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Snoop Dogg to headline Jersey City's July 4th extravaganza
Updated 8:44 AM; Posted 8:38 AM
By Patrick Villanova
The Jersey Journal

One of rap's biggest and brightest stars is spending his Fourth of July in Jersey City.

Mayor Steve Fulop announced today that Snoop Dogg will headline the city's fifth annual July 4th festival on the Hudson River waterfront next month. The all-day outdoor celebration at Exchange Place will feature food, beer gardens, music and entertainment, a fireworks spectacle presented by Grucci, and of course, a performance by the world-renown rapper.

For nearly three decades, the West Coast lyricist has been among the most popular rappers -- and personalities -- in the music industry. Snoop Dogg, 46, whose legal name is Calvin Broadus has sold 35 million records worldwide since album debut in 1993.

"I think the Jersey City side of Hudson River is going to be the place that people want to be for the 4th of July this year. Period," Fulop said in a statement. "Between Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Grucci, and Snoop, we are raising the bar."

The celebration drew 100,000 attendees a year ago when Jersey City's own, Kool & the Gang, headlined the festival. However, the city expects some 200,000 people to attend this year's festival, which kicks off at noon and is free to the public.  Read more

Council members uneasy about lifting topless ban on women
Updated 5:25 PM; Posted 4:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY — An attempt to rewrite the city's 1980s-era obscenity law received a somewhat chilly reception by members of the City Council at its Monday caucus, with council members expressing specific concern over the plan to lift the ban on women appearing topless in public.

The measure, which deals specifically with sex toys, female breasts and body parts in intimate areas, led to an unusually uncomfortable and occasionally giggly conversation among council members. Ward D Councilman Michael Yun was unwilling to utter the word "breasts," referencing them as "those things" instead.

The obscenity law rewrite was inspired by a local burlesque performer who canceled a March performance after the city said it might violate the current obscenity ordinance, which dates to 1982. The proposed replacement was spearheaded by Ward E Councilman James Solomon.

The changes include dropping all references to "obscene devices," i.e., sex toys (the current law limits personal possession of sex toys to five per person), and redefines "obscene" to reference a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision largely considered the final word on what is and is not obscene.

But it appears reversing the topless ban is what makes some on the council the most nervous. The current law includes "female breasts" in the definition of naked, while the new version would include areas only below the waist.

"If somebody wanted to walk down the street topless, like, I have my granddaughter," said Councilman-at-large Daniel Rivera. "That would kind of like bother me a little bit."

New Jersey law is vague on whether it's legal for women to expose their breasts in public. State appellate judges have upheld local topless bans aimed at women.

Solomon attempted to persuade council members Monday night that lifting the topless ban would not lead to any drastic change. He noted that New York City has allowed women to go topless in public since 1992 and that city has since become "less seedy," not more. Read more

Groceries, Bakeries & Delis / CREMA jc
« on: 05-10-2018, 11:46am »
695 Bergen Ave
Jersey City, New Jersey
Facebook @cremajerseycity | IG cremajc


Jersey City Family Opens Crema, a Café on Bergen Avenue
By Jared Kofsky
May 2, 2018

Located in the basement of a brownstone at the corner of Bergen and Duncan Avenues, a new café in Jersey City is hidden in plain sight. However, the business in McGinley Square near the West Side is already seeing plenty of customers come inside.

Owned by longtime neighborhood residents Federico Rodriguez and Michele Boas, Crema has been open for around a month in the former Harry Street Coffee space. The business, which is open daily, is part coffee shop and part ice cream parlor. Read more

Restaurants & Bars / la côte
« on: 05-10-2018, 11:35am »
la côte
199 Warren Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Map it


la côte Celebrating Ribbon Cutting on Friday
Thursday, May 10, 2018

New restaurant la côte will be celebrating their ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, 5/11 beginning at 1:30pm.

la côte is located at 199 Warren Street in Paulus Hook, in the former Presto's space and just recently launched their soft open. The restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife team who are long-time residents of Jersey City who wanted to bring fresh flavors to the neighborhood.

The menu features cuisine from Nice, where one of the owners is from, and is a blend of Southern France and Northern Italian influences with a focus on simple, high quality and fresh ingredients. Their kitchen will focus on dishes that highlight olive oil, tomato, lemon, fresh herbs and other tastes of the Riviera. Read more

On May 17, 2018, come and support the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation's Gala: A Celebration of Filipino Culture. Featuring food by Dale Talde of Talde JC and music by DJ kevlove.

May 17, 2018 at the NJCU School of Business, Skyline Room, Harborside Plaza, 200 Hudson Street, Jersey City. Purchase your tickets at

We hope to see you there!

Recording surfaces of Fulop allies allegedly attempting to influence city contract
10/30/2017 07:00 AM EDT

In a grainy, profanity-laced recording from 2014 that Jersey City officials are fighting to keep secret, Mayor Steve Fulop’s top aide and another political ally appear to be trying to steer a city contract to a specific company, circumventing a public bidding process.

“I looked at the RFPs [requests for proposals], and I put Good Energy on top and I put it on his desk. And I said, ‘We’re good, right?’” a man identified as Jersey City employee and Democratic Chairman Shawn “Sully” Thomas says to a man identified as Muhammed Akil, Fulop’s chief of staff, in court documents.

The "desk" referred to in the 13-minute recording is that of city employee Dominick Pandolfo.

Two lawsuits are seeking to force the city to release the recording, a copy of which has been obtained by POLITICO.

The men identified as Akil and Thomas in depositions given in one of the lawsuits discuss dangling a part-time job in front Pandolfo to secure his vote for an energy aggregation contract for which the city had solicited public bids. The company Thomas refers to in the recording, Good Energy, was one of those bidders.

Pandolfo sat on the three-member committee charged with recommending a company for the city contract. Pandolfo served as chief of staff to former Mayor Jerramiah Healy, whom Fulop defeated in 2013.

The February 2014 recording wasn’t made by someone wearing a wire. Rather, it was allegedly left accidentally on the voicemail of Pandolfo’s boss, Jersey City Business Administrator Robert Kakoleski, according to depositions filed by Kakoleski and Pandolfo as part of another city employee’s lawsuit against the city.

The recording is of poor quality and significant portions are inaudible. But the parts that can be made out back up the story included in the depositions, and paint a damning picture of the political culture in Jersey City — a city already notorious for corruption. Fulop, who came to power as a reformer against the city’s ethically-challenged officials, is seeking his second term as mayor in next Tuesday's election.

At the time of the recording, Fulop, a Democrat, harbored statewide ambitions and was laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run. He unexpectedly chose not to run for governor in late 2016 but his name still surfaces as a statewide prospect. He has gauged allies’ interest in him running for U.S. Senate if Democratic incumbent Robert Menendez is convicted in his ongoing corruption trial, according to The Jersey Journal.

Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill refused to answer specific questions about the recording and the circumstances surrounding its discovery. Instead, she sent POLITICO a written statement.

“When this was brought to the mayor’s attention in 2014, he acted swiftly and properly in reporting the tape to the authorities and canceling the bid. It has been the city’s policy for five years to not comment on litigation, and we will remain consistent here,” Morrill said. “As this tape is four years old and the mayor took appropriate action immediately, we think anyone can see that the timing of this points to politics by the former Mayor’s Team during the final stretch of the election.”

On the recording, Akil suggests in graphic language that this isn’t the first time he’s attempted to steer a publicly-bid contract toward a preferred bidder.

“Two f---ing strikes on Kako,” Akil says to Thomas, referring to Kakoleski. “The same f---ing situation, the same f---ing situation with the grant. Who had to pull that s--- through? Me, right? He’s the f---ing B.A. [business administrator]. Handle that, you know? Now I’m doing the same thing again.” Akil never elaborates on what “the grant” was.

Kakoleski said in his deposition that after he discovered the recording on his voicemail, he sent a copy to Pandolfo.

Kakoleski said he played the recording for Fulop.

According to the depositions by Kakoleski and Pandolfo, neither Akil nor Thomas were disciplined. Akil remained as Fulop’s chief of staff for nearly a year after the recording came to light, stepping down only after an unrelated controversy. Thomas, who became Jersey City Democratic chairman in 2013 with Fulop’s support, continued in the role until this year.

The recording begins with Akil speaking to someone on the phone.

“Hey, Good Energy is important to us. And I really like their proposal. I thought their proposal was the strongest. And I’m wondering how the three-person committee is leaning. OK?” Akil says. “So, um … can you check the temperature, please? Yeah, check the temperature and, you know, certain things are important. OK?”

The call concludes, but the recording continues.

Akil repeatedly yells, “Jesus f---ing Christ.”

“This is f---ed up,” Thomas says.

Thomas describes Pandolfo as growing uneasy during their conversation at Pandolfo's desk. “He was kind of like, ‘back off,’” Thomas says, adding that Pandolfo then “walked out.”

Pandolfo had been seeking a part-time job on the staff of Democratic Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who was then a Fulop ally, and had discussed the prospect with Fulop, according to Pandolfo’s deposition. In the recording, Thomas seems to refer to that potential job.

Thomas says he arranged a meeting between Pandolfo and “Tommy” — identified in depositions as Fulop’s chief political consultant, Tom Bertoli. But after the incident over Good Energy, Pandolfo canceled the meeting.

