Friday night at 9 p.m., primetime TV viewers will get a look into life in Mahwah. ABC’s show What Would You Do? filmed an episode at Mahwah’s Mason Jar restaurant last summer, and it is airing Friday night.
According to an ABC News article on the episode filmed at the township eatery on Route 202, it ponders the question of whether or not vegan diets are un-American, and if they are healthy for children. The premise of the news/reality show is to create situations with actors in public places, and see how the unsuspecting people in the establishment react. It aims to ask the people in the situations, and the viewing audience at home, ‘what would you do in this instance?’
According to ABC, the episode filmed in Mahwah has a mother in the restaurant clearly indicate that she and her daughter are vegans (eating no meat, dairy or animal by-products). Another couple then offers the young girl meat, saying it is “un-American” to not eat meat, and that the girl isn’t getting the proper nutrition because of her mother’s choices. The mother, daughter, butting-in couple, and the waitress serving them are all actors. In the episode, hidden cameras watch to see how other patrons in the restaurant react.
The bit is titled "Vegan Girl Pressured by Carnivores."
According to Mason Jar co-owner Ira Kaplin, the Mason Jar’s real staff “was in on the whole thing. But, the patrons in the restaurant had no idea.” Which, he said, was quite a feat, considering that about 20 or 30 crewmembers from the show was staked out in the restaurant’s back rooms for lunch and dinner. “They had quite the set up in here,” Kaplin told Patch.
According to the owner, the show’s producers chose the Mason Jar to use in its episode. “They scouted out local restaurants, and they said they liked the layout of ours and asked to use it. We said sure.” He said the Jar appreciates the national recognition, and that overall, the taping was “just a really great experience.”
However, until 10 p.m. Friday, his lips are sealed as to how Mahwah residents and visitors eating at the establishment that day reacted to the situation. “Of course, I can’t divulge details about what actually happened,” he said.
But, in celebration of the episode’s initial airing Friday night, the Mason Jar will be playing it on all eight of their televisions. “We want to invite the community to come out and watch the episode with us,” Kaplin said. “It’ll be a really good time.”
CLICK HERE to watch the video preview of the episode.