Residents of Jersey City who want to take in one last Italian meal at a neighborhood staple should head over to 142 Broadway by the end of the month, as one of the longer-running restaurants in Marion will soon be shutting their doors for good.
Husband and wife Rita and Giuseppe “Joe” Pane were married in 1960, five years after Rita came to the United States from Tramonti, Italy. After moving to Jersey City in 1977, the couple opened Joe’s Mini Market on Central Avenue. They then took over what was known as the Broadway Tavern in 1985 and renamed it Rita & Joe’s.
The restaurant became somewhat of a landmark in the neighborhood, with its prominent painted sign on the building’s brick visible to riders on the PATH train coming from points west. Rite & Joe’s celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2015 by bringing on Chef Stephen McCall, a graduate of the New York Restaurant School, and revamping their menu.
Rita passed away in 2016, leaving the restaurant in the hands of her daughter-in-law Isabel Pane. She announced via a Facebook post on January 1st that the eatery will be closing their doors on January 28th, writing that she’ll be spending more time with her family following the move.
“I realized that the most important mission in my life was not to keep Rita & Joe’s running, but to give my fullest potential to being a mom to my two boys, Joseph and Jerry Pane,” she wrote. “It’s a bittersweet moment for all of us, but above all, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for all the support and loyalty that allowed Rita & Joe’s to thrive for 32 years, and be it’s (sic) very best.”
Gift certificates will be honored at Rita & Joe’s up until closing, and no future plans have thus far been announced for the property.