“I’ve got to be honest with you. This guy makes me f---ing very uncomfortable. He canceled the meeting with f---ing Tommy that he kissed my f---ing ass to get on the f---ing payroll to get this pension,” Thomas says to Akil, referring to Pandolfo. “We were going to f---ing try to work to get something with the f---ing guy because of Good Energy.”

Nothing in the recording explains why Fulop’s aides were allegedly pushing for Good Energy. Last month, the company’s attorney told POLITICO it “never sought to improperly influence Jersey City contract decisions or the contract decisions of any potential customer.”

Reached by phone, Bertoli said the meeting Thomas set up with Pandolfo had nothing to do with Good Energy.

“Shawn putting it together had nothing to do with Good Energy. It was Dominick trying to meet with me,” Bertoli said. “At the time, Dominick was trying to get on the payroll of Raj Mukherji, (in the) Assembly. Basically at that point he figured I would be the one who would helpful for him to do that based on politics.”

Akil and Thomas did not respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment.

Later in the recording, Akil says he has to “call Kako back,” and he gets in touch with him, though it’s unclear if it’s on his office line or via cell phone.

“I’m calling you again because I don’t want another problem. I don’t want another problem, and you don’t want another problem,” Akil says. “You need to speak with the people on your staff, OK? There are only three people, and speak to one or both of the people on your staff, OK?”

Then Akil addresses Thomas again.

“What I don’t like about this, see, f---ing straight up this is the kind of s--- where motherf---ers go to jail,” Akil says. It's unclear from the context whether that's Akil’s own thought or something Kakoleski said to him because Akil follows it up by saying “the f--- it is.”

The Kakoleski and Pandolfo depositions were taken as part of a harassment lawsuit city employee Dan Wrieden filed against the city and Anthony Cruz, director of the Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce.

Cruz, Pandolfo and fellow city employee John Mercer were on the three-member contract selection committee.

Pandolfo, in his deposition, claimed Cruz also pressured him to recommend Good Energy for the contract. Cruz’s voice is not heard on the recording, but at one point Akil refers to him when talking about the contract, saying he “understands” and he “f---ing gets it.”

“I don’t want to really have that conversation with John Mercer. John Mercer’s a good guy, but I’m not sure how his head is wired, know what I mean?” Akil says. “I’m definitely not having that f---ing conversation with Pandolfo. Based on what he … reacted to you.”

“Gotta get that guy out of that committee. F--- that,” Thomas responds, referring to Pandolfo.

Akil says he’s hesitant to remove Pandolfo from the committee. “How am I going to transfer his ass out of there? I’ve got to be careful about transferring him out right now,” he says.

Earlier this month, a judge sided with Wrieden’s request to compel the city to release the recording. The city is appealing, arguing the recording violated the state’s wiretapping law.

Another lawsuit related to Wrieden’s is seeking to force the city to release the recording through the Open Public Records Act. That lawsuit, which brought to light the depositions filed as part of Wrieden’s lawsuit, won’t be heard until December.

Fulop critics and activists in Jersey City have called on the City Council to demand the release of the recording and have gathering online petition signatures.

The city has refused to discuss details of the recording, citing pending litigation. But Fulop took to Twitter to claim that news of the recording was timed to damage him politically, and bashed Pandolfo because of his association with Healy.

“This is Former Healy chief of staff making accusation now during election season from 2014 event — reeks of Political season,” he wrote.

Here are the 20 best Italian delis in Hudson County, according to Yelp
Posted October 26, 2017 at 08:00 AM
Updated October 26, 2017 at 02:11 PM
By Patrick Villanova | The Jersey Journal

What makes a great Italian deli? Is it the bread? The meats? The "mutz?" Or is it the ambiance and the feeling you get when you walk through the door?

The answer, of course, is all of the above.

While Tony Soprano's favorite deli, Satriale's Pork Store in Kearny, was a mere invention of the hit HBO series, folks craving some prosciutto, roasted red peppers and mozzarella have more than a few options here in Hudson County.

To see which ones locals like the best, we turned to Yelp and found Hudson County's 20 highest-rated Italian delis on the site. Here they are:

20. Milano's Deli, 41 Montgomery St., Jersey City
19. Monmouth Street Grocery & Deli, 500 Monmouth St., Jersey City
18. Filomena's Deli, 143 Front St., Secaucus
17. Luca Brasi's Deli, 100 Park Ave., Hoboken
16. Benanti's Italian Delicatessen, 16 West 22nd St., Bayonne
15. Losurdo Bros. Italian Bakery & Deli, 410 2nd St., Hoboken
14. Rose's Italian Deli & Catering, 8231 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen
13. Rosticeria Da Gigi, 916 Washington St. Hoboken
12. Giovanni's Salumeria, 666 Broadway, Bayonne
11. La Bella Salumeria Delicatessen, 2308 Bergenline Ave., Union City
10. Natoli's Deli, 300 Clarendon St., Secaucus
9. Salumeria Ercolano, 1072 West Side Ave., Jersey City
8. Fran's Italian Deli, 202 Hudson St., Hoboken
7. Giovanni's Deli, 267 Centre Ave., Secaucus
6. Vito's Italian Deli, 806 Washington St., Hoboken
5. Cuomo And Sons, 7709 Broadway, North Bergen
4. M & P Biancamano, 1116 Washington St., Hoboken
3. Carmine's Italian Deli, 165 Mallory Ave., Jersey City
2. Fiore's Deli, 414 Adams St., Hoboken
1. Andrea Salumeria, 247 Central Ave #A, Jersey City

