Bayonne Developers Buying Former Big Apple Lounge’s Liquor License

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Liquor License Legislation New Jersey
Bayonne developers applied to purchase shuttered Big Apple Lounge Sports Bar and Restaurant liquor license. Stock photo via pxhere.

More than two years after a longtime dining and drinking establishment in Bayonne closed its doors for good, the liquor license that was used by the business has a buyer.

A Flemington, Hunterdon County-based firm called BLL720, LLC recently applied to acquire Apples of Bayonne, Inc.’s plenary retail consumption license, according to a public notice that was issued in March. Apples of Bayonne was behind the Big Apple Lounge Sports Bar and Restaurant, which operated for 40 years at 414 Broadway in the city before shutting down at the end of 2016. Currently, the permit is described as a pocket license, meaning that it has been inactive recently.

The people behind the company that is buying the license are no strangers to retail and development in Bayonne. The public notice identifies the buyers as Steven Kalafer of Gladstone in Somerset County, Guiseppi Forgione of New Vernon in Morris County, and Richard Birdoff of Chappaqua in Westchester County, New York.

Kalafer is the CEO of Flemington Car and Truck Country, the owner of the Somerset Patriots baseball team, and a North and Central Jersey developer. Joe Forgione is the founder of JMF Properties, while Birdoff is the principal and president of Manhattan-based RD Management, LLC.

Kalafer owns 34 percent of the LLC, while Guiseppi Forgione and Birdoff each control 33 percent, according to the notice.

JMF Properties and RD Management are two of the companies behind the 651-unit development and the Harbor View Marketplace complex that is being developed on part of the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne site off of Route 440. The Harbor View Marketplace includes a Costco Wholesale location that opened for business in March and is also expected to include retail and restaurant space.

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