The Houlihan’s restaurant near the Weehawken waterfront, long a fixture in the Lincoln Harbor area, closed suddenly on Tuesday. The management posted a sign on the door saying, “We made the difficult decision to close our Weehawken restaurant effective October 8th. We would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the community and our loyal guests for their support and patronage over the years.”
The main account for the nationwide chain Tweeted that morning, “Unfortunately, as a result of an ongoing dispute with the landlord, we had to close the Weehawken location.”
The popular restaurant/sports bar, located in a section of town that includes the Sheraton, UBS Financial Services, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and a NY Waterway ferry stop, had an extensive menu of lunches and dinners, salads, cocktails and desserts.
The neighborhood has been bustling with long-awaited new construction, including two major residential developments, Harbor 1500 and 800 Harbor Blvd. It also has a new Whole Foods Store adjacent to a light rail stop.
Some of the free parking near the restaurant was replaced with paid parking about a year ago.
The town posted on Facebook on Tuesday, “The Township of Weehawken has been informed of the abrupt closure of Houlihan’s as the result of a ongoing lawsuit with [developer] Hartz Mountain. For any Weehawken resident who has not been offered employment at any of the other locations, the Township is proud to provide the Weehawken Works program which will assist residents looking for employment in the Township.”
Mayor Richard Turner said on Tuesday night that although he didn’t have all of the details of the process, “Apparently it all [a legal decision] broke Friday. My own personal opinion would be, you could give the employees a little more time. Why weren’t people given a dignified period of time to look for another job?”
Employees of the location were called to a meeting at the restaurant that morning, according to social media posts from staffers, who said some were offered spots in other locations.
The chain has 14 other restaurants in New Jersey, including one in Bayonne. There are almost 100 worldwide.
The restaurant, which had anchored that spot since the 1980s, was the site of numerous gatherings, particularly by workers in the area. “The amount of fun I had in this establishment (Houlihan’s in Weehawken, NJ) during my PaineWebber and UBS days is indescribable,” mourned a fan on Facebook. “It’s unfortunate to see this location close but I’m grateful for a lifetime of memories.”