Blooming Grove Inn

Trenton Times – 6/29/14

Financial adviser turned restaurateur finishing renovations on secluded Ewing eatery

by Brendan McGrath, Times of Trenton

Steve Jordan was working as a financial adviser when he came to a realization.

“The restaurant business is where I belong,” Jordan said. “It’s a lot more fun to sell beer and food than insurance and annuities.”

Jordan, 30, had worked in the restaurant industry since he was a teenager, but after studying business at Temple University, he went into the financial services industry.

Now, returning to his passion, he has bought Paulie’s Anna Rose in Ewing, a restaurant he has renamed Paulie’s Restaurant and Saloon, and has spent four months trying to freshen it up and bring in new customers.

“It’s going to emerge as one of the better restaurants in the area,” Jordan said. “The product is here. The service is here. The food is here.”

It can be a challenge to get people to Paulie’s Restaurant because it’s not in a heavily traveled area, sitting on West Upper Ferry Road, just west of the intersection with Cosey Road.

Jordan, however, sees the location as a positive. It’s not difficult to get to, within a mile of Route 29 and Interstate-95, and once people arrive, they will be able to enjoy the relative seclusion of the neighborhood when sitting outside in the summertime, he said.

The restaurant, which is remaining open while Jordan renovates it, seats 110 inside and another 60 outside and will be renamed again when Jordan finishes his renovations on the building in the next six months, he said. It inhabits a repurposed mansion, set back from the road, that sits on a site that used to belong to the Green family in Ewing.

William Green, an early settler in Ewing, bought hundreds of acres of land in the early 18th century and moved onto the farm, where Jordan’s restaurant now sits, around 1717, according to Anne McArthur of the Ewing Township Historical Society.

Green’s descendents built a house on the property, which was either dismantled or burned down in the 19th century, and is believed to have been replaced by the mansion that is now Paulie’s Restaurant sometime in the 1860s, according to McArthur.​


Jordan said that he has heard accounts that the mansion, which he believes was converted into an eatery around the turn of the 20th century, served as a speakeasy during prohibition.

Jordan searched throughout the area in his quest to buy a restaurant, visiting various locations in Newtown, Pa., and New Hope, Pa., but he was drawn to the environment that surrounded Paulie’s Anna Rose, he said.

He liked how the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant really sprouted from the estate that the mansion stood on. It even still has the hitching posts from when customers would ride their horses to the establishment, Jordan said.

Jordan’s goal is to create a destination — an experience worth the 20-minute drive from Princeton or New Hope.

It will be worth it, Jordan said, because the restaurant will provide customers with a variety of settings to enjoy throughout the night. They can come in and sit at the bar, before heading to the dining room for dinner and outside on the patio for dessert, he said.

Paulie’s has a continental menu, which currently has an Italian component as well. It features a variety of selections including homemade crab cakes, pan-seared with artichoke hearts and capers in a lemon white wine sauce; half of a roasted duck served with black peppercorn sauce or a berry glaze; and a 14-ounce strip steak marsala topped with a mushroom and shallot sauce.


The cost of the lunch dishes range from $7.50 to $14.50, while dinner entrees run from $14 to $32.50. Jordan also plans to create an atmosphere that makes people feel at home with the staff.

“You need to be personal. It’s not an original idea, but it’s a good idea,” Jordan said. “It’s not just about selling you food; it’s about giving you an experience.”

It gets pretty personal for Jordan. When customers enter the restaurant each day, he says, “Welcome to my home!” and he means it. He lives in an apartment above the restaurant. “It’s like there’s a house party every night,” he said.

Once he gets people in the door, Jordan is confident they will be back. “I just need people to come see it,” Jordan said.

Jordan has tried to market the restaurant through the website, e-mail and Facebook, but he’s counting on word of mouth to really bolster his customer base.

“Word of mouth is best form of advertisement. It’s free and it’s worth more,” Jordan said.