Patch will continue to update this story.

George R. January 02, 2013 at 09:15 PM
A very tough business to be in . Fake IDs are every wear and college kids are just out of control . I will miss Cryans . As to the "poor management" comment-30 years? I bet you wouldn't last 2 weeks in any business . I've got 25 years in mine so far . Good luck to any small business in this state.
George Walsh January 02, 2013 at 10:43 PM
So the opposite of "poor management" would be good management, right George R? So the "good management" wanted to close then. OK. They decided to let the under age drinking take place so they could be charged by ABC with violating the the law. So, even with all the under-age drinking the "good management" had to close the place. Hmmm.... "good management;" charged with violating the law; close up shop. Yup. Must be good mangement. (Maybe not 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago, but recently?)
Leslie Pogany January 02, 2013 at 11:34 PM
I would like to take this time to thank generations of the Cryan family for being part of the history of our Villlage. Throughout the years their family business helped schools, church's and people in need when called upon. Politics fundraisers and various clubs were supported by their family. Thank you for your helping hands when needed. Our family wishes your family only the best in the future. Peace be with you. Leslie Pogany
Ruth Hardy January 02, 2013 at 11:56 PM
No matter what happened I will miss Cryans very much. The staff was great and everyone treated us well. Hopefully someone will invest in it & open it up again. So sad to see it go! Terry & Ruth :(
Tamara Schraiber January 03, 2013 at 03:23 AM
AMEN to that Leslie....The Jacobs Family will miss having our special celebration parties in their back room. Cryan's was always there for so many of us!!!
Kar ane January 03, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Cryan's was the bar to go to once you turned 21, back when I was at Seton Hall in 2000. They were very strict, and made people with out-of-state drivers licenses show backup. I wouldn't have ever dared to try to go to Cryan's with a fake back in when I was at SHU. no way! You go to those other bars for that! I'm sad to see Cryan's go - first it was Stuft Shirt, then The Hall, and now Cryans. Good bye to the good 'ole days of Seton Hall University.
W.Dan Johnson January 03, 2013 at 07:11 AM
i will miss cryans.
Will George January 03, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Liz F, LocalJoe, Chessah, This establishment has done well for 30 yrs without your patronage. Probably a lot longer than you have been on this earth. Didn't mommy ever tell to shut up if you can't say something nice? Jesus wouldn't been crucified in we lived in a perfect world. Everyone is human. I guess the 3 of you come from that perfect world where you don't make mistakes. I would really like to live in your world. I guess your **** doesn't stink either. Try looking in the mirror. Maybe that is where the mistake is. Stop being judgemental of others and clean up the sins in your perfect world!!!!! Ohh thats right you can't because you are the sin
Ian Miller January 03, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Although I have only been part of South Orange for 5 years I have seen the important roll Cryan's and Jimmy Cryan have played in our community. They have helped numerous organizations like the Lions and the Ambulance Core. They have supported may people running for office, If there was a 'good cause' Cryan's was there to help in any way they could. Our community has lost a great asset, but not a great friend. Jimmy Cryan will always be a friend of South Orange. Let's all wish him all the best!
Arthur. Gartenlaub January 03, 2013 at 04:00 PM
As one of the original members of the South Orange Cryan's "family," the "Amazing & Wonderful Art & Willie" entertained 5 nights a week for the first two and a half years. It was our privilege to be a part of creating some of the memories that established Cryan's as a South Orange landmark and a place where "everyone knows your face!" We were also privileged to have helped celebrate Cryan's 30 year celebration just a few short months ago. We will miss Cryan's presence and hope to be part of the "New Cryan's in any upcoming venture. Art & Willie
Alex C January 03, 2013 at 05:05 PM
This is just another example of why we need to change the drinking age back to 18. You can't honestly say that 18-20 year olds are mature enough to go to war, and be tried as adults, but a Bud Light is too much to handle. Give me a break. Furthermore, the A.B.C. does nothing to make society better or safer, but is rather just another piece of a heavy handed, anti-business, bloated beauracracy that just makes achieving success more difficult. Time to change the drinking age and do away with the A.B.C. It's too late for Cryan's but I hope soon this state and country end the hypocrisy surrounding both alcohol and tobacco.
