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NJ History Is For Sale!

A Piece of NJ History, Nutley’s Storied Old Canal Inn, Is For Sale.

NUTLEY, NJ – Opportunity Knocks on Death’s Door and the legendary Old Canal Inn can be yours. The entire mixed use building, including the business, apartments, and Death Seat, is for sale.

I first heard of the “Death Seat” at the Old Canal Inn when I found a copy of Weird New Jersey at the Barnes and Noble in Dan Diego’s Mission Valley in the early 2000s. Who would have thought that several years later I would not only have the opportunity to see the actual death seat, but visit the bar and be a sponsor of Nutley Family Service Bureau’s annual ‘Rock Hunger’ music event held every year at the OCI.

The Old Canal Inn opened in the 1930s on East Passaic Avenue along the Nutley –Bloomfield border. The township border actually runs through a portion of the building – the shuffleboard is actually in Bloomfield. A working class fixture for decades, the establishment was owned by the same family until it closed in the early 2000s.

According to legend, somewhere in the latter part of the last century, a patron of the bar died in one of the bar stools. Not that long thereafter another patron met the same fate, in the very same bar stool. And a legend was created.

Flash forward to the 21st Century when the Conca Brothers of Nutley knew a bit of the history, found the 1908 building to be structurally sound, and saw an opportunity create the next chapters of this landmark by building on the past. The original maple floors and chestnut bar have been restored to their mid-20th Century appearance, the old beer taps are back with some new additions, and the Death Seat is featured near the front of the bar.

The Old Canal Inn is also host of the annual “Rock Hunger” music event to benefit Nutley Family Service Bureau’s food pantry operation.

This legendary building and business is now for sale with an asking price of $2,195,000.

On the business side, total patron capacity of 186 includes the 75 in the dining room. The OCI boasts an extensive craft beer list flows through the 30 taps. The space also includes an in-house regulation shuffleboard table and 22 large screen TVs. The kitchen and restaurant received a total renovation in 2015. AC systems (2022), Boiler (2020). The residential apartments upstairs are fully occupied. The listing describes the property as “Turn-key, profitable operation with strong potential for added growth.”

The Old Canal Inn is listed by Frank Conturso, Keller Williams Suburban Realty, (201) 213-0952.

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