It’s taken quite some time to convert a former recording studio at 512 Paterson Plank Road into a restaurant, but the long wait officially ended last week with a soft opening that’s been years in the making.
512 Quantum Sound Bar & Restaurant is housed in a two-story red brick building right where Jersey City, Union City, and Washington Park meet. It dates to the 19th century and was used as a chandelier factory until 1981, when producer Reggie Lucas, best known for producing Madonna’s self-titled debut album, purchased the building and opened Quantum Sound Studios.
Several noteworthy names in the music industry came through the studio, including Grammy Award-winning producer Andy Wallace. He mixed tracks for bands like Helmet and Rage Against the Machine at the building and other artists including INXS and Queen Latifah also recorded tracks inside the studio during this time.
In 1999, Lucas sold the business to Tim Giles, who turned the facility into Big Blue Meenie Recording Studios. Recordings from several post-hardcore and “emo” bands, including Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, and Catch 22, added to the building’s legacy and all told, 24 Gold-certified and ten Platinum records were either mixed or recorded at 512 Paterson Plank Road.
While the music at the property eventually came to an end, a group named Diamond Tech purchased the property in 2014 and started planning a restaurant. A massive overhaul of the 9,000-square-foot space saw large bay windows added while preserving much of the structure. Notable blue doors that were part of the original building have been moved and reused within the building’s interior.
The finished product looks decidedly different than other restaurants in The Heights, as it features three levels including the building’s finished rooftop. Co-owner William Martinez told Jersey Digs that the group behind the conversion wanted to preserve the musical history of the building and several murals of artists who recorded at the facility adorn the restaurant’s walls, honoring that past.
512 Quantum Sound features both traditional table seating and two full bars, including one on the roof that also has table seating nearby. The menu during the restaurant’s soft open includes a shellfish bar featuring oysters, littleneck clams, and lobster, with towers of seafood available. Other bar bites include a meat and cheese plate, sweet plantains and shrimp, polenta sticks, seafood tacos, and chicken wings.
Formal entrees at the restaurant so far range from a roasted salmon to a churrasco to a grilled branzino or a lemon fettuccine dish. More traditional choices including pork belly sliders, a cheeseburger, or a steak sandwich round out the menu. The restaurant has recently started to advertise a happy hour through their Instagram handle @512_quantum_sound and features plenty of TVs near the bar just in time for the upcoming football season.
Besides the restaurant, the group behind 512 Quantum Sound recently broke ground on their next development at 589 Paterson Plank Road. That endeavor will construct a four-story, three-family structure that includes 10 valet parking spaces for the soft-opened restaurant, which hasn’t set an official grand opening date yet.