Mj January 03, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Yea it's all those Seton Hall kids. It's actually that type of attitude that made Seton Hall a miserable college town. I'm sure SHU students are responsible for a nice chunk of business in and around South Orange and Maplewood, but whenever they want to let off a little steam by throwing a house-party, they can expect a neighbor to alert the police. Nevermind the fact that kids are getting mugged on Cottage and Irvington Ave like it's going out of style, but if there's a party you can bet SOPD will be on the scene. Are there a few bad apples? Sure. There's obviously times under-age kids try to use a fake i.d. or a party goes too far. But to blame SHU kids for the closing of Cryans is indicative of the entire area's attitude towards students. You'll take our money, and then want us to be unseen and unheard and we'll be blamed for everything that goes wrong in the area. Why not blame Cryans themselves? I don't see Gaslight having an issue with underage drinking. The first thing I do at Bunny's besides make a beeline for the free pizza is show my i.d. Keep blaming SHU and college kids in general because, "they're just out of control." The ignorance from supposed adults is astounding.
Ian Miller January 03, 2013 at 06:47 PM
The University Engagement Committee of the South Orange/ Seton Hall partnership exists to help both students and the community get along. We encourage students to participate in the community. Please join us on the last Wednesday of the month at Town Hall at 7:30 PM and help in this effort to make South Orange more student friendly and Seton Hall more Community friendly.
George Walsh January 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM
So this is from the NJABC website. Make what you will of it. "An anonymous tip also led to the arrests at Cryan’s Beef and Ale House, located less than a mile from Seton Hall University. ABC investigators were observing Cryan’s on October 18 when Ryan Buckman, 20, of Lima, N.Y., and an 18-year-old Toms River woman walked out of the establishment visibly intoxicated. According to investigators, both struggled to maintain their balance, and at one point, the woman stumbled into the path of an oncoming vehicle in a nearby street. Investigators approached both and later determined neither was 21. During questioning, the teenager lost consciousness and was later transported by ambulance from Cryan’s to a local hospital." I don't know if this why Cryan's decided to close. The statement "due to the recession and the economy" seems rather thin. Sure a lot of people enjoyed the place and Jimmy Cryan donated to many causes. Why close? Rent too high? Staff skimming the profits? Owners lost interest? OK, the economy.
Gragor January 04, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Wow we're down to Toro , Bunnys & Gaslight/"Ryans" now from the good ole days. Disgraceful what has happened. I think the town needs to reach out to the alumni for support & some direction. Enough with the freakin Cold Stone's and bring back more bars like every other stinkin normal college town (which is what you are South Orangers!!!)
Ronnie Salmanowitz Breitstein January 05, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Comment to Alex C- your argument that you are old enough to go to war ( what-did they reinstate the draft? I doubt Hoo-rah will ever come out of your mouth nor will any of those whose enlist be stressing over the drinking age as they serve OUR country and make it safe for immature children like you). And dear, the issue isn't BUD LIGHTS-it is drinking enough hard liquor to kill a person or crash your car and kill someone else. I grew up with both 18 and then 21 being the drinking ages and graduated HS without four classmates and one wheeling his chair to collect his diploma. Why is youth so intent on trying to kill itself ???
Clive January 05, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Cryans like other town icons has run it's course - other establishments will fill the vacuum. Thanks to Crayans for all the good they did and may the experiences of the last year - help them and especally long tenured employees to carve out a good future. Let all cherish the memories and stay optimistic about the many good things ahead. I am sure the 30 years of experiences will be a good springboard towards any new venture.
Not crying over Cryan's January 06, 2013 at 01:20 AM
The place smelled like a musty basement and was filled with old pink-faced townies reminiscing about the good old days. Reggie the bartender and the frozen yogurt machine were the only reasons to go there when I was in school in the 90's. Ryan's was much better.
Tom McGurk January 06, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Congrats to the Cryan's family on a long, mostly successful run. I frequented there when I was a Senior at SHU back in the eighties, and would occassionally visit Reggie and Jimmy when I had my own pub in West Orange several years ago. This is a family business that has always graciously given back to the South Orange community and its causes and beyond. I have stood in their shoes. In this digital age, many of these "fake" ID's look very real. I find it hard to believe they would intentionally lure underage customers, recession or no recession. However, the law is the law. One black mark over 30 years should not stain their reputation. Whenever and wherever they find a new location, the community will be lucky to have them. Best of luck to the Cryan family!
