A watering hole that had been in business for over two decades will be yielding to new endeavor run by locals looking to focus on microbrewery beers in a relaxed environment set to feature unique outdoor space.
Last month, Nag’s Head Pub at 359 First Street announced its closing after serving the community for over 22 years. Owners Barney and Ruth Finnegan sold both the business and building to a new ownership group that includes William Schmitt, a developer who has built various residential projects around Hudson County.
The new endeavor will be a family affair, as William’s wife Maren and sister-in-law Amanda will be working together to revamp the space into The Backyard Bar. Schmitt tells Jersey Digs that their concept for the business was created with a family atmosphere in mind during the day, with the night aesthetic striving for that of a great date spot.
“Nag’s Head was a known local spot and we are looking to keep that feel,” says Schmitt. “We are setting the stage to be your number one family and dog friendly spot in town with a laidback vibe and friendly atmosphere.”
The Backyard Bar worked with Cliffside Park-based Ashlina Design Atelier to revamp the space, which Schmitt says will combine a modernized feel that keeps the original charm of the existing classic mahogany bar while retaining much of the storefront’s woodwork. The plans call for a bar on both the first and second floors of the property plus a billiards area on the second story.
A rear-facing outdoor yard at the property will sport synthetic turf and a teaser video released by Ashlina Design shows a re-imagined area with seating and an outdoor fire table. In terms of libations, The Backyard Bar will focus on a heavy selection of craft beers mainly from New Jersey and New York.
“Our procurement manager does a great job of getting us very select beers that are hard to find, including weekly ‘drops’ from small breweries,” says Schmitt. “There will also be specialty cocktails so there is something for everyone on our drink menu.”
The interior components of The Backyard Bar will have to wait a bit due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Schmitt says they hope to open the outdoor sections to customers sometime in August. They’ve created an Instagram account at the handle @backyardbarhoboken that can be followed for further updates.