It's no surprise that this Jersey City eatery is the top-rated Italian deli in Hudson County, according to Yelp users. Owner Pete Soriano's Central Avenue deli was named the winner of N.J.'s best sub/hoagie shop showdown by NJ Advance Media in 2016, besting a field of nine finalists.

Restaurants & Bars / The Factory Restaurant & Lounge
« on: 09-27-2017, 12:55pm »
The Factory Restaurant & Lounge
451 Communipaw Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07304

Home: (201) 630-4396.

Sunday - Thursday 11am 2pm
Friday - Saturday 11am - 3pm

"Our bar restaurant is inspired by an old factory with wood and iron design, a varied international menu of Italian, American and Latin food."

Restaurants & Bars / Hudson Hall
« on: 09-19-2017, 01:37pm »
‘Hudson Hall’ Opens This Weekend in Jersey City
By Chris Fry
September 19, 2017

After a taxing renovation and a lengthy wait, Hudson Hall will be firing up their smokers for good this weekend, hosting their soft opening on September 23rd.

The restaurant, featuring a European-centered smokehouse concept, was revealed last year and extensively previewed by Jersey Digs back in August. Owner Peter Borovicka bought the building back in 2015, and it’s been a long journey to get to this weekend’s opening.

Renovations included gutting the property and digging out the entire 1,800-square feet of basement. Designer Jirka Kolar, who also worked on Williamsburg’s Radegast Hall and Asbury Park’s The Bonney Read, laid out his vision for an exceptional space that includes expansive metal work done by hand, unique signage, a subway-style tiled ceiling, and a distressed-looking main bar sporting zinc countertops.

Head Chef Dan Hoose, formerly of Dinosaur BBQ, says that in addition to smashed chicken, fermented veggies, and smoked fish dishes, Hudson Hall’s menu will also include French-inspired country pate, monkfish and some dessert items. The restaurant will offer in-house pickling and smoke their own cheeses, some of which take place in their open-style kitchen. Read more

Restaurants & Bars / Hooked JC
« on: 07-09-2017, 07:05pm »
Hooked JC
467 Communipaw Ave
Jersey City, New Jersey 07304

Monday - Sunday - 11-10
Major Holidays - closed

From JC Eats:

"Hooked JC, located at 467 Communipaw Ave only a couple of blocks from Berry Lane Park, is a new seafood spot owned and run by Tory Aunspach, a long-time chef who has cooked around the world and Natalie Miniard of JCity Realty.

Hooked is focused on seafood, offering everything from fresh catches of the day to fried oysters to jambalaya. The approach is straightforward but very customized, meaning you choose what seafood you want - blackened, fried, or grilled; if you want it as a po'boy, a platter, or over a salad; and what sauces you want served with it. In addition, they have a number of sides including honey-jalapeno hushpuppies and some non-seafood menu items like chicken and vegetable entrees and a variety of salads and sides. Everything runs approximately. $8-12 and it's BYO, making it an affordable meal out."

Jersey City’s First Distillery Opening This Month In Bergen-Lafayette
By Gillian Blair | June 9, 2017

Jersey City’s first and Hudson County’s only distillery is opening at the end of June. Corgi Spirits, located just off Pacific Avenue at 1 Distillery Drive, will soon release two locally-distilled gins and one vodka. All premium, small-batch, handcrafted, and inspired by Great Britain–the birthplace of so many bespoke bottles of superb spirits and a perfect place to start for Founder and all-around Anglophile, Robert Hagemann.

The Jersey City Distillery occupies the start of a row of industrial warehouse spaces, and walking along the access road adjacent to the railroad tracks, you might wonder if you’re lost, but then around the corner, their massive mural comes into view and the section of gold Corgis is both welcoming and unexpected. The mural by local street artist Hellbent is bright with herringbone and houndstooth patterns that echo the brand’s packaging for the Earl Grey and Pembroke Gins. And a pretty pink section hints at a rose and honey gin in the works.