Anonymous January 06, 2013 at 04:49 AM
My husband and I have been going to Cryans for years. We moved out of state almost 10 years ago but when we come back in town, we would visit Cryans for a shrimp cocktail. We were so sad to hear of their closing. Why doesn't the ABC go after and fine and/or charge all of these underaged drinkers for a variety of charges including fraud and deception for using false id's? We all know why they go after the business and not those who misrepresent their ages!!! They go after the business owners because they have deep pockets and they know they cant get much money out of the under aged drinkers! Start penalizing the under aged drinkers like they do the business owners and I bet this madness would stop!!! Lock these under aged drinkers up and charge them as felons!!! We wish Jimmy Cryan and his staff well.
Geers January 06, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Absolutely the very best to The entire Cryan family and extended family! So many great memories and so many lives have been touched in many ways in one way or another through Cryan's. The comments blaming Seton Hall kids is just silly! After over 20 years in the restaurant business in 4 states and many cities,.. unless you have worked in the industry and are aware of all the liquor laws and issues,.. then you have NO idea of the many challenges, SOOOOOO how about we keep to the well wishes!!!
Jerry Tuttle January 06, 2013 at 03:52 PM
I am very saddened to see Cryans close. I have been a regular Tuesday night burger special customer for a while and have looked forward to my Tuesday nights there. I know Jimmy, and his Dad before him, have been so supportive of so many community organizations for decades. I wish Jimmy and the staff well.
Alex C January 08, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Wow where to begin? Well first off I am not an immature child. I am 27 years old, I have a 40-50 hour a week job and bills and taxes and all that other good grown up stuff. But congratulations for being the early frontrunner for the Poor Assumption of the Year Award. As for the military thing, no did not serve in the military. I've had a heart condition since birth so I am medically disqualified. Looked into serving in a non-combat role but everyone has to go through Basic no matter what, which I am not physically able to do. But wouldn't you have felt like an idiot if you got that assumption wrong too? I do however have friends and family who have/currently are serving. And I think it's pretty messed up that a say 19 year old kid can go serve a year in Afghanistan, but God willing when he gets back his father can't legally take him out for a beer. It's not just that though. It's the entire concept of society saying that someone at 18 has every legal obligation and responsibility of an adult, taxes, being tried as an adult if they commit a crime, serving jury duty, etc, but they don't have all the legal rights of an adult. It's hypocritical. If you want to keep alcohol out of high schools fine, just make everything 19. Almost everyone is out of HS by 19. But that means no 18 year olds paying taxes, serving in the armed forces, being tried as adults, etc.
Alex C January 08, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Finally, the drunk driving and binge drinking arguments. Drinking and driving is illegal if you're 18 or 88. Everyone I know who regularly drives after too many is well over 21, most are middle aged. That's a tired argument. As for binge drinking, if you kills yourself with alcohol, that's your own stupid fault. What happened to personal responsibility? Legal adults do not need big brother government telling them what they can and can not put in their bodies, whether it be alcohol or tobacco, or even some other drugs for that matter, as long as they only hurt themselves.
Brian Hurrel January 24, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Huh? You don't know many Marines. When I was 19 year-old PFC they changed the drinking age in North Carolina to 21 with no grandfather clause. And we, meaning every under-21 jarhead at Pendleton and Geiger - Probably more than 30 thousand or more - bitched mightily and loudly about this for years.
Brian Hurrel January 24, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Correction. Lejeune, not Pendleton. Camp Pendleton is, in fact, on the other side of the continent in California.
JOHN February 02, 2013 at 03:27 AM
YOUR GOING TO BE MISSED,SOUTH ORANGE WON`T BE THE SAME WITH OUT CRYANS.!GOOD LUCK JIMMY AND STAFF!
Justin Moser February 22, 2013 at 03:14 AM
The fake IDs the kids are getting today are insanely hard to detect. They order them from China and they have every security feature that a real ID has. It's impossible for someone to distinguish it from a real ID. They have their real name's and addresses, so they can even show backup ID for the fake. I'm sure when kids were prompted from a state investigator to show their ID, they didn't show the fake. The bar ends up getting a raw deal. It's hard enough to do business and the ABC just wants headlines. How about placing the liability on the 'underage' drinkers. Afterall, if they're in college they have to be 18 or over.
Weedle Dee March 26, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Looks like the real reason Cryan's closed was that the son was too busy trying to get busy with inappropriate texts and emails to his staff. Seems when he referred to his staff they weren't sure if he was talking about his co-workers or his joint.
Ella Bella April 05, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Weedle Dee, What are you talking about?????????/// This makes no sense at all. Please explain!

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