Update on Artichoke Pizza in Hoboken + More News You Missed

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Happy Father’s Day, Hudson County! Hopefully, you’ve already cast your vote for the Cutest Dad in Hoboken 2019 {and peeped the winner here}, have a mimosa or bloody Mary in hand at one of these perfect Father’s Day brunch spots, and of course, have already shopped our local Father’s Day Gift Guide. In that case — sit back, relax, and feel free to use the next few minutes to catch up on all that’s been going on in our beloved county. From New York Waterway filing a lawsuit against the City of Hoboken {demanding access to the Union Dry Dock} to Hoboken’s big announcement on banning styrofoam {that yucky stuff that never biodegrades}, you’re not going to want to miss this.

Oh, and bonus: Scroll down to find out which local Jersey City eatery is offering a free meal {complete with ice cream for dessert!} to all dads this June 16!

Holi Celebrations Take Place for the First Time in Hoboken This Past Saturday

It was a beautiful celebration on Pier A on Saturday, June 15th for Holi, the festival of color. The color walk started in Jersey City and its all-day after party took place for the first time ever in Hoboken. There was music, singing, dancing, colorful paints, and of course — food.

“What I love about our festival is that it is attended by all, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds or nationalities, thus spreading the message of love, brotherhood, acceptance and peace,” said Rimli Roy, founder and artistic director of Surati Performing Arts. “By promoting the arts and culture of India, SURATI HOLI HAI is growing to become the tri-state’s most talked-about, meaningful and unique celebration of the Spring Festival of Colors.”

“When everyone is colorful, no one is different,” states Surati’s motto, celebrating equality and brotherhood across boundaries. Surati Holi Hai is a popular family-friendly cultural festival, having attracted more than 12,000 people in 2018 and possibly more in 2019 yesterday. Attendees who registered were from 22 U.S states and six countries around the world.

“Holi, the festival of color, has become a truly international festival,” said Consul General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty. “People all over the world enjoy celebrating Holi, as it fosters love, compassion, understanding and brotherhood. We are delighted that Surati has, over the last few years, been organizing Holi with participation of the larger community of New York and New Jersey, enlightening the people about the cultural traditions of India.”

New York Waterway Files Suit Against Hoboken,

Demanding Access to Union Dry Dock

hudson river waterfront union dry dock

There’s been a pretty significant update in the ongoing Hoboken versus New York Waterway saga. New York Waterway filed suit against the City as of June 7.

The suit appeared in Hudson County Superior Court and requested the judge order Hoboken to allow the New York Waterway access to the Union Dry Dock site. If you’ve been following the ordeal since NYW first declared Hoboken the “only possible” site of its ferry refueling and maintenance station, then you know there’s been a lot of back and forth.

The complaint also argues that NY Waterway already obtained all of the necessary permits to own, use, and operate out of the Union Dry Dock site. NY Waterway purchased the spot in 2017. Back in February, Hoboken issued an emergency stop work order on NY Waterway’s work on the site. Alternatively, the City wants to turn the site into a public open space or park that all residents can enjoy.

In a statement, Hoboken spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri explained, “Mayor Bhalla and the city will use any and all legally appropriate means to ensure compliance with our regulations, to protect the health and safety of residents, and to defend the city against meritless litigation.”

On the other hand, NY Waterway sounds pretty adamant, too.

“NY Waterway must be allowed to repair and maintain our ferries at Union Dry Dock so that we can continue to provide safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly service to more than 30,000 New Jersey commuters each day, and be ready to respond quickly in an emergency,” President and Founder Arthur Imperator stated in a press release. “We own this property and have been paying taxes on it for 18 months. We have the necessary state and federal permits, and the site has the proper zoning. Yet Hoboken politicians are preventing us from doing our job. We respectfully ask the court to rectify this injustice.”

Ugly Produce Delivery Service Now Delivers to Hudson County

imperfect produce hudson county

{Photo credit: @imperfectproduce}

Who says produce has to be pretty? Imperfect Produce is a produce delivery service that offers discounted fruits and veggies that are considered surplus, or well, “ugly.” Now working out of a Moonachie warehouse, Imperfect will deliver to Hudson County, as well as Bergen, Essex, and Union County.

Basically, the produce Imperfect delivers doesn’t meet the strict standards of most grocery stores. Whether it’s misshapen, surplus or just plain looks weird, grocers worry these veggies and fruits won’t sell. So, instead, they’re thrown out. That’s where delivery services like Imperfect come in. Imperfect uses fruits and vegetables from local and regional farmers. Whatever doesn’t meet the grocery store’s standards is turned over to Imperfect, where members can buy them for discounted prices. {Sometimes for as much as 30-50%!}

“We were getting a lot of requests from folks in New Jersey,” said Reilly Brock, a spokesman for Imperfect Produce. So this was the logical next step. We’re getting the produce that doesn’t meet the strict standards of grocery stores … that was getting left in the fields,” Brock added.

bwè Kafe Opening Third Hudson County Location

bwe kafe north end

{Photo courtesy of Hudson Projects}

Craving more bwè? The locally-owned and operated coffee shop currently has two Hudson County locations {1002 Washington Street and 140 River Drive South in Jersey City}, and now recently announced its plans to open a third location. This third kafe will open in Hoboken inside of Edge Adams, a luxury building on Adams.

