NJ Rest Stops in Honor of Whitney Houston, Connie Chung Hit Road Bumps
It will be a long distance between stops heading for the shore Memorial Day weekend as two Garden State Parkway service areas will stay closed until summer.
The southbound Connie Chung service area, formerly known as Brookdale South, and the old Vauxhall service area now known as the Whitney Houston service area on the northbound side closed in Spring 2022 for a complete remodeling.
The new facilities being built by Applegreen and Sunoco were expected to be open in time for Memorial Day weekend. Turnpike spokesman Tom Feeney says supply issues will delay their openings until July or August.
The Connie Chung service area when it's finally opened will include Chick-fil-A, Burger King and Starbucks. A Shake Shack, Popeyes and Dunkin' will open at the Whitney Houston service area. Both service areas will have new convenience stores.
Service area controversy
The newly remodeled and renamed service areas have not been without controversy
Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and openly gay Councilman Rich Rockwell in January 2022 expressed opposition to the Chick-fil-A because of what they say is the company’s opposition to same-sex marriage and support of anti-LGBTQ legislators and organizations.
The name of the Ocean View service area in Cape May County was originally scheduled to be named after author Toni Morrison, a longtime Princeton professor and one of the first entrants to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Feeney said that Morrison's family declined the honor and the Hall of Fame will pick another name.