Marcus Samuelsson Opens Vibe BBQ Restaurant in Newark

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Marcus Samuelsson opened Vibe BBQ at 56 Halsey Street in Newark. Image courtesy of Vibe BBQ.

A popular celebrity chef who invested in Newark’s food scene last decade has revamped his Downtown restaurant as Marcus Samuelsson launched Vibe BBQ over the weekend.

The fresh concept is now serving customers out of 56 Halsey Street inside the former Marcus B&P space. That eatery had an eventful run of just over six years and was one of the most high-profile restaurants to hit the Brick City.

Samuelsson, a celebrity chef known for many endeavors that include New York City’s Red Rooster, opened his Marcus Live! Bar & Grille concept inside the American Dream Mall late last year. For his Newark revamp, the Sweden-born chef drew inspiration from one of America’s culinary staples.

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Image courtesy of Vibe BBQ.

“I’ve been in this country over 30 years, and BBQ has been one of the cuisines that I have loved most,” Samuelsson says of the new restaurant’s origins. “It’s a food that is known as classic American, but it’s also about the culture, the taste, the feel and the vibe for me. Eating with hands, eating outside, eating in someone’s backyard with family and friends. I’m drawn to the vibe of BBQ which is where the name comes from.”

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Image courtesy of Vibe BBQ.

The 2,250-square-foot restaurant still has a few of Samuelsson’s staples like his cornbread on the menu, but the food at Vibe is more meat-focused than the previous endeavor. Platters at Vibe BBQ offer diners options to combine pulled pork, jerk chicken, beef sausage, and spare ribs into a barbecue paradise on a plate.

Other dishes include a BBQ cauliflower and sandwiches at Vibe BBQ run from a smashburger (regular and impossible versions) to a Texas toast smoked brisket sandwich.

Libations are staying at the space, with variety of rotating local beers and ciders on tap. Cocktails at Vibe BBQ nod to Newark’s landmarks like a Halsey Hooch, which combines bourbon, honey Wine, blackberry, and lemon, or an Off Broad that blends vodka, lemon, tea, rosemary, and cane sugar.

Vibe BBQ is closed on Sundays but is now otherwise open for lunch and dinner six days a week from noon until 9 p.m., with an extra hour of service until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant can be followed on Instagram at the handle @vibebbq.


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