Mr. Hagemann, the incredibly articulate and whip-smart founder of Corgi Spirits, spent his junior year in college living in Tokyo, hanging out at the New York Bar, and was hooked by the entire craft cocktail experience–the pageantry and pride of the bartenders and their commitment to something that will literally be gone in five minutes. After a stint as a bartender and living what sounds like multiple professional lives in the corporate world, he is back behind the bar not only as a creator of cocktails, but after years of study, an actual maker of spirits.

The spirited mascot, a Corgi silhouette, serves multiple meanings by being Mr. Hagemann’s favorite four-legged breed because they’re goofy despite their pedigrees and a cause close to his heart; for years, he has worked with local animal rescue organizations and a portion of the distillery’s proceeds will be donated to See Spot Rescued and the Liberty Humane Society. Corgi Spirits is also committed to many other programs, including the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Pro Arts, the Jersey City Parks Coalition, and Hudson Pride, elevating the spirit with social missions as well as a great cocktail.

On the menu will be classics–martini, vesper, moscow mule–and Corgi originals like the Iron Lady, named for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and includes gin and charcoal, and a riff on a French 75 called a French & Saunders 75, named for the hilarious “Ab Fab” co-creator Jennifer Saunders and of course includes champagne flavoring. Non-alcoholic cocktails will also be available. Read more

The Field Is Set in New Jersey's Gubernatorial Race
Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno win their primaries, and will face off in November’s general election.

Clare Foran | Jun 6, 2017

Primary voters in New Jersey have chosen Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno to face off in the race to succeed Chris Christie as the Garden State’s governor.

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primary. Murphy’s Wall Street past has opened him up to criticism from some wary progressives. But Murphy, who also formerly served as ambassador to Germany under President Obama, successfully pitched himself as a progressive, winning a key endorsement from the progressive group New Jersey Working Families.

Kim Guadagno, the lieutenant governor, secured the Republican nomination. As she advances to the general election, it may be difficult for Guadagno to distance herself from Christie, her former running mate whose approval ratings have tanked. On Tuesday, Christie announced that he had voted for Guadagno in the primary. “I think the biggest endorsement you can give somebody is your vote,” he said.

Voter dissatisfaction with Christie—Morning Consult recently named him “America’s most unpopular governor”—looms over the race, and whoever wins the Democratic nomination will be the favorite to win the general election. A recent poll found Murphy leading Guadagno by 50 to 25 percentage points in a general election matchup. Read more

Groceries, Bakeries & Delis / Pampita Meat Shop
« on: 05-16-2017, 08:18pm »
Pampita Meat Shop
393 Central Ave

Prime & Quality Meats
Grass Fed
Argentine & U.S. Cuts

Restaurants & Bars / Ani Ramen
« on: 05-01-2017, 03:52pm »
Ani Ramen
218 Newark Ave.
Jersey City
(201) 408-9811
No reservations

One of N.J.'s busiest restaurants has opened a 2nd location, and it's a smash
By Vicki Hyman | NJ Advance Media for
on April 28, 2017 at 10:05 AM, updated April 28, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Montclair's immensely popular Ani Ramen House finally lives up to its name -- ani meaning big brother in Japanese -- with the opening of the long-awaited sister restaurant in Jersey City.

With a celebrity backer in legendary rap producer Just Blaze (he's known for his work with Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar, among many others), the Jersey City Ani Ramen, from Luck Sarabhayavanija and his wife Anne Fernando, opened Monday, and the narrow brick-walled space, lit with Edison bulbs and touches of neon, seems to be as instantly popular as its sibling. (And it doesn't take reservations, either.)

"Luck has done some great things with Ani in Montclair in a very short period of time and the location in Jersey City is in the perfect place to continue this run," Just Blaze, who is from Paterson and now lives in Hoboken, tells "Lots of foot traffic in a rapidly budding neighborhood along with the great vibe and ambiance we could collectively deliver made this a no-brainer."

Ramen is the humble but cultish synergy of chewy noodles in an umami-packed broth with fixings that may include braised pork belly or shoulder, chicken, mushrooms, bean sprouts, scallions, and ajitama, a marinated soft-boiled egg. David Chang is widely credited for popularizing ramen in America with the 2004 opening of Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City, but outside of Fort Lee, which has the highest percentage of Japanese-Americans in New Jersey, New Jersey had few ramen joints until Ani Ramen House opened in 2014 in Montclair.

At least eight other ramen restaurants have opened in the state in the last year -- Ramen Gami and the brand-new Ramen Fukorow in Newark; Fujiya Ramen in Montclair; Hakata Ramen in Livingston; Ramen Nagomi in New Brunswick; Genji Ramen in Princeton; and Edo Ramen in Princeton and Clifton, not to mention Jose Garces' Okatshe in Atlantic City, whose menu has a heavy ramen presence. Read more

New parking rules for the Jersey City Heights
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 13, 2017 at 9:14 AM, updated April 13, 2017 at 12:08 PM

JERSEY CITY -- A new parking zone including the entire Jersey City Heights area was given final approval last night by the City Council, which heard from residents who described the parking situation in that section of the city as a "free-for-all" and the "wild, wild west."

