A new restaurant that’s connected to a controversial and now-shuttered Hoboken venue is serving customers in the emerging west end of the city near the 9th Street Light Rail station, looking to succeed in a location that hasn’t proven lucky for previous tenants.
Over the weekend, a new endeavor dubbed Privé Gastrobar started up at 800 Jackson Street in the southern storefront of the MetroStop building. The space hasn’t had a particularly good run, serving as home to a Tilted Kilt outpost before Jersey City’s TapHaus took over the storefront in late 2016 and quietly shut down late last year.
Privé Gastrobar is co-owned by Jonathan Cascais and Marcelo Martins, the latter of which served as Manager and Beverage Director at Edgewater’s Pier 115 for three years. Martins was most recently employed as General Manager of The Hub, a bar near Hoboken’s PATH station where a promoter known as “The Slut Whisperer” held a party in September last year. Some extremely graphic sexual acts were performed out in the open at the event, several of which were caught on tape.
A subsequent police investigation and public outcry led to The Hub closing after being evicted by their landlords. Martins himself issued an apology on behalf of the bar over what he called “the deplorable and unfortunate incident.”
Privé Gastrobar is nonetheless a fresh start in a new neighborhood that’s far removed from Hoboken’s sometimes-rowdy Downtown scene. The new space features bar, table, and couch seating near the property’s windows, while murals of icons like Madonna, Frank Sinatra, and Anthony Bourdain mixed with graffiti adorn the walls. Privé will soon add some outdoor seating when the weather warms up.
The food is described as “new American comfort fare” and features some small plate options like lobster mac and cheese or farro salad. Larger entrees include wings or rib confit or a dish dubbed Forbidden Stir Fry featuring jumbo shrimp, kimchi, shallot, black rice, and tomato. A section of the menu is devoted to wagyu beef items that include sliders, a burger, or a sirloin with fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and shallots.
Current cocktails at Privé include one called Apothecary’s Garden, made up of La Hechicera rum, cynar, chamomile tea, lemon, and wild honey. In addition, 14 beers are on draft, plus bottle selections, wines, and champagne options.
Privé is opening at a time when a revamped and fully leased Monroe Center is humming along and 424 apartments and two acres of open space are nearing completion a block away at 700 Jackson Street, so an influx of new residents and visitors is coming soon. The restaurant is closed on Mondays but opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Closing is at midnight on Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday, but they will be open late until 3 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights.