February 24, 2016

Fenwick Hospitality Group Purchases Main Street Bistro, Cafe and Catering

Fenwick Hospitality Group, owned by Jim Nawn, who also owns Agricola, the Great Road Farm, and the bar and bistro planned for the old Dinky train station, has purchased the Main Street Restaurant Group, including the Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center, Main Street Eatery and Gourmet Bakery in Kingston and Main Street Fine Catering in Rocky Hill.

Mr. Nawn, former owner of 37 Panera Bread franchises in New Jersey, stated his respect for Main Street, which has been in the community since 1984. Mr. Nawn plans to move slowly with any future changes. 

“We’re not setting up another Agricola,” he emphasized. “I’m not wedded to any particular plan for Main Street. I want to do something that responds to the needs of the community, that guests will come to and enjoy. We are going to take this slowly and understand what makes each business work, and then figure out what, if anything, needs to change.”

Looking around recently for expansion possibilities, with focus on farm-inspired experiences and local growers, the Skillman-based businessman and restaurateur stated that this purchase had been under discussion for over a year. “I’ve been looking for opportunities to provide dining experiences for the Princeton community,” he said. “I respect the brand Main Street has built and as I’m trying to build a local restaurant company, it made sense that their know-how was attractive to me.”

Mr. Nawn explained that with the development of a bar with food and a French brasserie in the two buildings on the Dinky site along with the purchase of Main Street, “we’re looking for options where there are wants or needs. The community needs a variety of options, but neither recent acquisition will be another Agricola or Panera.”

Customers of Main Street, which has been owned and run by John Marshall and his mother Sue Simpkins for more than 30 years, should be pleased to hear Mr. Nawn’s plans “to enhance what Main Street does, not to reinvent it or blow it up. Nothing’s changed in the need for people to eat, but sometimes there needs to be a freshening up of what’s been done for a long time.”