BY BRIAN RZEPPA
Fans of the popular Round House BBQ in downtown Trenton and the trendy Van Horn pizzeria known as The Grotto are rejoicing with the news that owner Chris Hancock will be expanding his business interests in Trenton.
Tentatively scheduled for a January opening, “Hat Trick” restaurant will be coming to the second floor of the Kennedy Recreation Center, a venture Hancock believes will be just as successful as his other two Trenton restaurants.
After the previous tenants left the restaurant vacated, Hancock was contacted by the city to gauge his interest in the location, an opportunity that he found very intriguing.
“Hat Trick’s happened for me after the city came to me and asked if I would be interested in putting in a proposal for it,” Hancock said. “I’ve wanted to do something in the style of catering and events and parties, and this seemed like a natural fit for that.”
In comparison to his other two eateries, Hancock is going to follow a hockey theme for Hat Trick, not only because of the hockey backdrop but for a more personal reason as well.
“With it being in the ice arena it’s clearly going to have a hockey theme to it,” he said. “More than that, it’s our third turnaround story so it was natural to call it Hat Trick.”
Serving bar food, pizzas, burgers and an extensive menu of Mexican food, Hat Trick is hoping to be able to please customers through both food and good customer services.
“The feedback that I had heard was that the service was exceedingly slow and there was poor customer service with the previous operators. That will not be the case with me, because I understand my demographics and speed and timing are very important to me.”
Hancock applauded the city for how easy they have been to work with and noted that they have been “fantastic” throughout the process.
With this being his third restaurant, Hancock has been able to find a system that works for himself, his workers and his customers and he hopes to continue that into this new venture.
“I think a lot of the success that we’ve had is just applying our different principles of business to each venture that I’m involved in,” Hancock said. “I own a property management company and a construction company and we apply our business acumen to each of them. That’s really what makes it work for us. There’s a wide array of elements that go into it, and it’s really important for us that we hire good people and treat them well.”
If the script remains the same that it has been for his first two restaurants in Trenton, Hat Trick should be the talk of the town within no time.