When the Colucci family in Mahwah heard a Shannon Rose restaurant was opening on Route 17 in Ramsey, they were very excited. The chain restaurant has been a part of a Colucci family tradition for six years.
“When we found out a ‘Shannon Rose’ was opening in Clifton six years ago, we just had to go down with the whole family,” Jeff Colucci said. Every year since then, the family – Jeff, his wife Margaret, their son Jeff Jr., and their daughter, Shannon Rose – traveled to the restaurant in Clifton on St. Patrick’s Day. “We just thought it was so great to bring our Shannon Rose to the Shannon Rose to celebrate the Irish heritage she has in her every year,” Margaret said.
For Mahwah’s Shannon Rose, when the new restaurant bearing her name opened in Ramsey a few weeks ago, she got a mini-taste of celebrity. “Everyone at school thought it was named after me,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”
Shannon, a third grader at Betsy Ross, had to fit the family outing into her busy schedule. She is a brownie, and plays basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, and just started taking karate lessons. Her brother, 12-year-old Jeff, says he is an “iPhone junkie,” who spends most of his time fixing and tampering with electronics around the house, waiting until he is old enough to get a job at the Apple Store.
The two were glad to learn their family tradition moved right next door. “I like to go there to spend time with my family because I love them,” she said.
According to a representative from the Shannon Rose, it is actually named for “Shannon Doherty Portell, who grew up in Ridgewood and is the daughter of owner Ed Doherty of Doherty Enterprises, Inc, headquartered in Allendale, and the last name of Doherty’s partner and owner of The Rose Group, Harry Rose.”
The restaurant and pub, which serves traditional Irish food and drink, is operated by Doherty Enterprises, the twelfth largest franchisee in the United States. The company owns 95 Applebee’s, Panera Breads, Chevys Fresh Mex’s, and The Shannon Rose Irish Pubs in the tri-state area.
The Colucci’s have been eating at Shannon Rose ever since their daughter can remember. On the menu, she recommends the kid’s meal chicken fingers and grilled cheese.
For her parents, the spot the Shannon Rose opened in on Route 17, about a minute from the Mahwah border, holds special significance. Jeff and Margaret’s wedding reception in 1997 was held at Jimmy Reid’s, the restaurant in that spot during the 1990’s. Since then, a Friday’s and now a Shannon Rose has opened in the spot.
“We were sad to see the old restaurants go,” Jeff said. “But when we heard a Shannon Rose was coming, we were really happy that it was going to replace them.” He said he is glad the family’s tradition is now closer to its roots – the Colucci’s have lived in Mahwah for 15 years, and Margaret, who is from Ramsey originally, has four siblings in the township, one in Ramsey and one in Upper Saddle River. “It’s great that this is right around the corner. We can go out ourselves, or with some of the family members we have in the area,” Jeff said.
And, of course, the family tradition will continue. “We will be at the new Shannon Rose this St. Patrick’s Day,” Jeff said. “We want to hear the bagpipers like we always do. They have a full blown celebration for St. Patty’s. It’s great.”