NJ HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
Nanina ’ s in the Park , The Park Savoy , Park Chateau Estate ….
These mansions and former estates offer good tastes .
By Diane C . Walsh Contributing Editor
Twenty years ago , two brothers and a friend from Nutley pooled their talents , charm and expertise to realize a dream that grew into an empire of banquet facilities unrivaled in the industry .
Barry Maurillo , his brother , Joseph , and their friend , Vito Cucci , started with Nanina ’ s in the Park , a storied property in Belleville , nestled inside the landmark Branch Brook Park , where glorious Cherry Blossom trees drape across the roadways .
Nanina ’ s came with a reputation when they bought it in 2002 . It was the place everyone in New Jersey ’ s Essex County celebrated their special moments . But the Maurillos and Cucci catapulted it beyond the expectations of the old neighborhood . They completed a multi-million-dollar renovation , transforming it into a lavish Tuscan-style villa .
Their success and acclaim spurred them on to buy The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park – a stately mansion dating back to the 19th century . In its past lives , the property was a dairy farm and even a “ speakeasy ” under the control of a local crime syndicate , whose owners included the likes of Lucky Luciano .
When Nanina ’ s partners acquired it in 2011 , they were intent on breathing new life into the historic property and ordered extensive renovations , adding details reminiscent of the great mansions of Newport . The owners ’ vision created a standard of excellence for their guests . “ We ’ re creating a fantasy ,” said Barry Maurillo .
Their latest enterprise is the Park Chateau Estate and Gardens and its adjacent Chateau Grande Hotel in East Brunswick . The palatial estate evokes the style and grandeur of a French chateau . Classic French antiques adorn the interior of the chateau , creating a magical ambience . The owners drew upon their decades of experience to fashion this unique venue . The chateau was bought in 2016 and the remodeling took a year . The Chateau Grande Hotel was added to the to the property two years ago .
Each venue is different and offers its own unique features , Cucci said . No matter which property their guests select , they are all afforded “ commitment to excellence ,” he stressed . “ From
the minute they walk through the front door we are 100 percent committed to their needs .”
With more than 850 weddings celebrated at the venues every year , the Maurillos and Cucci have received countless awards for their premiere wedding destinations . Brides and grooms cannot be more effusive in their praise . In online reviews , the superlatives they use describe everything from the gourmet food and private bridal suites to the lush gardens and beautiful dance floors .
The trio of owners brought different yet complimentary talents to their partnership . Cucci grew up in a restaurant family . He had worked for the Radisson hotel chain and had experience as a food and beverage director . Before partnering with his buddies , he also worked at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston , a well-regarded local catering facility . Joseph and Barry Maurillo inherited their business savvy from their dad , who operated service stations .
The Maurillos ’ first love was the nightclub business . They also operated the Hop Restaurants before collaborating with Cucci . True entrepreneurs , they were always looking for new opportunities . An attractive space in
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The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park
Photo : Nanina ’ s in the Park
Nanina ’ s in the Park in Belleville
Photo : Nanina ’ s in the Park
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