Borders Tex-Mex Cantina advertised that it was the “perfect spot” for graduation celebrations this year. However, the Downtown Newark restaurant, which opened for business two months after the school year began, ended up closing its doors before students in Essex County even took their final exams. Now, following the closure of the city’s only sit-down Tex-Mex restaurant, another business is preparing to open inside.
Lit 21 will soon be in operation in the space, which is located at 1034 McCarter Highway near the Bridge Street Bridge. The business, which describes itself a restaurant, sports bar, and lounge that is “the hottest venue in the tri-state area,” has announced that it will hold a grand opening celebration with DJ Camilo of HOT 97 on Thursday, June 27.
The facade of the building was recently painted and a new sign was installed in front. Lit 21’s logo and name reflect the space’s location along Route 21. Few other details are known yet about the establishment. A representative of Lit 21 could not be reached for comment.
Once home to Rio Rodizio, this restaurant space is one of only a few in Downtown Newark that includes a free surface parking lot for customers, through Lit 21’s Facebook page mentions that there will also be valet parking. Located along a busy state highway, there is not heavy pedestrian traffic in this area, but as we reported when Borders opened, that could change in the years to come if the expansion of Riverfront Park and the construction of the Riverfront Square development move forward.