The measure, approved 7-0, establishes a zone that will allow residents to park for 24 hours a day and limits everyone else from parking longer than four hours without a permit. Heights residents lobbied for the change, saying parking spaces in the city's northern neighborhoods are hogged by non-residents.

A $15 annual permit for residents will allow them to park in the zone 24 hours a day. A non-residential parking permit will cost $300 a year. People who work but don't live in the area will have to buy a $50 permit every six months.

The new zone will not take effect for a year. City officials believe it will take that long to make sure the city's parking division has the staff to enforce the new rules. Read more

Restaurants & Bars / The Lutze Biergarten
« on: 04-12-2017, 02:31pm »
The Lutze Biergarten
15 Second Street
Jersey City, New Jersey 07311

"GRAND OPENING: Join us on May 5 for our Cinco de Mayo Grand Opening Celebration featuring over 100 vendors, drinks, food, games, live music, and fireworks! There’s no better day to launch the Lutze than Cinco de Mayo – a nationally known celebration representative of the vast culture and diversity that define Jersey City; therefore, it is only fitting that it’s our opening day."

Restaurants & Bars / Low Fidelity Bar
« on: 03-20-2017, 01:12pm »
From Jersey Digs:

‘The Archer’ Group Reaches to New Heights, Takes Over Former Trolley Car Bar

By Chris Fry
March 20, 2017

One of Downtown Jersey City’s most popular cocktail joints will soon be expanding to a spot on the cliffside, as the owners of The Archer will soon be bringing their concoctions to 328 Palisade Avenue.

The restaurant, known for their small plate dining and creative cocktails, will be taking over the old Trolley Car Bar space in The Heights. The group just closed Thursday on a lease at the property and will be opening a different concept from The Archer that will be called Low Fidelity Bar.

Jesse Weeks, Managing Partner at The Archer, told Jersey Digs that the new outpost will feature the same attention to quality and detail that the restaurant places on their products, but applied to classic American regional cuisine. He says the group plans to largely keep the structure and layout of the existing space intact, but the décor will get a major facelift as part of an effort to create an entirely different space. Read more

Related thread: Trolley Car Bar & Grill


Mack-Cali Plans ‘Harborside Terminal’, Jersey City’s Hip Waterfront Destination
By Gillian Blair
February 22, 2017

You may have noticed that Markers Restaurant near Exchange Place closed, and if you’ve walked through the Harborside Financial Center recently, you’ve seen that the small shops, restaurants, and even the CVS have shuttered. The closings are part of a planned $75 million transformation of the complex into Harborside Terminal–“depart from the ordinary, arrive at the extraordinary.”

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, who owns Harborside, is making major capital investments along the waterfront in the retail, commercial, residential, and public spaces to create a “pedestrian-friendly urban landscape at the water’s edge” and a real “live work play” kind of neighborhood.

“Be Here Now” is Mack-Cali’s call to action, capitalizing on the energetic evolution of Jersey City. Renderings depict a day and night destination that looks like it will be Jersey City’s very own version of NYC’s Brookfield Place. Walls of glass and an ambitious atrium will host music and dance performances, art installations, events, and more. The complex will also complete the neighborhood with a high-end grocery store and coffee shop. Experiential retail and a Marketplace reminiscent of food halls in Europe, offering ethnic culinary specialties, are also planned. Read more

Bill Matsikoudis announces bid for Jersey City mayor
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 15, 2016 at 8:14 AM, updated November 15, 2016 at 9:17 AM

Bill Matsikoudis, who was corporation counsel for nearly a decade under former Mayor Jerramiah Healy, announced his intention to run for Jersey City mayor next year in a video posted on his campaign website this morning.

Citing his "profound love" for Jersey City, Matsikoudis is vowing to focus on implementing community policing, cutting "out of control" city spending, increasing affordable housing and more. The 45-year-old Downtown attorney is the only person to declare his intention to challenge Mayor Steve Fulop in November 2017.

"I hope to be elected your mayor so that I can fully dedicate all that I have to offer to make Jersey City safer, more affordable, more beautiful and the truly world-class city that we know it can be," Matsikoudis says in the four-minute video.

Matsikoudis' announcement comes a year before voters will head to the polls to select a mayor and nine City Council members.

Some of the criticisms Matsikoudis hurls at City Hall in the video center around the very issues that propelled Fulop into office in May 2013, when Fulop unseated Healy. Matsikoudis says the city suffers from violent crime, neglected neighborhoods and a city government "bloated with patronage," all jabs Fulop once made about the Healy administration. Read more

See also: Fulop to call off run for governor, endorse Murphy

Jersey City envisions arts district near historic Loew's
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on October 25, 2016 at 12:19 PM, updated October 25, 2016 at 6:10 PM

JERSEY CITY — The neighborhood behind the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Journal Square would be set for a radical transformation under zoning changes up for final adoption by the City Council tomorrow.

