What’s Up with the Jolly Onion?

Jolly Onion
Photo Courtesy of Dean Diltz

What’s up with the Jolly Onion? I’m talking about The Ye Jolly Onion Inn that is.  When I ask this question to locals in the town of Warwick, I consistently get responses such as, “Didn’t that place get flooded and completely destroyed by Sandy?” Contrary to what you may have heard, while the Jolly could use a little TLC cosmetically, the building is in fine shape.

In its heyday, the Jolly Onion Inn was a great restaurant & banquet hall, with delicious food and wonderful service.  I recently asked Warwickians, old and new, to share their memories of the Jolly with me.  Many responded about the annual New Year’s parties hosted by the staff, or family celebrations that took place there.  People recall sharing great times with friends and family at the Jolly Onion.  Many a family celebration were held in the banquet hall downstairs, such as rehearsal dinners, christenings, birthday parties, etc.   It’s time we get the Jolly back to what it once was!

A Little History

Vincent Kosuga was the original owner and operator of The Jolly Onion Inn.  Before he opened the restaurant, he was an onion farmer and a commodity trader.  He traded onion futures and due to controversial activity, including bribing a weather bureau to issue a frost warning in order to inflate the price of futures contracts (according to Wikipedia).  I thought that was a fun little tidbit!  The government later passed the Onion Futures Act which banned the trading of futures contracts on onions.  Who knew?  In 1961, Mr. Kosuga opened The Jolly Onion Inn next to his farm (at that time it was a trucker’s diner), and served as the chef.

The Jolly Onion Inn was one of the most popular restaurants in Orange County.  Over the years, the Jolly Onion has been owned and managed successfully by several different families.  Unfortunately, the Jolly Onion closed its doors during the financial crises and market downturn years ago.  But things are looking up and Orange County is booming once again.  Real Estate in the Town of Warwick is moving and new construction, residential and commercial, is present all over town.  Maybe someone will soon make Joe’s wish a reality.

The Potential

While the Jolly property has been known for the successful restaurant, it truly has so much potential for many businesses.  Given the farmland surrounding Pine Island and throughout the Town of Warwick, a farm to table restaurant with outdoor seating or a supermarket alternative with farm grown produce and specialty items would be a natural fit.  But don’t rule out other businesses on that visible corner!  If you have the vision, we can help make it a reality.  The current owner of the Jolly Onion is an experienced Real Estate entrepreneur, developer and investor.  He is open to ideas and working with someone who believes in the property as much as he does.

To share information, memories or photos about the Jolly, if you have any corrections or clarifications, or if you are interested in opening a business on the property, please contact Vikki Garby of The Green Team: @201-213-9818 or vgarby@greenteamhq.com.

Jolly Onion