Stockton Grill And Tavern Owner Speaks With Board, Ready To Open

STOCKTON – James Bensink, the new owner of the Stockton Grill and Tavern, formerly known as the Stockton Hotel, is letting people know he will soon be open for business.

Bensink recently attended a Stockton Town Board meeting. He introduced himself, supplied some information about himself, and said he hoped for a good relationship with the community. After the meeting, he handed out business cards.

Bensink said his company is involved in real estate development.

“We bought the business to strip it down,” he said.

He said he knew the former owners. After seeing the inside, Bensink concluded he would like to run a business there.

“It’s an uphill battle since we are not experienced (with a restaurant). We do have some family members who are executives in Coca-Cola,” he said.

Bensink said that business will be called the Stockton Grill & Tavern. The sign on the building says the Stockton Hotel, but Bensink finds the name confuses his friends and acquaintances.

“They ask me how many rooms I have,” he said.

Bensink was complimentary toward the Stockton Town Board. He was impressed Dave Wilson, town supervisor, called him once the building was purchased and offered whatever assistance he could.

Bensink said he has a “small issue with a liquor license” but hopes to open around June 1. He has already met with Sam Mancuso, the town’s code enforcement officer.

“Mancuso has done a very good job; he has been even-handed in his interpretations,” said Bensink.

Bensink said while he doesn’t agree with the codes, he is “super big on following code. We comply 100 percent. It’s how we can keep our (insurance) rates low.”

Bensink said he liked the banners in town. He would like to line the building with flags.

“I don’t like people who are not patriotic,” he said.

“We are super excited as a board to have you here,” said John Beichner, town councilman.

“We welcome you; let us know if we can do anything or help you along,” Wilson said.