The changes would allow the Harwood family to construct residential high-rises and arts facilities on a roughly 2-acre area the family owns that runs along the PATH tracks. The area is now home now to parking lots and a garage.

The city hopes the changes will lead to the creation of a cultural arts district connecting the neighborhood west of the Loew's to Journal Square. The Harwoods would be allowed to build taller high-rises than zoning allows in exchange for creating spaces for theaters, art galleries and studios, museums, libraries and more.

The plans also call for improvements to Concourse West, the walkway commonly called the Loew's alley that offers a direct if narrow connection between the Marion neighborhood and Journal Square. The zoning changes would require developers to incorporate retail space within the concourse and adjacent plaza at the foot of Magnolia Avenue.


The zoning changes would allow for two residential high-rises, one near the foot of Magnolia Avenue and the other near the foot of Pavonia Avenue. The city would allow the developers to exceed the 37-story maximum on each in exchange for the construction of cultural arts facilities in the high-rises and in two additional low-rise buildings. A fifth low-rise building would be allowed to house restaurants, cafes and other retail stores.

The city also envisions an amphitheater, dog run and playgrounds on a site near Van Reipen Avenue.

If approved by the council tomorrow, the zoning changes offer a template to the Harwoods. There are no plans yet, Harwood said, adding that unlimited height restrictions would not lead to soaring skyscrapers.

"Nobody should have expectations that we're going to build another World Trade Center," he said. "It wouldn't be economical, it wouldn't be appropriate." Read more

And with that, Hallanan has already surpassed his predecessor's achievements. :P

Is a restaurant row coming to Jersey City's West Side neighborhood?
By Patrick Villanova | The Jersey Journal
on October 24, 2016 at 12:11 PM

A proposal to restructure the zoning along Jersey City's West Side Avenue to create a restaurant row on the commercial thoroughfare is set to go before the City Council this week.

An ordinance, which will be introduced on first reading at the City Council's meeting Wednesday, will add a roughly one-mile stretch of West Side Avenue to the city's Restaurant Overlay Zone (ROZ). The ROZ is an alternative-zoning category meant to encourage the creation of sit-down and take-out restaurants in order to increase economic activity, draw pedestrian traffic, and revitalize commercial corridors.

"Longtime residents of Ward B will recall that West Side Avenue was once home to numerous restaurants: Ilvento's, Jules, the Family Tree, the list goes on. They are all gone," Ward B Councilman John Hallanan said in a press release announcing the proposal.

"This restaurant overlay legislation which I am proposing will incentivize new restaurants to open along this vital business corridor in the heart of Ward B and inject some much needed street life to the area," Hallanan added.

By easing the zoning restrictions on restaurants along West Side Avenue, city officials say business and, ultimately, job growth can be spurred in the area.


The 14 blocks where zoning requirements will be amended under the plan fall between Montgomery and Claremont streets. In addition to support from Fulop, the proposal has also earned the endorsement of the West Side Community Alliance. Read more

Calendar / Afternoon of Fright 2016
« on: 10-18-2016, 09:57am »
Afternoon of Fright 2016
Saturday October 22 from 2pm to 6 pm

FREE fun filled family friendly Halloween themed block party. Intended for children of all ages to get dressed up and have some fun. Music, entertainment and activities. RSVP now

WeWork exec says Jersey City not cool enough for his firm

Co-working giant WeWork has made headlines for its ambitious growth plan. Last year, co-founder Adam Neumann told the crowd at a real estate panel that the company was looking to take 30 million s/f in the next five years.

But despite the fact that the firm seems to be taking another 100,000 s/f of space somewhere in New York City every week, they are some places the six-year-old firm won’t be taking space any time soon.

Sean Black, an executive vice president at WeWork, told attendees at a CoreNet panel at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown that his firm is looking closely at Bushwick to open its next outpost, because, unlike Jersey City, it’s “cool.”

He joined the firm in March of this year from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was an office leasing broker. He previously represented WeWork in a 2013 lease when the co-working firm took more than 120,000 s/f at 222 Broadway.

Black is now overseeing WeWork’s East Coast expansion, which includes New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., as well as Miami and Atlanta.

“Brooklyn has really emerged as this epicenter of where people want to be,” said Black. “If you look at Jersey City, it’s so far ahead relative to a lot of different product it has, but it doesn’t have life, it doesn’t have vibrancy, it’s not cool, it’s got no vibe.”

