While Jay-Z may not be from Newark, the rapper and businessman who was raised in Brooklyn and Trenton does have ties to New Jersey’s largest city. His mother, Gloria Carter, co-owns the Diamondz N Da Ruff Cafe & Lounge at the corner of Clay and Spring Streets in Newark’s Lower Broadway neighborhood. The restaurant, which opened in 2014, has served breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner and includes a small stage. Beyoncé and Jay-Z even attended the grand opening celebration, causing the cafe to understandably receive plenty of media attention.
However, it appears that changes are in store for the business. Yelp currently lists that Diamondz N Da Ruff has closed its doors, while the memory is full at the phone number associated with the cafe. A legal notice issued last month shows that an LLC has applied to the Newark Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in order to gain control of Diamondz N Da Ruff’s plenary retail alcohol consumption license.
A separate legal notice shows that the LLC that is buying the liquor license, The City Lounge & Restaurant, LLC, will use it for a business called The City at 223-225 Washington Street in Downtown Newark. That space, located near Bank Street, was previously occupied by Famous Restaurant. Elijah Ingram of Irvington is listed as the applicant from The City.
The transition of Diamondz N Da Ruff’s liquor license comes amid other changes in this part of Lower Broadway. Next door to the cafe’s building, a Taco Bell is being constructed where a small shopping plaza used to stand. Meanwhile, across Spring Street from the building, construction is underway on a new 84-unit mixed-use development.