On the corner of Oak and Pacific avenues in Wildwood sits Alumni Grill, a restaurant full of local nostalgia and unique bites that residents love and visitors come back for year after year. As of April, those flavors and memories have now made their way to Rio Grande!
Brother and sister duo Michael DeClemente and Jennifer Robinson opened the doors to the original Alumni Grill in 2004 on the corner of Cedar and Pacific avenues in Wildwood. With a location, a menu and 30 years’ experience in the restaurant business, Mike and Jen were ready to dive into the culinary world. There was only one thing missing… a name. At the time, most people located businesses using the Yellow Pages, so the two desired a business name that started with the letter ‘A.’ When their father suggested Alumni Grill, the ideas began to flow. They decided to invite people to bring in their local high school memorabilia to be displayed. Since both Mike and Jen are graduates of Wildwood High School, it seemed to be a perfect fit. The result was a showcase of island pride, and instant customers. Alumni Grill immediately became the locals’ place to be.
In summer 2008, Mike and Jen moved the business to its current location, and in 2016, they decided to make it a franchise with their sister, Michele Hughes. Mike and Jen wanted a second location for Alumni Grill, and they knew they could go one of two ways: open another restaurant or franchise. Since their first summer in business, people had asked if Alumni Grill was a franchise. This put the idea in their heads from the beginning, so they decided to go with it.
On April 23, 2018, owners Dan Sincavage, John and Jen Horton, and Tony Kapurelos officially opened the first franchise location of Alumni Grill, located at 1050 Rt. 47 S., Rio Grande. Dan, John, Jen and Tony are also the owners of United Uniforms and Range 609, and Alumni Grill completes their vision of a one-stop shop.
This new Rio Grande location offers the same fresh, creative, school-themed menu as the Wildwood location, full of one-of-a-kind salads, wraps, burgers, panini and specialty steaks. One addition is the ‘Rio Grande’ style burger, only available at this location, featuring a lightly fried egg, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese and a drizzle of homemade hot garlic hot sauce. And of course, you’ll find local high school sports jerseys, jackets, varsity letters, plaques, newspaper clippings and photos lining the walls. Look out for the owners’ local pasts represented in the restaurant!
The Rio Grande location of Alumni Grill is currently open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eat-in, take-out and delivery are available. Visit alumnigrill.com for a complete menu and delivery zone. A gluten-free menu is also available! For more information, call (609) 854-3444 or email email@example.com.