First Carl’s Jr. Restaurant In New Jersey Opens In Township

Bhupen Patel, Katy McIntyre and Andy Patel, left to right, at the new Carl’s Jr. restaurant on Somerset Street.

The first Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant in New Jersey is now open on Somerset Street/Route 27.

It replaces the first Hardee’s in New Jersey in 20 years, which opened in that spot in 2015. The restaurant has the same franchisee – Bhupen Patel – and is a sister to Hardee’s, just a bit more “upscale,” said Katy McIntyre, Carl’s Jr.’s regional marketing director.

Located at 659 Somerset St., the restaurant brings a “taste of California” to New Jersey, McIntyre said.

Food selections feature garnishes such as avocado and unique sauces and flavors, she said.

The decision to switch brands from Hardee’s was made to be able to offer a more upscale menu, McIntyre said.

Patel is no stranger to the fast-food industry. At one time, he has said, he owned between 40 and 50 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, which he sold to enter the hospitality business.

Patel owned a number of hotels, including the Crowne Plaza in the township, before deciding to return to the fast-food industry.

Based in Anaheim, Cal., Carl’s Jr. was founded in the 1940s and has more than 1,200 restaurants located mainly in the western United States, although there are three others on the East Coast, all in New York.

Carl’s Jr. also has a mobile food truck, called the Star Diner, which will make appearances at select Rutgers University football games to hand out samples of its menu, McIntyre said.

Carl’s Jr. is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The drive-thru closes late on weekends, 11 p.m.


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