Hoping to cash in on the hunger for new stores in Princeton Borough, Fleet Bank and the Ferry House restaurant both opened their doors this week.
The Ferry House, which opened last night at 32 Witherspoon St., will feature American cuisine "with a little French flair," said owner and head chef Bobby Trigg. Entrees start at $20, he said.
The new eatery features baby rack of lamb for $25 and several seafood dishes, including sushi tuna, Chilean sea bass, salmon and oysters, according to Trigg. He said exotic mushrooms highlight many of his platters.
He added that the dessert menu includes crème brulée and tiramisu. "The dining room has a romantic, European flair to it," he said, adding that a "green-gold" interior and low lighting contribute to the ambience.
Trigg transplanted his restaurant from Lambertville, N.J., where his lease had expired. "The amount of people who walk up and down Witherspoon Street on a given day is the entire population of Lambertville," he said.
"My big reason for moving is that I started at Princeton, at The Peacock Inn on Bayard Lane. About 90 percent of my business in Lambertville was from Princeton," Trigg explained.
Starting as a line cook and moving his way up the culinary ladder to sous-chef at the "Peacock," Trigg left to pursue his dream of becoming a restaurateur by opening the Ferry House.
Trigg said he is pleased with his move to Princeton. "I just got final approvals from the city on Friday," he said, adding, "The city was very cooperative, and the mayor welcomed me."
The success of the restaurant will hinge on its reception in the next few weeks, Trigg said. "The tough thing with being in Princeton is people are unforgiving."
Fleet Bank chose a rather forgiving building in which to move – the structure, 16-18 Nassau Street, collapsed January 14. When the ceiling fell in, two construction workers were injured and several were trapped.
This mishap caused the opening of the Fleet branch to be delayed a few weeks, according to customer service manager Victoria Aicher.
"It really didn't affect it at all. It was a lot less than it was made out to be," bank manager Lou Foery said of the ceiling collapse.
The new branch, called a "Financial Solutions Center," represents a new type of banking facility, Foery said. "It's not just a new branch, it's a new way of doing business," he added.
"We have a terrific PC banking program that allows our customers to do much of their banking over their computers, which I think would have a lot of appeal to students," Foery said.
He said that the Fleet Financial Solutions Center will offer extended hours to make itself more available to customers. The bank will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.