Today McCormick's crosses the Delaware and opens at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill. But last night invited guests were treated to a red-carpet preview of this spacious new eatery complete with Hollywood skylights, valet parking and live music. The crowd was large, loud and Very Happy and the tastings included crab cakes, calamari, broiled chicken, oysters on the shell, shrimp, ahi tuna and mini burgers.
More than 40 McCormick staffers worked the event and all were friendly, courteous and helpful. We spotted many familiar faces in the crowd and chatted with Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt, former Pennsylvania State Senator Bob Rovner, Philadelphia Tribune correspondent Bobbi Booker and our old friend Mary Fallon of Haddonfield.
Mayor Platt told us that this McCormick's is the first in the nation to open along with its sister restaurant, William Douglas Steakhouse -- named for founders Bill McCormick and Doug Schmick. The Steakhouse will open in a few weeks. While McCormicks & Schmick's will serve lunch and dinner, William Douglas will be a dinner-only destination, offering prime cuts of beef and such features as a live pianist. We got a sneak peak at the steakhouse and I can report that it is upscale - very clubby with dark woods, velvet drapes, comfortable chairs, soft lighting and intimate cushy booths.
BTW: This new McCormick's will feature the same low-priced happy hour as the Philadelphia eatery.
Mayor Platt is justifiably thrilled about the opening of McCormick's, William Douglas and all of the other developments along Cherry Hill's Haddonfield Road power corridor stretching from Route 70 to the Cherry Hill Mall where Crate and Barrel and The Container Store have already arrived and Nordstrom, Maggiano's and others will soon follow. Any town would give its all to have any one of these names while Cherry Hill has attracted all of these as well as Wegman's. And the list just seems to keep growing.
While we were at the party Bob Rovner reminded us of his radio programs: Senator Bob Rovner Talks To The Stars every Friday at 1 PM on WNWR, 1540 AM and his Saturday gig at 2 PM with Councilman Frank Rizzo on WWDB, 860 AM.
After we departed McCormick's we headed down the road a bit to Cold Stone Cremery and treated ourselves to White Chocolate and Sweet Cream.
Photo: Courier Post