The Halligan Family tells us what it is like living in Ridgefield, NJ and raising a family there.

The Details

Who: Karl Halligan, 50, Restaurateur, Managing Partner of Liberty Prime Steakhouse, Faye Halligan, 32, Event Producer, David Stark Design & Production
Rent: $3,500
Children: Ryan, 7; Jack, 9; Daniel, 11

NJF: How did you guys meet? 

FH: We met in 2008 at one of Karl’s first restaurants where I was the events manager. Karl is nearly a generation older than I, but we are very much the same age in spirit. 

NJF: Why this house in Ridgefield?

FH: The rental price, location and square footage. Ridgefield is just up the road from Edgewater, where we used to live, so we get to maintain the amenities of a neighborhood we love while having the space we need. We don’t really want to go to much further into the “burbs”—so when we found this gem that was “lease to buy,” we moved in after we got married last year. We’re also Jets season ticket holders, so we love being 10 minutes from the stadium and five minutes from the GW Bridge—which means a speedy daily commute for me.

NJF: Any cons to living in your town? 

FH: The Sunday Blue Laws in Bergen County are killer. Aside from the grocery store, you can’t do any other shopping. 

NJF: Do the kids live with you 24/7?

FH: We have an equal custody agreement with their mom. We see them every day—even when we don’t have them. We pick them up for school each morning and drop them home in the afternoon. Being a stepmother has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received in marrying Karl. I have always been fiercely protective of them—and knew the package deal when I committed to all four of them. 

NJF: Where do you take the kids in town? 

FH: We go to a local Italian BYO spot called Tutto A Modo Mio on Bergen Boulevard. We bring our own wine, but they always treat the adults to homemade limoncello. Also, we live a block away from one of the area’s oldest Dairy Queens­—one of the only places that still offers a cherry-dipped soft-serve ice cream! 

NJF: Private or public school for the boys? 

FH: Our boys go to private school (St. Francis Academy in Union City), where tuition is around $5,000 per kid. It provides all the Irish-Catholic education my husband was brought up with back in Dublin, Ireland. 

NJF: What do you do for childcare?

FH: Daniel goes to the Hudson Learning Center after school, Jack and Ryan are in their school’s aftercare program. The advisors are teachers, so they get all the schoolwork help they need. All three run approximately $240 a week. 

NJF: What’s your favorite date night spot? 

FH: Rebecca’s on Old River Road in Edgewater. It has the most amazing, authentic Cuban and Caribbean food in the area. If we crave a cocktail nightcap and a bit of music, we’ll scoot next door to Sabor!

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