In a quiet spot just north of the Barnegat-Waretown border on Route 9 sits a new restaurant, decorated with tea-and-coffee curtains and framed shore-themed photographs on the walls.
The cozy little eatery serving breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily has a capacity to house 25 patrons. Sure, the Brunch Spot can get crowded, the way it did on Mother’s Day last Sunday, when the owner Debbie Timpanaro and her family helping her out barely had any room to move as they distributed heavy platters loaded with generous portions.
Still, small is just the way Timpanaro likes it.
A resident of Barnegat, Timpanaro worked for places like Denny’s and Perkins for 26 years, where as a restaurant manager, her presence was often required in stretches of 12 to 18 hours.
“On a large scale like that, most of the time you don’t know your customers that well,” Timpanaro said. “A lot of times I had to say, ‘I can’t do that for you.’ And I hate telling people ‘no.’”
After five years of dreaming and planning, Timpanaro opened The Brunch Spot with her fiancé William Bower, six weeks ago.
“I wanted to get back to why this was fun for me,” Timpanaro said.
The Brunch Spot’s menu showcases Timpanaro’s sense of fun. A breakfast sandwich named “Barnegat Blvd,” features scrambled eggs with peppers and
“Gunning River” Griller and “Parkway South” Breakfast Burrito are but a few of many creative alternatives. The meals, served in heaping portions, have a homey, comfort-food feel, with just the right touch of originality. The menu, which includes all sorts of salads, sandwiches, enormous burgers and bready deserts, is sometimes subject to change, Timpanaro said.
“The specials come from the people,” she said. “For example, in the last five weeks, we had people ask for hoagies, and here they are.”
But while the menu means a lot – and Timpanaro’s chef, Jamie Kirk, takes his cooking very seriously – The Brunch Spot cares about more than food.
“I’ve wanted a local place, where I know my customers’ names,” Timpanaro said. “To me, it’s all about the people.”