New Jersey’s popular restaurant owner Tommy Bonfirio dies at age 62


Thomas J. Bonfilio, who built a chain of restaurants in North Jersey and elsewhere, died on Friday, despite the COVID-19 pandemic closing a similar business. He was 62 years old.

He and his family have opened two restaurants in Clifton within the last two years. With Tio Taco + Tequila Bar last summer and Tommy’s Tavern + Tap in December 2020, restaurant inventory more than tripled during the pandemic.

Bonfirio, who practiced the law and was a certified accountant for decades, He told last year that the physical size of his restaurant allowed him to survive the pandemic.They were large enough to accommodate hundreds of people and were able to maintain social distance after being allowed to eat indoors. He had three restaurants at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, but by mid-last year he had ten restaurants after moving to several closed restaurants.

“I thought it was an opportunity,” Bonfilio said in an interview last year.

“The restaurant industry is the most difficult business I’ve ever done,” he added.

Tommy Bonfirio.

Tommy Bonfirio.

He said the restaurant is family-owned, the company under its umbrella is called Triple T Hospitality, and his wife and two daughters are deeply involved with the rest of the family.

In addition to the location of Clifton, the family runs Tommy’s Tavern + Tap Restaurant in Sea Bright, Freehold Township, Staten Island, Princeton, Persipani, Bridgewater, and Tiotaco + Tequila Bar Restaurant in Marlboro and Edison. ..

Funeral arrangements are handled by the Holmdel Funeral Hall. Home owner Bill Boglioli said the service is not yet complete. Ramson’s Bonfirio died at the Riverview Medical Center on Friday night, the death notice said. The cause of death has not been clarified.

According to a biography on the website of his law firm, Bonfilio maintained his legal affairs until last year. He was a lawyer and a certified accountant for 30 years before he retired. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pace University in 1982 and graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1987.

He grew up in Brooklyn, where he met his wife Yvette, who moved to New Jersey in 992 after giving birth to their first child and settled in Monmouth County, Bonfilio said in an interview a few years ago.

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Bonfiglio said he liked his legal career but was excited about his new career in the restaurant business.

Having two daughters, Andrea and Christina, he and his wife became partners a few years ago at Seabright’s restaurant, Dockside. He said he brought coal-fired pizza to the Jersey Shore in 2009. He called pizza “the most perfect food ever invented.” But he said he wanted diversity, so he opened Tommy’s Tavern in Seabright.

“I was a lawyer for 30 years. I had a long career and loved it. But I really enjoy this part.”

Bonfirio said he enjoyed working in the restaurant business with his family, after working as a lawyer for years. He said in an interview last year that both his daughters work in business — Andrea as Chief Marketing Officer and Christina as Chief Brand Officer.

“In the end, it all comes down to the family,” he said. “We make money, but it’s not motivated by money. It’s an extension of our home.”

This article was originally posted on New Jersey restaurant chain owner Tommy Bonfirio dies at age 62