Alan Meinster ’86, owner/operator of Marsilio’s restaurant in Trenton, and wife Denise Didonato ’86 now chew the fat with Mercer County’s top businesses. That’s because their restaurant, a local landmark and hotspot for the political crowd, has been enshrined in the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
Marsilio’s is the first restaurant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, according to Meinster. The restaurant has also received top reviews from The New York Times, The Times of Trenton, the Star-Ledger, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Zagat. Author Janet Evanovich even mentions Marsilio’s in her series of books set in the Trenton area.
What does it take to get such recognition? “Don’t pick your head up,” said Meinster, who has been the owner of Marsilio’s since October 15, 1986, just after his graduation. “Keep working hard, and eventually someone will come and tap you on the shoulder.”
Meinster decided to return to his roots after college—working in the restaurant business. While growing up in Freehold, and during his time at the College, Meinster worked for several restaurants and loved the experience. Fortunately, Meinster ’s father-in-law, a real estate broker, was able to help Meinster get his foot into the restaurant business and bought Marsilio ’s, which was established in 1951. Meinster is now chef/owner of the restaurant, and, along with Denise, hosts alumni events at Marsilio’s while both serve as alumni class agents.
“It’s enjoyable and fulfilling to associate and participate with an institution that heightens your career, ” said Meinster. “It’s important to always respect the opportunities that are afforded us.”
Melanie Weiss ’07
After the spring magazine had gone to press, we learned that Marsilio’s restaurant is scheduled to close in fall 2007, although Meinster plans to run a catering business from the site.