As we previously reported in March, the Newark Avenue outpost of 1-REPUBLIK rebranded their massive venture in Jersey City as The Ashford; now, Downtown’s new destination is set to open Monday, December 17, and granted Jersey Digs a sneak peek. With a look that would be right at home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, The Ashford will be a spot with something for everyone. And any part of the space can be reserved for a special event.
Located at 145 Newark Avenue along Restaurant Row in the former Rainbow retail store, The Ashford is a space with sky-high ceilings, tiered seating, and the largest rooftop in Jersey City. The build-out has stayed true to the original design intent with chandeliers, exposed brick, antique mirrors, and ironwork evoking a timeless, Prohibition-era, speakeasy vibe.
The multi-level layout of the space is grand, anchored by an enormous bar with televisions and 40 craft brews on tap. Also on the ground level are four-top tables illuminated by gold scones with miniature red lampshades. One level up are black leather booths ideal for larger groups and an elevated view of what’s happening down below.
Another staircase ascends to an auxiliary dining area called The Gallery with a mix of square tops and round tops beneath lantern-like pendant lights. Yet another staircase leads to a second bar and more informal seating in what is dubbed The Parlor. And finally, one more staircase climbs to The Study with high-backed chairs and velvet couches for late-night cocktails overlooking Columbus Drive.
Overall, the space is free flowing and flexible with a menu to match. Executive Chef Giancarlo Borletti brings his worldly background and experience to the table, creating a menu of New American cuisine, and Alex Ramirez and Luis Narvaez, veterans of Manhattan’s cocktail scene, have crafted signature cocktails to stand alongside the extensive beer and wine lists. The kitchen will also be open late, welcoming patrons as late as 1:15 a.m.
Co-owner and designer Kenneth Caulfield stresses his commitment to hospitality and his desire to give Jersey City a Manhattan kind of destination experience with discerning local tastes in mind, while co-owner and designer Jeff Lam is best known for transforming an aging community opera house in NYC’s Chinatown into a new theater space with a vintage aesthetic. Together, they are positioning The Ashford as a one-stop shop for everyone and every kind of gathering in a space that recalls an extravagant era.
Also set to open by the end of the year is the Columbus Drive side of the space, LGBTQ spot, Six26 Lounge and Rooftop.