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Demystifying the Mystery of Hotel 304 West

By on May 8 2013.
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On March 11, 2013, the Springfield Rotary Club was set to host their annual Taste of the Towns at the Hotel 304 West as they had done in the past.  However, reported electrical problems at the space formerly known as Holiday Inn forced the event to relocate at the last minute to L’Affaire Fine Catering.    In the coming weeks, furniture and equipment was seen being carried out and hauled away.

Johnny Napkins Facebook

Johnny Napkins Facebook

Three days after the utility disruption, Johnny Napkins American Bar & Grill, a tenant of the hotel, posted a message on Facebook: “We are very sad to say that Johnny Napkins has had the “lights turned out” on them by the irresponsible, cowardly and selfish owner of the Hotel 304 West.  Without our knowledge the hotel failed to pay their bills and blindsided us with closing its doors on Monday.  We want to both sincerely apologize for the actions of the hotel and thank everyone who made Johnny Napkins what it is starting with our amazing staff, all the entertainment, all our friends, family and most importantly all of our customers.  We will be closed for an unknown period of time but you bet your bottom dollar that we will be back and better than ever.”

Because the electricity had been turned off and disabled much of the building’s fire safety measures, Township officials issued several notices to the Hotel 304 West, including an Imminent Hazard notice, an Order to Vacate and an Unsafe Structure notice.  Since then, Hotel 304 West and Johnny Napkins American Bar & Grill have remained closed.  Johnny Napkins relies on and cannot operate without the availability of the restrooms in the hotel lobby for patrons and the liquor license held in the name of Holihil Corporation.

Hotel 304 West

Hotel 304 West

Holihil Corporation of 792 Route 10 West in Randolph, New Jersey is listed on property tax records as the owner.  The company has been involved with the hotel for many years, even when it operated under the Holiday Inn name until 2010.  According to Mike Russo, the manager of Johnny Napkins, William Graulich is the owner.  Governments records indicate the land was transferred to William Graulich’s name from the estate of a relative in 2003.  The hotel was built in 1980 and in 2010, the company parted ways from Holiday Inn.  At that time, neither the owners nor the hotel general manager, Dan Spricigo, would offer reasons for the change.  However, sources point to financial trouble for the owners.  According to a September 2010 document from the State of New Jersey Division of Taxation entitled, “September Top Debt Business”, Holihil Corporation and owner William Graulich are listed as having had debt totaling at least $250,000.  When asked for details about why they closed, Russo explained, “Johnny Napkins was forced to close because the unscrupulous owner of the Hotel 304 decided not to pay his utility bills and mortgages. This plus the terrible condition of the hotel rooms led it to be shut down and condemned by the bank and state.”  Repeated requests for more information from Holihil and Graulich were ignored.

Many residents have been asking about the future of Johnny Napkins.  Russo remained optimistic.  “Hopefully the building will be sold to a reputable person and we will be back soon.  We are also looking for new locations in the area.”



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