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Signature Cheesesteaks Win Loyal Customers at R&R

R&R Sandwich Shop has weathered a changing dining landscape by earning regulars with homemade food for 28 years.

Signature sandwiches, cheesesteaks and omelettes top the menu at the family-owned just off Route 46 on Bloomfield Avenue in the Pine Brook section of Montville Township.

Consistently good food always has been the shop's recipe for success, but its business has had to change over its 28 years in business, said Rachel Degraff, who owns the shop with her husband, Robert, and son, Michael. The family lives in Parsippany.

The shop has weathered a changing dining and economic landscape by earning loyal customers with homemade food, including soups, burgers, wraps and baked goods, she said

Among the changes:

  • When R&R opened in 1982, coffee sales were a big part of the business, but coffee sales dropped with the coming of chains like Dunkin Donuts.
  • Initially, it was one of only a handful of places to eat in town. Now, there are about 70, she said.
  • A McDonald's opened across Bloomfield Avenue on Route 46, but instead of drawing customers away, Degraff said a good number of R&R's customers find the shop when they stop for food at McDonald's, see R&R and then decide to try their shop instead.
  • Business also has been affected by layoffs and relocations, with more still on the way, such as the .

Breakfast and lunch business still is brisk, if not what it used to be.

"You have to change," Rachel Degraff said.

Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. This week's choice:

R & R Sandwich Shop
66 Bloomfield Ave., Pine Brook
Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday

Paul Winkler, a regular who works in Fairfield, had high praise for one of the sandwiches on the menu, though he might be biased.

The sandwich—called The Wink, with grilled chicken with red roasted potatoes, mustard and ketchup on a fresh sub roll—is named for him.

"Best place in the world," he said. "Won't go anywhere else."

Robert Degraff owned a food truck for around 20 years before buying an existing business at the location in 1982. In the beginning, R&R didn't have a grill and did all its cooking in frying pans. R&R also serves wraps, soups and baked goods.

Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. This week's choice:

R & R Sandwich Shop
66 Bloomfield Ave., Pine Brook
Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday

Ed McGregor December 09, 2011 at 03:55 AM
My wife and I are seasoned Montville residents at this point, but somehow missed R&R all these years - until I saw it in the Patch recently. Well, we stopped there for lunch today and the chicken sandwiches we had were delicious! We will be heading back soon to try something else on the menu. Thanks for the article on this one. -Ed McGregor
Jake Remaly (Editor) December 10, 2011 at 04:15 AM
We'll have to try the chicken sandwiches. Thank you for posting about your experience there and glad you found some place new. That's what Bites Nearby is all about!

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