Pending Planning Board approval, two new restaurants are slated to hit Washington Street sometime next year, and the side-by-side eateries should give some added vibrancy to Hoboken’s most prominent district.
The ramen invasion that’s been happening in Jersey City has so far generally spared Hoboken, but fret not noodle fans, the Mile Square City looks like it will be getting its share. A business called Muteki Ramen has applied to the Planning Board to open at 533 Washington Street at the site of the former Sleep Island mattress store. A total revamp of the space will be in the cards, as a full kitchen will be built in the storefront.
Directly next door at 535 Washington Street, another restaurant called Picky Bowls is also planned for the site of a former cleaners. Picky Bowls won’t need a kitchen facility and only requires some rice warmers, as it will be utilizing a raw fish poke concept for its cuisine.
Both restaurants are designed by Ignatius Caramia of ICOM Architects and will feature outdoor seating when built out. The Historic Preservation Board signed off on changes to the exterior of both properties back in August, and applications for Muteki Ramen and Picky Bowls were accepted by the Planning Board at their October 11th meeting.
The restaurants needed to submit applications to the board because despite Washington Street’s abundance of eateries, commercial zoning on the road only extends from its southernmost point to 4th Street. The rest of the street is actually zoned for R-1 residential and while the many storefronts north of 4th Street are grandfathered in, businesses looking to change a ground floor’s use (for instance, from a cleaner to a restaurant) usually need to go before the city’s boards to do so.
The City Council has discussed changing that reality by expanding the commercial zoning to include the entirety of Washington Street, but an ordinance to do so thus far remains in subcommittee discussions. Nonetheless, final approvals for Muteki Ramen and Picky Bowls could be granted when both applications are heard at the Planning Board’s November 8th meeting.