A stately brick building that formerly housed a rock club has been absent from Hoboken’s nightlife scene for much too long, but Jersey Digs has learned that a new restaurant group just finalized a long-term lease to revamp the property into a fresh dining concept.
There’s probably no address along Hoboken’s main street that brings more joy and sadness to locals than 1039 Washington Street. The corner was home to a legendary rock club called Maxwell’s for decades, hosting performances from bands like Nirvana, Oasis, R.E.M., and the Red Hot Chili Peppers during their epic run.
The venue served as the set of Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 “Glory Days” music video and Justin Timberlake created quite the scene when he shot his “Take Back the Night” video at the property back in 2013. But during that same year, the original owners of the club decided to close up shop, citing the changing demographics of Hoboken and parking shortages as the rationale.
The storefront was briefly revived under new ownership as Maxwell’s Tavern, but that version eventually called it quits in early 2018. It has sat vacant since, but an effort to bring a new endeavor to the building quietly began during the summer months.
The ownership behind Maxwell’s Tavern won approvals in August to transfer the property’s liquor license to a company simply called 1039 Washington LLC. The transfer was an indication that the space, which has been dark for just under two years, would be revived and Jersey Digs has learned some exclusive details about what’s coming to the property.
The storied “Maxwell’s” signage locals have come to know will be coming down, getting replaced by a completely new vision dubbed Lombardi Bistro. The eatery will operate as a bar and restaurant at the 3,565-square-foot space, but there’s no word yet on whether live music or concerts will be brought back to the property.
The “for lease” signs on the building’s windows have been taken down, but work to renovate the space hasn’t yet begun. Newmark’s Rob Mackowski and Jerry Rockoff represented the landlord when finalizing the lease agreement, while James Conticello of Keller Williams represented the tenant.
While finding a business for one of Hoboken’s most notable vacant properties is welcome news, additional details about Lombardi Bistro have been tough to come by. Jersey Digs will share any updates we receive about the venture, which should make its debut sometime next year.
UPDATE: Since we broke the news about Lombardi Bistro this morning, the group behind Hoboken’s Sorellina Italian Kitchen announced they will be running the new restaurant. Owner Gabi Lombardi issued a press release that confirmed our reporting and provided a few hints about the endeavor.
“We plan to continue our mission to provide first class hospitality while celebrating Italy’s vibrant culinary culture through food and wine, and to provide a lively space where guests can meet, share and enjoy genuine food, authentic wines and great company,” Lombardi said in the statement.