The new spot will be known as bwè Kafe North End and will occupy 1,904 square feet of street-level retail space. Located at 1405 Adams Street, bwé signed the lease with Bijou Properties earlier in June. The opening date of this new Bwe location, however, is to be determined. 

The new coffee shop will have multiple levels and features a central mezzanine!

“There’s been a lot of exciting development happening in Hoboken’s north end,” owner Dale Mori-Ryan said in a press release.  “We were fortunate enough to be a part of multiple pop-ups with Hudson Table and we became more aware of the growth and excitement in this area.  We wanted to participate in the growth with a more permanent location and Edge Adams was the ideal address.”

Mori-Ryan adds, “We love being surrounded by so many other spaces that are supporting the arts… We also love that the building is on pace to be LEED Certified. We’re constantly trying to think of ways to become more sustainable as a coffee shop and as individuals.”

Mori-Ryan also said in the press release that bwé intends on continuing its eco-friendly standard with this third location. “We offer compostable utensils, sell reusable staws, try to promote multi-use cups instead of single-use ones, and try to limit our waste. Being in a LEED-Certified building is very special to us.”

Airbnb Rules Might Change: Jersey City Reviews Current Regulations

jersey city airbnb rules

{Photo credit: @jerseycityairbnb}

The Jersey City Council has plans to review the City’s current regulations on short-term rentals. These ordinances, if passed, seek to “crack down” on rentals like Airbnb. New drafts under review would limit short-term rentals to a total of 60 nights per year, but the original regulation proposed last month {which Council denied} had a 28-night limit.

The original proposal also would have made most short-term rentals illegal, as it stipulated that buildings with more than four units or run by landlords not on site cannot be rented out.

The City is reviewing the change in Airbnb rules this week. We will provide updates as they come.

Ani Ramen Celebrates Father’s Day With a Free Ramen Bowl and Ice Cream for Dad

vegetarian ramen bowl

{Photo courtesy of Ani Ramen}

Ani Ramen is celebrating Father’s Day by offering all dads a free bowl of ramen on June 16. Luigi’s Ice Cream is also throwing in a free ice cream for dessert at its Summit and Jersey City locations.

Offer is valid at the Summit location at 427 Springfield Avenue and at 218 Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

Hoboken Democratic Committee Elects New Executive Board

hoboken democratic committee election

{Photo credit: Facebook}

The Hoboken Democratic Committee recently voted in new members of their executive board for the new term. This new leadership will serve the next two years.

“With the 2020 Presidential Election just around the corner, it is imperative that we have a strong Democratic Party in Hoboken and our new Executive Committee has demonstrated that they are ready to take on that task,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla.

The Committee unanimously elected Rachel Hodes — who was previously Recording Secretary — as Chair. All other members of the new Executive Board {listed below!} were also unanimously elected: Phil Cohen as 1st Vice Chair, Eileen Carvahlo as 2nd Vice Chair, Seth Abrams as 3rd Vice Chair, Marla Decker as Treasurer, Vera Sirota as Corresponding Secretary, Joe Quintero as Recording Secretary, George DeStefano as Sergeant-at-Arms, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla as Honorary Chair, and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro as Honorary Chair.

Weehawken’s Whole Foods Opening July 2019

whole foods weehawken

{Photo credit: @wholefoods}

It’s official — after much speculation and years of delay, Weehawken is finally getting the Whole Foods it was promised. The original Weehawken WF deal died back in 2017, but now, the popular, Amazon-owned market announced on its career page that it is hiring. The Weehawken location is currently looking for supervisors. {If you’re interested, you can apply here!} According to the same web page, the WF will open in July 2019. The announcement of the Weehawken location comes in the wake of Jersey City getting a Whole Foods, too.

Play That Premiered at Mile Square Theater {Starring Hoboken Resident} Wins Tony Award

matilda lawler tony award

{Photo credit: Facebook}

Congratulations are in order to The Net Will Appear by Erin Mallon, which recently won a Tony Award. The play premiered at the Mile Square Theatre in 2017. Hoboken resident Matilda Lawler made her professional debut back in 2017 in the play and still performs in the show, which is now off-Broadway.

Next Up: City of Hoboken Planning to Ban Styrofoam

styrofoam ban city of hoboken

{Photo credit: Instagram}

Hoboken has big plans. First, plastic bag bans and now next on the “ban” list is styrofoam. Hoboken spokesperson Vijay Chaudhuri confirms in an email to Hoboken Girl that the City is currently drafting an ordinance to ban styrofoam.

In addition to banning styrofoam — a trademarked version of polystyrene foam that breaks down in anywhere from 500 years to never — a bill currently in the pipeline near Trenton seeks to prohibit all plastic bags throughout the State of New Jersey. As it stands now, Hoboken {and other municipalities in NJ, including Jersey City!} only prohibit the use of single-use plastic bags. Reusables — which are typically made with a thicker-grade plastic, but still plastic nonetheless — have come under fire for “not doing enough” for the environment. After all, they’re still plastic.

