While residents have already been given a small taste of Bergen-Lafayette’s latest eatery, the local couple behind the restaurant is just getting started on their culinary vision that aims to bring a unique blend of American and Caribbean fare to 339 Communipaw Avenue.
Harry’s Daughter, which celebrated their soft opening last week, is co-owned by Ria and Allister, who live around the corner from the restaurant and have called Jersey City their home for the last five years. Ria has an extensive background in Caribbean cuisine and formerly worked as a manager for Manhattan’s Negril Village, later moving over to Pearl’s Bake and Shake in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The couple signed a lease for the space back in August and have taken considerable steps to make themselves at home. Ria says the 50-seat restaurant looks to give off “Prohibition-era Caribbean vibes,” and the space’s hanging chairs, black and white tiles, and unique wallpaper have already earned them some social media raves. An open-style kitchen in the back of the restaurant adds to the ambiance.
Ria is bullish on Be-La as a neighborhood, noting that the much-anticipated Oak on Pine is set to open November 28 and the area’s growth is starting to pick up. She did, however, notice that one void exists not only in the neighborhood, but in the Garden State as a whole.
“There really was no hip Caribbean restaurant in New Jersey,” she said, explaining that she regularly served a lot of commuters from points west of the Hudson when working at Negril Village and Pearl’s. She wants to reach out to the surrounding communities and let them know that Harry’s Daughter is here, is authentic, and has lofty culinary goals.
It’s a special take on the gastropub. The menu during their soft open included nachos with Irish Cheddar and Jerk Chicken or Geera Shrimp, and a classic Peri Peri Peel and Eat Shrimp entree. Ria told Jersey Digs that their expanded menu, after their formal launch, will include a Caribbean-influenced Pat LeFrieda burger and will stress freshness as a big component of their food sourcing.
Drinks at Harry’s Daughter include Ria’s Rum Punch, a Dark and Stormy, an Old Fashioned, and more. Allister’s influence is felt by lots of Irish whiskey on the spirits menu, and some rums from Trinidad and other Caribbean nations are also included. In the summer months, they’ll feature their custom-made coconut cart on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, offering sweet (albeit non-alcoholic) treats for passersby in the neighborhood.
Ria said the restaurant has gotten a great early reception from the neighborhood and while it is still waiting for the final go-ahead from the city’s health department, a full launch date should be announced soon. The restaurant expects to open at 5 p.m. daily, will serve brunch starting around noon on weekends, and can be followed on Instagram at the handle @harrydaughterjc.
[gmap height=”250px”]339 Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, NJ[/gmap]