He did say there are plenty of things in Jersey City to like, noting that developers have had success there, including the LeFrak Organization, which started redeveloping the Newport area of Jersey City in 1986 and is now working on its 17th residential building there.

But ultimately, people who live in a neighborhood have to invest in it for it to become something great.

“People who work in corporate jobs, you don’t invest in your community,” said Black. “You go to work, work really hard, then you go home and relax, then go back to work. But that doesn’t really create community. You need people that invest in community.”

To find the areas that could become trendy centers of growth, Black believes in following the artists, a group that makes the kind of investment in a community that helps it grow.

“When the artists get there, they take a vested interest in those communities, and they begin to open up nice cafes, restaurants, they have events they’re hosting, creating connections, and that really builds something wonderful,” he said.

If WeWork decides to open a location in Bushwick, there is an obvious option in the formerly gritty area.

Savanna and Hornig Partners’ 95 Evergreen, the former Schlitz Brewery conversion, was just completed this summer, and developers are looking to attract creative and entrepreneurial companies to the five-story complex, which will have high-end office and retail space.

Where Williamsburg and Bushwick have succeeded, other neighborhoods expected to have a renaissance that some expected, have not, said Black.

“Lower Manhattan is the perfect exemplification of an area that should have been the biggest, the best, but it’s been not so great,” he said. “It has incredible transportation, lots of buildings, employees, but it’s got no vibe.”

However he gave credit to Conde Nast, the media giant that moved into 1 World Trade Center, for helping to foster a “chain reaction” that brought energy, entrepreneurs and small businesses to the area.

“Following artists and people making investments in areas and beautifying areas and creating communities, I think you’ll find a recipe for a winning formula,” said Black.

He listed the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood, San Francisco and Bushwick as places where WeWork wants to be.

“Most of these areas are not driven by large skyscrapers and buildings erected that build the charge. What leads the charge is where a vibrant community exists. What was the acorn? The artists in the creative sector,” he said.

In looking for new locations, WeWork isn’t trying to be the first company to make a splash in the neighborhood — they want to pick up where someone else left off. Good population growth, “high IQ” cities, great transportation are three of the most important metrics the firm looks at.

“We don’t want to recreate the wheel, we want to benefit from something that already exists,” said Black. “I would much rather prefer to pay an extra dollar in rent rather than be there first.”

Ultimately though, for Black, the choice often comes down to a feeling.

“One of the things I’ve learned from being a commercial broker, is we spend a lot of time doing a lot of really great analytics and financial runs and analysis, tax rent forecasting.

“At the end of the day, people are making decisions based on the way they feel. If you don’t feel good, if it doesn’t resonate with you, that’s a big deal,” said Black.

Jersey City's Iris Records commemmorates 20th anniversary with gala bash at Cathedral Hall
By Jim Testa | For The Jersey Journal
on October 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM, updated October 11, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Digital technology has changed our lives in dozens of ways, but a few simple truths remain: People still enjoy the old-fashioned pleasures of going to the movies, reading a book, and shopping at a record store. Nowhere is that more evident than at Jersey City's Iris Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a gala event at the new Cathedral Hall on Montgomery Street.

The anniversary bash will take place on Saturday, October 15. "This is a party for our longtime customers and new customers, our best customers and our worst customers, our ex-employees, and everyone who's been involved with the store," said Iris' owner, Stephen Gritzan. "It starts at 9 and ends at 3, there's a cash bar, free admission, and we're going to have our best DJ's playing a variety of music throughout the night."

Cathedral Hall is the deconsecrated St. Bridget's Church at 380 Montgomery Street, which has been repurposed by the Fourth Street Arts organization to host concerts and special events like this. "It's been a very unlikely 20 years here in Jersey City and I thought it was something that should be celebrated in a big way," said Gritzan.

Gritzan opened Iris Records in the storefront at 114 Brunswick St., in 1996. "There was nothing going on in the neighborhood back then," he recalled. "Downtown Jersey City was a ghost town. A lot has changed since then, and I'll tell you, with everything I see going on with gentrification and rents... I tell everybody, there's not going to be another party. I suspect I won't be here forever. So come to this one."


WFMU deejay and former Maxwell's owner Todd Abramson will be among those spinning records at Cathedral Hall. "We'll have house, disco, garage, every kind of music," said Gritzan. "We've had a lot of really great people spin records in the store and at the Record Riots over the years and we'll inviting all the best ones to come play at the party."

The Iris Records 20th Anniversay Celebration will take place at Cathedral Hall (380 Montgomery Street, Jersey City) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Iris Records is located at 114 Brunswick St., and is open noon – 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Jersey City Record Riot will take place at Grove Street Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Restaurants & Bars / The Old Spot
« on: 10-06-2016, 04:28pm »
The Old Spot - Hot Pot and Grill
523 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City NJ 07302

Preview from JC Eats: The Old Spot Now Open

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