Unlike in other states, obtaining a liquor license in New Jersey for restaurants is usually not a simple task. However, in one riverfront community in Hudson County, the owner of two upcoming hotels might have an easier time gaining permission to serve alcoholic beverages inside.
The Township of Weehawken is preparing to issue two new plenary alcoholic beverage consumption licenses. However, according to a legal notice from the municipality’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, they will be exceptions to the population restriction since they will only be issued to hotels.
Although the notice states that the application process for these licenses will be open until July 17, applicants may only consist of companies with the ability to construct new hotels with at least 100 rooms on one of nine lots within the Port Imperial South Redevelopment Area. Data from NJ Parcels shows that eight of these lots are owned by LLCs that are registered out of offices owned by Mack-Cali Realty Trust or its Roseland Residential Trust subsidiary.
The planned issuance of these licenses comes as two Roseland hotels within these lots at Port Imperial South are finally nearing completion. The 154-room Residence Inn by Marriott and the 210-unit Renaissance hotel have been in the works for several years and are being constructed within one building at 500 Avenue at Port Imperial, though the Port Imperial website now refers to the latter hotel as EnVue. A listing from Ripco Real Estate states that there will be a roof terrace restaurant atop the new hotels while the Residence Inn’s website mentions a “trendy lobby bar” and lists Morton’s The Steakhouse as a dining option. Mack-Cali’s most recent report to investors estimates that the project will be completed in the third quarter of 2018.
Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable $2,500 fee to the township, according to the notice, and at a public hearing, “each applicant will be evaluated considering factors such as intended use, location, traffic, aesthetics, proximity to churches and schools, land use provisions, ratable impact, community needs, parking, business experience, etc.” The notice also mentions that the Weehawken ABC Board reserves the right to reject any application.