The ownership group behind one of Hoboken’s biggest dining revelations of 2017 is poised to make another big splash this year, as approvals have just been granted for a rooftop restaurant that hopes to bring some culinary diversity to a spot just a stone’s throw away from the city’s PATH station.
At last week’s Planning Board meeting, the green light was given to revamp a penthouse office space at 33-41 Newark Street. The building, known as Riverview Historical Plaza, contains mostly retail tenants and offices, but the property’s top floor, which was constructed around 2003, will soon be transformed into an as yet unnamed rooftop dining experience courtesy of the restaurateurs behind Antique Bar & Bakery.
For those unfamiliar, Antique Bakery had been around for decades and was well-known to locals as a relatively no-frills operation sporting some of the best bread around. Last year, the business at 122 Willow Avenue was revamped into Antique Bar & Bakery and now features local farm-to-table food prepared using classic Italian and French techniques.
The restaurant opened to rave reviews and is run by Executive Chef Paul Gerard, formerly of SoHo House in Manhattan. Antique Bar & Bakery has a menu that changes seasonally and serves chicken, fish, steak, and pasta dishes that are all baked in the building’s 100-year-old, custom-built, coal-fired oven.
Chef Gerard will be moving over to the Newark Street location when the latest endeavor opens, and the new restaurant aims to bring something different to the scene near Hoboken Terminal. Infamous for its concentration of bars and the occasional “Something-con” that locals either love or hate, owner Joseph Castelo told the city’s Planning Board the group’s upcoming restaurant will have no TVs, no loud music, and won’t come anywhere close to a nightclub vibe.
“There’s enough of that in the marketplace, so we are offering a different experience,” Castelo told the board. “We are opening a place for grownups that can have a good meal in an environment that is not too boisterous.”
The space itself has been completely revamped by local architecture firm Minervini Vandermark and will feature an indoor dining area with a brand-new kitchen and seating for just under 40. An existing glass handrail on the roof deck will be replaced with a planter border around the perimeter, providing a buffer for guests to enjoy cocktails and drinks at the outdoor space of almost 1,000 sq. ft.
The Riverview Historical Plaza is just a block from the Hudson River and features some great NYC views, but the food at the upcoming restaurant will be the star. Castelo promises a true restaurant feel that’s food driven, and the eatery will embrace a small plates concept. They will also utilize the property as event space when called for, an amenity that is somewhat lacking in Hoboken. No timeline has been announced yet for the project’s opening.
The restaurant, located in an area where there’s a watering hole seemingly every few feet, is made possible partially due to an overhaul of the city’s liquor license laws. Hoboken’s City Council repealed and modified their “500-foot rule” last year, which had previously barred any establishment from having a liquor license within 500 feet of another business that had one. Instead, the new rules cap the amount of liquor licenses allowed within certain zones, but don’t place any restrictions on how close together they can be.