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Rumblings of “What’s going on at the old ‘Bell & Whistle?'” has been flitting around Hopewell Borough lately. There’s been some increased activity at the restaurant site behind the Boro Bean on East Broad Street and curious neighbors are starting to wonder.

And MercerMe has the answer to feed your hungry mind (and the restaurant will eventually feed your hungry self).

SweetGrass, offering “seasonal fare with a southern flair,” will be joining the amazingly delicious array of local restaurants. Owner and Chef Sarah Gresko is a recent transplant to Hopewell Borough, with family in the area and her children enrolled at Hopewell Elementary.

“I am so excited to be in this area — I love the local feel. I’ve been meeting such caring and charismatic people who are just so typical of the area. It screams ‘Hopewell!'” said Gresko.

The restaurant will be “upscale casual” with a welcoming and warm vibe. The menu will change 4-5 times per year with a focus on local sourcing — half the menu will be seasonal and the rest will be southern flare with a (somewhat more) healthy twist. Don’t worry. The zucchini fritters will be fried. And remember to BYO.

“This area is a chef’s dream — so many different farms offer such wonderful ability to cook fresh,” said Gresko.

With a colorable children’s menu, they will also welcome the smaller of our Mercerites. Even for the children’s menu, everything will be homemade including grinding their own meat in-house for the burger sliders.

Sarah GreskoGresko brings over fifteen years of culinary, management and hospitality experience to SweetGrass having graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, she worked as Executive Chef and Acting Food and Beverage Director at Doubletree Guest Suites in Mt.Laurel NJ. And in more delicious news, Sarah also worked as a pastry chef for a West Berlin NJ bakery creating cakes and pastries.

Expect the soft opening sometime next week and the official opening around the beginning of October.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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