By SUSAN ERICSON
Val’s Tavern, on East River Road in Rumson, has been a staple since 1942. So, what does it take to keep a bar and restaurant going for all those years? Consistency, a family-friendly atmosphere, and a terrific red sauce.
Named for Valentine Ciambrone, an immigrant from Calabria, Italy, and bought by commodity traders Chris and James Smith five years ago, Val’s is anchored by a menu that, aside from daily specials, hasn’t changed. It draws clientele of devoted locals, several generations of whom grew up eating here and still find the neighborhood tavern a go-to for a quick beer or a pizza with the kids.