Summer, it’s the season both high school and college kids and even teachers can’t wait for. Now I may not be a teacher, but I
am still a student. Lately i’ve been trying to stay near campus, and find somewhere new to hang out at where I can enjoy
the weather while enjoying some awesome food. Where to go, where to go..not many options near Bergen Community
College Campus that aren’t coffee related (although caffeine is my big love in life). I looked high and low for something
new, something scenic, and something up-to-par food and drink wise. Par…that’s the key word there. For those of you
who aren’t familiar what that is in golf related terms, a par is “the predetermined number of strokes that a scratch golfer
should require to complete a hole, a round, or a tournament.” (Thanks Wikipedia). Now you may be asking yourself, “why
is this girl defining golf vocabulary?” Here’s your answer. The location that I happened upon for this issue is Pags
Restaurant and Bar, a venue located on Paramus Golf Course located near Bergen Community College, also a known food
truck traveling high and low in NJ. I had the opportunity to interview Christine Paglia, wife of owner David Paglia, to
discuss, all things Pags, and what we can expect from them.
AK: First of all thank you for joining me on this beautiful day. My first question would be how did Pags get its start, and how did you get into the restaurant and food truck business?
CP: Well I did not train in hospitality, so this is new to me, but I picked it up pretty quickly. My husband David has been in
the industry for over 20 years. He went to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), and became a trained chef. He’s been
an executive chef at hotels, private restaurants. We got to the point where we wanted to do something on own, be our
own boss, so he had the idea of a food truck. He started with the food truck, that was going well. We got a place in Nutley
that we are redoing, that’s under construction. Then he did a food truck event here cause the restaurant was closed. They
were in-between getting new owners, he saw this place was open. So he tried, and got Paramus Golf Course and then it
just built from there.
AK: What kind of foods do you enjoy when you’re not on the clock? Any Pags favorites?
CP: Basically the same thing. American fresh, home cooked food. My favorites on the menu are the chicken pesto sandwich and the calamari. David enjoys the cobb salad, and the crab cakes, and the lobster roll. Anything seafood he LOVES.
AK: What do you think makes Pags stand out and unique from every other establishment you go to?
CP: I think it’s because we put care into our food, we really care about what we put out. Everything is house made, we
use fresh ingredients. I think a lot of times other places just want to get their food out there, and they don’t care what
products they use and we care about that.
AK: What kind of clientele do you usually get at Pags? Any events?
CP: We get a wide variety: mid 20-80s. It’s a public golf course so it is very diversified. They have golf leagues, women’s leagues, there’s young guys that are here. Normally when you think of golfing you think of someone older, but there is a younger crowd. We get a lot of business people in now–even students, since we give teachers and students 10% off, same with the Police and Fire Department/ Vets etc. We do events for the police department, fire departments, teachers, schools, fundraisers. We do have a lot of different stuff going on that has nothing to do with not being on a golf course. We are starting to get a lot of people from the outside for sweet 16’s, Paint and Sips, Baby Showers, First Birthday Parties, We’re having bands outside this summer, like Rock
Kandy on July 20th, a lot of different stuff and more to come! We’re having bands outside this summer, like Rock Kandy on
AK: What’s it like to run a restaurant on a golf course?
CP: It’s interesting! Not boring, it’s fun. You get to meet a ton of different people. It’s a wide age range so you’re not just dealing with one specifically. You get to deal with different people throughout the day, connect with them, get to know them, get regulars. We’re not just inside either! We have concession stand, and the beverage cart that sells beer. So, we’re pretty much with them for all 18 holes — before, after, during.
AK: What can we look forward to from Pags for the future and beyond?
CP: So summer, it’s just running the golf course– making it better than we already have. We kind of have experience now of what the people want. Last summer was the first summer here, so it was sort of our trial and error period, we learned from it, and now we are moving into it again. It’s like 20 times busier in the summer than in any other of the year. We just started at the Bear’s Nest, it’s a gated community in Park Ridge. We’re doing concessions Saturday and Sunday by the pool, but we are looking to do events there like we do here, like music night, paint and sip, and trivia. Hopefully get into dinners Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there. So I guess growing our business and acquiring more places. Our menu is seasonal so we just updated it for Spring/Summer! Because we do everything as fresh as possible, we like to keep our veggies and our salads represent what’s seasonal. Like the Crab Cakes are a new one for the season, and the lobster rolls. We’re moving into lighter entrees for the Summer.
A combination of beautiful scenery, awesome food and creative cocktails, Pags in Paramus is a must try for both students, teachers, and entrepreneurs alike. Guess what everyone? It’s open to the public, so membership is NOT required to have an event or enjoy a cocktail from this thriving business. Follow them on Facebook to stay up-todate on everything Pags, and find where their famous truck is traveling to all this summer. I’ll be back for another crab cake sandwich and strawberry basil gimlet, Pags Staff! Thank you for having me, and to you all, cheers and happy eating!