Sam a.m. Closes Their Bergen-Lafayette Location

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Sam A.m.196 Pine Street Bergen Lafayette Jersey City
Sam a.m., formerly OAK on Pine, has closed their Bergen-Lafayette location at 196 Pine Street, Jersey City. Photo via Sam a.m. Instagram.

From Piggyback Bar to Talde and TapHaus, Jersey City’s dining scene has sadly seen too many eateries go dark in recent weeks. A brunch favorite of many has now joined the ranks, as the second outpost of Sam a.m. has officially closed their regular service.

Jersey Digs has a heavy heart about this one, as we were the first to report on the popular restaurant’s expansion into Bergen-Lafayette back in 2016. Initially dubbed Oak on Pine before being renamed Sam a.m. Bergen-Lafayette, owners Samuel and Amanda Kirk brought a new feel to the neighborhood with their second restaurant.


The news was announced via an Instagram post that thanked those who shared meals and memories at the eatery during their two years in business. Sam a.m. will still have a presence in Jersey City, as their 112 Morris Street space will remain open.

“Although sudden, this change is something we need to do in order to give our families, guests and staff the attention they deserve through our Paulus Hook location,” the owners said. “We will now be available to you for private events, catering and community gatherings.”


Sam a.m. is surely a loss for the community of Bergen-Lafayette, who have seen their dining options grow considerably over the last two years. The Communipaw Avenue corridor has welcomed Harry’s Daughter, Pinwheel Garden, and Mordi’s Sandwich Shop during that time, while other spots like Hooked JC and The Factory have reimagined and revitalized spaces that had been dormant for quite a while.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s not beat around the bush, JC is not an easy place to start a business. All the cards are stacked against you from the start, before you even open.

    In this area specially you should have the city bending over backwards to help businesses start and grow. But unfortunately our leadership is too focused on development and developers building the city. Rather than have small business grow, just have a developer build a luxury building then he/she can pick what they want in their commercial space.

    Developers are generally risk averse so they will pick any cookie cutter business with perfect business plan and plenty of money in the bank than anything creative or exotic. And what does that mean? The rest of JC swill slowly turn into downtown where the vibe and soul disappear. The only places that can afford to do a business are chains and investors serving your standard burgers and meatballs…is it edible sure and decent…will it blow ur socks off? No.

    Just look at the history of Dullboy and it speaks for itself…

    • It’s definitely sad… With the 1% tax with other forms of fees and difficulties. Small businesses like this one are closing. Many go back across the river to the city where there is much bigger clientele which would allow to pay whatever fee and rent there is. However, unfortunately here in Jersey City we don’t make things easier but harder when we are still just developing our scenes… Very sad…

      • I agree, all fixable if it was prioritized. People always try and compare JC to Brooklyn but there is a major difference. The creative, talented people have very little chance in JC. Expecting developers to grow your small business is like asking a chef to do your real estate investment.

        • The real issue is density… Brooklyn is 3M+, JC is 240ish. While not so dense for customers and issues with fees… Kills the little guy who can’t survive being pinched at every corner while not getting anything in return… Development here is good, and will assist businesses like this in the future…

          • Sam AM is pretty expensive for what it is. While they may survive off the hipsters downtown I don’t see that working in Bergen-Lafayette quite yet. People on a budget aren’t gonna be flocking to pay $15 plus tip for avocado toast and a coffee.

            That area’s gentrifying so that may change in the coming years.

    • I’ve inexplicably not been to Dullboy yet despite wanting to go since they opened. I’m curious what you mean when you say look at their history.

      • Dullboy was way different back in the day before downtown fully gentrified…there was a more artsy, genuine feel. It was unorganized like no waiters or waitresses and you would order your drink at the bar but they had some of the best cocktails around. You could tell the guys running the bar had real passion and skill. They actually mostly designed the place with the shining reference “Dullboy” and old books and typewriters on the wall…creative people. The Scout is probably still one of my favorite drinks I’ve had anywhere. It was just a funky place in a good way.

        Then owners of Orales bought it out and slowly replaced all the staff. It became more generic…for me the cocktails are not even comparable to the old drinks. The place doesn’t have the same vibe. It’s still ok bought nothing I would go out of my way to visit.

        • Thanks for the detailed answer! I recall reading how much thought went into designing the place. Had no idea it was bought out! I still hope to finally make it there soon…

  2. Dazed has a point about big development, but the opposite is true as well. The old Essex St market on NY’s LES was a dilapidated hot mess of a building that was relocated into a brand new steel and glass development one block up the street. The developer got a bigger building, the public got a bigger market with all the old vendors plus new ones as well. Locally, The Heights has changed dramatically with tons of small, non-chain businesses opening in the past 2 years, mostly food related. Riverview Wines and Spirits replaced Mahke’s Deli. Bread and Salt replaced Pizza Vita. Cocoa replaced Goehrigs Bakery. Bottom line, a good business model with a good location that offers a product or service that people want at the right price will do quite well.

  3. DullBoy is one of my favorite places , I been going over there for the past 2 years
    I went yesterday with my wife had the 1/2 375ML bottle of Malbec wine cost me $11per Bottler
    my wife had ‘the corita’drink . They have a amazing Chef.

    Its a speakeasy bar 🙂

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