Do you remember the Hot Tomato?  This family-owned business served the Jersey Shore with delightful Italian food for close to 20 years.  When it disappeared, many were surprised.  Now, this high-traffic location is set to host a new family business.  Here's what we can share.

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Credit: Google Maps

Above is the Hot Tomato, a well-known eatery throughout most of the 2000s located at 561 Fischer Boulevard in Toms River, New Jersey.  Adding a little fun and flair, it featured a tomato painted on the side! At some point in the mid to late 2010s, it closed and was replaced by La Vita E Bella, below.

Credit: Google Maps

Translated, La Vita E Bella is Life Is Beautiful.  A great name for a restaurant.  Sadly, I never made it there and despite a new look and a different focus, this business was gone in less than 2 years.  In 2018, the owners posted on Facebook looking for buyers.


Hi everyone! Hot tomato is up for lease or sale. Looking for a passionate restaurant family to come in and provide a...

Posted by Hot Tomato Italian Restaurant on Friday, December 21, 2018

After over 2 years, it appears that a new family will be taking over this location and transforming it to Rue 561 Bistro: Cosmopolitan Cuisine, according to a post on the Toms Rivers & Neighbors Community Forum.  And they're doing some work to get ready...

Credit: JB

Construction permits have been authorized for updates to the building, plumbing, electrical, fire, and other renovations, according to notices posted by their door.  Great news!  I'm excited to see what's inside.  We're told it is indeed another family-owned business and that they were set to open in March of 2020, but COVID-19 slowed them down.  Thankfully, they're almost ready to launch again and I'm excited to visit with my family.  We'll share more insight on the restaurant, menu, and opening date shortly!

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