Due to the concentration of medical facilities in the area, New Brunswick is nicknamed the “Healthcare City,” but there’s so much more to it than Band-Aids.
Where to Stay
The 235-room Heldrich is located in a walkable downtown location, with easy access to the Northeast Corridor NJ Transit rail line, and is just minutes away from Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters. With 25,000 square feet of IACC-certified meeting space, which includes a 7,370-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate 500 for a banquet, The Heldrich can accommodate just about any meeting or event. “We also have five meeting rooms that are more than 2,000 square feet, and many smaller rooms for breakouts and small meetings,” says Pat Weldon, director of sales and marketing. “Meeting rooms are purpose designed, with built in A/V, ergonomic chairs and have natural light.”
The 405-room Hilton East Brunswick Hotel and Meeting Center is one of Central New Jersey’s top events venues, with a total of 42,000 square feet of acclaimed meeting facilities certified by the IACC. “With over 30 options of flexible event space, including our executive meeting center, you can hold an intimate meeting of five up to a large-scale event with 2,100 attendees in our one-of-a kind 15,000-square-foot refurbished ballroom,” says Tara Barbera, director of sales. “Our tastefully furnished hotel, complete with a newly renovated modern interior, is uniquely designed to fulfill the needs of our valued guests.” The hotel is less than three miles from bustling downtown New Brunswick and 20 miles from Newark Liberty International Airport.
For those who may need extra space or will be staying longer than the typical overnight, Staybridge Suites North Brunswick specializes in extended-stay accommodations, offering full kitchenettes, full American breakfast daily and three nights of light dinner. “We have one meeting room—a boardroom for 10 people,” says Cathy Coanda, director of sales. “We are walking distance to restaurants and shopping, and are conveniently located off Route 1, in proximity to Princeton and Edison.”
Where to Eat
With a menu offering some of the state’s finest Mediterranean cuisine (mainly Lebanese food) and a backyard bar that’s always bustling, Evelyn’s Restaurant has truly earned its nickname: “The New Brunswick Oasis.” Belle Scherer, bartender/server, says it’s known for its outdoor area, which includes beautiful pear trees and heated lamps. “It’s a great atmosphere for a party or event [for 150 people],” she says. “When it gets colder, we don’t have a specific room for parties, but we can accommodate around 40-50 people for corporate functions or parties inside.” The restaurant’s catering menu includes a selection of kebabs, hummus, tabouli and falafel.
Doing business in the “Healthcare City,” Due Mari, serving northern Italian cuisine, often hosts events and meetings for Johnson & Johnson, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Group and groups from Rutgers. Its private dining room can host up to 30 people for a sitdown dinner and 45 guests for a receptionstyle event. Due Mari also offers large party and semiprivate areas within the main dining room. “On top of the fact that our food is phenomenal, our service is great, it’s efficient, it’s organized and our spaces allow for different environments,” says Margrethe Vogelius, event coordinator. “We can host these wonderful pharmaceutical events where it’s kind of just business, and a very expedited service and wonderful food to make a great impression on clients.” The restaurant can accommodate anything from small parties of eight within its private lounge to parties of about 120 seated (or 200 reception-style) in its main dining room. “We also have our Liguria Room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows, and is a really open, nice space with a reserved section of the bar,” Vogelius says.
Located in the heart of New Brunswick’s theater district, Old Man Rafferty’s is perfect for a casual lunch, an intimate dinner or a worry- free corporate affair. “We have semiprivate space that can accommodate business gatherings that require a quieter area, and a larger space for full-out celebrations,” says Rachel Webb, manager. “We also offer outdoor seating in a beautiful garden setting.” The restaurant can accommodate up to 100 for events. Popular items on the menu include a hanger steak and salad greens with blackened chicken.
What to Do
The 1,800-seat State Theatre is a magnificently renovated 1921 vaudeville palace. Some of the past State Theatre acts have included Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick, Jr, Liza Minnelli, Frankie Valli and Yo-Yo Ma. “Renowned for its superb acoustics, the State Theatre offers a world of entertainment including Broadway musicals, pop concerts, international orchestras, dance events, family programs, jazz, blues, standup comedy and much more. “The State Theatre is a great choice for meeting planners who are looking for a convenient, centrally located place, with accommodations and dining options close by,” says Kelly Blithe, director of communications. “We welcome gatherings from corporate meetings and product launches to fundraisers and fashion shows.
As one of the oldest geology museums in the country—open since 1872—the Rutgers Geology Museum is home to New Jersey mineral collections, an Egyptian Mummy, a Mastodon skeleton, a large dinosaur footprint trackway and much more. “The museum is closed to the public during private and corporate events, and we can work with your group to create the perfect arrangement for groups of up to 100 people,” says Lauren Neitzke Adamo, associate director. “This Victorian-Age museum creates a unique setting that is perfect for corporate events in a fun and educational atmosphere. Visitors have the option to add guided tours to their events and we will work closely with you to create the perfect event.”
As one of the nation’s largest and most distinguished university art museums, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers features artwork from ancient to contemporary that appeals to all interests. “The permanent collection spotlights 19th-century French art; American art from the Colonial era to the present; and original illustrations for children’s books,” says Theresa C. Watson, communications coordinator. “The museum also houses some 22,000 works of Russian art from the 14th century to the present.” The museum features galleries and classroom spaces that can accommodate cocktail receptions, sit-down dinners, presentations and performances. The museum is best suited for meetings between 15-20 people (outside), though there’s a maximum capacity of 150 for receptions. “The Zimmerli offers an inspiring and creative escape from standard meeting spaces. During breaks attendees have the option to clear their minds by exploring the galleries,” Watson says. “The artwork also provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for any special event.”
NEW BRUNSWICK BY THE NUMBERS
1869 THE YEAR THE FIRST INTERCOLLEGIATE FOOTBALL GAME WAS PLAYED (RUTGERS V. PRINCETON)
1730 THE YEAR NEW BRUNSWICK WAS FOUNDED BY ROYAL CHARTER
27 MILES FROM MANHATTAN
14 STORIES: THE HEIGHT OF I.M. PEI-DESIGNED HEADQUARTERS OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON
5.8 SQUARE MILES