One of Jersey City’s more anticipated restaurants is gearing up to launch in the coming weeks as Boots & Bones will be bringing southern barbeque, craft cocktails, and a new speakeasy-style lounge to 116 Newark Avenue.
Jersey Digs broke the news last summer about plans for the eatery, which will feature a menu from Executive Chef and Pitmaster Kenny Callaghan. Perhaps most known for his work at New York City’s legendary Blue Smoke, Chef Callaghan brings two decades of experience with Union Square Hospitality Group to the table.
“I’m so excited to bring a lifetime of flavor to Boots & Bones and add to this already vibrant Jersey City culinary scene,” says Callaghan. “I can’t wait for you to taste what my team and I have prepared for you!”
Chef Callaghan oversaw the installation of two massive smokers during the construction of Boots & Bones, which will serve a variety of BBQ specialties like St. Louis ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, smoked chicken, and smoked sausage.
Sides are a must for any smokehouse joint, and complementary dishes on the menu will include pork rind-crusted mac & cheese, sesame seed cole slaw, smoked pit beans with pork shoulder, and chipotle corn bread with honey butter.
Boots & Bones will additionally feature a surprisingly diverse collection of appetizers spanning everything from oysters with cider mignonette to PEI mussels with chorizo fresco. Main dishes at the restaurant will include a Low Country Gulf shrimp & grits, a Faroe Island salmon in smoked tomato broth, and a smoked nut-crusted tofu kebabs dish with mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, tomato, and rice.
The restaurant will serve an extensive BBQ-friendly beverage program alongside a unique wine list plus a selection of domestic and craft beers. A full old-fashioned menu featuring Jersey City’s own Misunderstood Whiskey will be featured at both the 30-seat bar and main dining area, but the biggest surprise might be underneath the restaurant.
A lower-level lounge dubbed Under The Boot aims to be “a clandestine yet inclusive social club” that will be accessible by a secret staircase in a far corner of the main room. The lounge will be available to book for private parties and will sport a deep library of hard-to-find bourbons and other spirits.
The design of Boots & Bones was spearheaded by co-owner Jeff Lam, who also founded New York City’s acclaimed Chinese Tuxedo and The Tyger. The space will evoke an amalgamation of Southern culture by utilizing repurposed barn woods, corrugated and custom-weathered metal panels, and specially designed lighting sourced from the team’s travels to Texas and other parts South.
Other members of the Boots & Bones team include Kenny Caulfield, who owns the nearby Six26 lounge and The Ashford. Acting as general manager of the effort will be Christopher Byrne, who spent the last 25 years running venues in New York City including Refinery Rooftop Bar, Sixty Hotel, and The Ainsworth.
Boots & Bones has launched a website and an Instagram account at the handle @bootsandbonesjc as they prepare to open. The restaurant, which will seat 170 in the main room and 62 patrons in the Under The Boot lounge, hopes to be up and running by mid-March.
The eatery will be adding outdoor seating for up to 50 guests directly across from the Grove Street PATH station during the summer months.