4 Speakeasy-Style Cocktail + Food Bars in Jersey City

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You used to have to head into Manhattan to find a great cocktail bar or speakeasy, but schlep on the PATH no more because things are a-changing this side of the river {and for the better}. We’ve rounded up four great Jersey City cocktail bars with swanky speakeasy vibes — right in our backyard – located in down JC! 

DullBoy {364 Grove Street, Jersey City}

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Located just a few blocks from the Grove Street PATH, this secretive spot may make you question if you’re at the right place. Once inside you’ll be greeted by a floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain, move that aside and behind it you will find a dimly lit modern-day speakeasy. The décor lends itself to a literary theme with typewriters, books and torn out pages of famous works covering walls.

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Dullboy has a “seat yourself” policy {best to get there at a reasonable time because it gets crowded quickly}, and you order drinks at the bar.  Seats at the bar are cool, but to appreciate the ambiance, try and grab a spot at one of their mirrored tables adorned with a single votive. There you can opt to sit on a crushed velvet bench or tufted ottoman {there are details to appreciate everywhere}.

If a vodka soda is what you’re after, however, this isn’t the place for you. They specialize in handcrafted cocktails, and you can taste the time and effort put into each one. 

See More: Monroe’s Cocktail Bar Hoboken Soft Opens in Former Biggie’s Location

The Archer {176 Newark Avenue, Jersey City}

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When you approach The Archer, you’ll be greeted by an extremely friendly doorman.  He’s there to check your ID and direct you down the entry hallway that has an almost hidden feel.  Once you enter the actual space, you’ll appreciate the vibe right away: a dimly lit hunting lodge take on a speakeasy. There are wood accents all around, taxidermy-style mounted animal heads, a fireplace, and antler chandeliers hanging above {this hunting theme pairs extremely well with its game-based menu}.

Grab a seat at the bar and get some QT with the talented and attentive bartenders {you should definitely do that if you don’t plan on dining there}.  The cocktail menu is a combination of traditional libations and seasonal creations, so trust that it is ever-changing.

PS Wine Bar {Inside of Pet Shop JC}

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The owners of Pet Shop JC are Jersey City locals who collectively wanted to create a low-key space for artists, musicians, and other locals to hang while the other new downtown JC establishments are “focused on attracting the metropolitan crowd.”

The better news, however, is that located underneath Pet Shop is a speakeasy-style wine bar, called PS Wine Bar, that houses wines produced by small independent farmers and some beers and spirits. It’s actually a decently-sized two-room space, but depending on the night can get crowded. The vibe is cozy, intimate, and inviting.

Read More: The Coziest Restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City

Sushi by Bou {Inside Ani Ramen}

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This  JC newcomer has hit the Jersey City food + drink scene hard. Located inside of Ani Ramen, Sushi by Bou is a sushi speakeasy that allows visitors to enjoy a high-end Omakase experience {entrust yourself in the hands of the chef, giving him or her the power to choose the ingredients + presentations of your meal}. Beyond the sushi, however, this spot also boasts a small cocktail bar serving a selection of handmade cocktails, imported sake, and rare Japanese Whiskeys.

Have you been to any of these off-the-beaten path spots? What did you think?

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Christine is a born-and-raised Jersey Girl who landed in Jersey City several years ago. After a year of living in JC and absolutely loving it, Christine and her husband decided to make it a little more permanent and buy their own little piece of downtown Jersey City. When she isn’t crunching numbers as a merchandise planner in NYC, you can find her strolling down Newark Avenue heading to Barre, running along the waterfront, trolling the awesome JC vintage shops or discovering another great place to grab a bite to eat. If she’s not enjoying all that Jersey City has to offer, you will most likely find her on her couch…watching Bravo.