Not too long ago, Newark was considered to be a food desert and had a Downtown that was criticized by some for lacking quality cuisine. But just days after the opening of the city’s first Whole Foods and the announcement that an Eataly-style Italian Market is on the way, Newark’s food and retail scene continues to explode.
One of Newark’s newest rental buildings, the Halston Flats at 1227 Raymond Boulevard, will soon be getting some Hawaiian flare. Ono Grinds Poké will be setting up shop in one of the building’s three storefronts, looking to put a twist on traditional poké. Customers will be able to customize either a poké bowl or Sushiritto (sushi burrito) from start to finish at the restaurant.
Diners will choose their base, their protein, and one of Ono’s seven house-made sauces to include in their meal. Co-Founder Daniela Hoyos says that the restaurant looks to provide the ultimate poké experience and will be hand selecting sustainable fish every morning and adding tons of fresh mix-ins as part of their quest for the highest quality ingredients.
Besides Pokè bowls, Ono will feature other items like customizable organic Açaí and Pitaya smoothie bowls. Hoyos says the restaurant will open sometime this Summer.
A new Krauszer’s location will also be taking up residence in the Halston Flats, which will fill out all of the retail in the building’s base. The convenience, deli and grocery chain seems to be betting big on downtown Newark; they opened one spot at 216 Market Street back in 2015 and are bringing another one to the Teachers Village project later this year.
A new lounge and restaurant is coming along right on the Downtown/University Heights border. 304 University Avenue, formerly home to Skipper’s Plane Street Pub, was sold in December last year to RBH Market Street West, a subsidiary of the locally-based RBH Group. Since then, the ground floor pub has undergone a renovation.
The space is being turned into Suite 304 Bar and Lounge, which will feature a menu that leans towards Italian style. A walk past the site shows that construction is humming right along and owner Sam Siino says the restaurant expects to open their doors for food on March 20th and hopes to have their liquor license by April 1st.
And finally, a new gym facility is looking to open in the heart of Downtown next month. The newest Planet Fitness location at 520 Broad Street is hoping to welcome residents on April 1st and the gym is having a Pre-Grand Opening sale on memberships through March 15th, with offers as low as $10/month.