Tim McLoone
Restaurateur, musician, humanitarian
Born: In Staten Island, New York
Raised in: East Orange, New Jersey
Lives in: Little Silver, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2018: Enterprise

If you spend enough time in bars and restaurants you might start to believe you could run one. As a working musician, the thought crossed Tim McLoone’s mind. It turned out he was right—many times over.

McLoone was raised on the grounds of veterans’ hospitals in Staten Island and East Orange, where his father worked in administration. As a teen, he attended Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, immersing himself in running track and cross country. Then it was off to Harvard, where he was a track All-American.

Music was McLoone’s other passion. He began taking piano lessons at age 7, picked it up again at about age 12, and had his first band by the time he was a senior in college. After college, he continued to play in bands for many years. He also parlayed his interest in athletics and knack for entertainment into a career in sports media.

By the age of 39, McLoone had tired of working the club circuit. Thinking he could make a go of it in business, he bought the Rum Runner, a bar and restaurant on the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright. “I went into the restaurant business blindly,” he told a reporter for Community Magazine. He may have been blind, but he had a vision.  He also had friends and backers who could help in a variety of ways—including Bruce Springsteen, who showed up unannounced (and in costume) to play a Halloween set with his band shortly after McLoone reopened the Rum Runner in October 1987.

Today, McLoone’s restaurant corporation has 11 New Jersey locations, mainly in Monmouth County, but also in West Orange, Bayonne, and Fords. Having carved out his first business success at the Jersey Shore, McLoone was on board for the birth of Pier Village in Long Branch with his McLoone’s Pier House location and for the rebirth of Asbury Park with McLoone’s Supper Club.

Seeking to do more, McLoone founded Holiday Express in 1993. The nonprofit, nonsectarian organization is dedicated to bringing music, gifts, and holiday cheer to those less fortunate. Today the Holiday Express team numbers about 2,500 volunteers, including more than 150 professional singers and musicians. Among them is McLoone’s own longtime band, Tim McLoone and the Shirleys.

Throughout, McLoone has had his parallel career in media. He was part of the Emmy Award-winning broadcast team for the New York and Los Angeles Marathons; directed the U.S. Men’s Olympic Trials in 1998; and served as musical director of the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony for NBC from 1998 to 2000. Additionally, he has been arena announcer at the Prudential Center in Newark for Seton Hall Men’s basketball and the New Jersey Nets.

Intro/Acceptance Video