“This is what I would characterize as phase two in dealing with plastics,” Mayor Bhalla explained. “We’ve had strong interest from residents to move forward on this.

According to Bhalla, he plans on asking the City Council to extend the ban on plastic bags to all plastic bans, even reusable. If enacted, this full-scale ban would kick off next year at the beginning of 2020.

Stacks Pancakes Has Gone Out of Business

stacks pancakes hoboken

{Photo credit: Instagram}

Stacks Pancake House & Smokehouse BBQ has closed seemingly out of the blue {though it’s been noticed by many that they’ve been less crowded as of late}. After a reader wrote into Hoboken Girl inquiring about a sign in the window which reads, “Sorry, we are closed,” we attempted to do some investigating. We couldn’t get in touch with the store, it appears the line is disconnected, which may indicate that Stacks is closed for good.

Diehard fans of Stacks {located at 506 Washington Street in Hoboken} will recall some its more noteworthy dishes like the Bloomin’ Onion, Sweet Tooth Crepe, Stacks French Toast, Willow Wrap, and Hudson Wrap — the latter two of which were obviously named after streets in Mile Square.

Madison Street Park Is Officially Open

madison park ribbon cutting

Hoboken has welcomed another park. Mayor Bhalla, City and County officials, and more than 100 members of the community celebrated the grand opening of the Madison Street Park with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The new park features new playground equipment for children of all ages, as well as safety features, and a rejuvenated park space.

“I am thrilled to have joined so many residents to cut the ribbon on our new Madison Street Park,” Bhalla said. “This state-of-the-art park with brand new equipment reflects a collaborative approach to improving our existing park space, while making it safer and more enjoyable for our children. Thanks to everyone who came out to cut the ribbon on Hoboken’s newest park!”

Construction broke ground back in January and was completed within six months. The design of Madison Street Park was the collaborative effort of the community who, through surveys and public meetings, provided much feedback on what the park should be like. Now open to the public, Madison Street Park has a bathroom, shade structures, benches, a water spray feature, new safety surface, and swings. It’s open from 8am until 8pm.

“The 3rd Ward now has this amazing and safe water park for all of our children to enjoy,” Councilman Mike Russo said in a statement. “It’s amazing to see how it has transformed over the years since I played here as a kid. Now I get to enjoy it with my four children. It was a pleasure working with our Mayor and his administration, the County Executive and his team and most especially the parents who helped to shape this park into what it is today so we can all enjoy it!”

Pastry Chef From Nobu Opening Second Cocoa Bakery Location

cocoa bakery jersey city heights 1

{Photo credit: @cocoabakeryjc}

Cocoa Bakery is opening a second location in Jersey City. From the pastry chef at Nobu, the second location takes over the former Goehrig’s Italian-American Pastry Shop at 475 Central Avenue. Goehrig’s shut its doors back in 2014 and the site has been vacant since.

Curious to know more about Cocoa and what they have to offer? Check out everything you need to know about Cocoa here.

Hoboken Stuck in the Middle of Budget Battle

piggy bank budget money

Hoboken has made a lot of headlines recently thanks to conflicting reports as to what’s going on with the City’s budget. Last week, City Council approved a $117.6 million budget that would incite a 1.7% municipal tax increase in 2019. Taxpayers would pay an additional $7.61 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Another version of the budget would have brought the tax increase to 1.3%. However, that same draft of the budget meant upwards of $800,000 in budget cuts. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs then urged Council to amend some of those cuts.

So, what does all this mean?

The budget sparked outrage, particularly for Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Bhalla wrote an alert calling the budget cuts “fiscally irresponsible and politically vindictive.” Bhalla claims the budget amendments target his office, cuts a member from his staff, and eliminates $100,000 from the police department’s monetary allotments. According to Bhalla, this budget will also result in layoffs.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and Council President Jen Giattino penned a response, claiming they are proud of the budget that they deem “fiscally responsible.” They released a joint statement that reads:

“It supports essential city services and public safety, and it was arrived through a thoughtful process with input from the City Council, the administration and the community,” Giattino and Fisher said. “We are thankful to the State Department of Community Affairs for their assistance in finalizing the budget and ensuring that it met all legal and fiduciary standards. We are pleased that this compromise provides full funding for legal services to continue addressing crucial issues, including our Tenant Advocate and the Monarch project appeal that was recently announced. Hoboken taxpayers deserve nothing less than this type of effective local governance that ensures taxpayer resources are spent wisely.”

Read more about the budget back and forth here.

Blu Alehouse Looks Like It’s Coming to Weehawken

blu ale house lincoln harbor

{Photo credit: Lara Cohn}

Weehawken is getting more than just a Whole Foods! A Blu Alehouse looks like it’s also coming to town, right next to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Houlihan’s. {Thanks to the Hoboken Girl reader, Lara Cohn, for snapping this pic of the new signage!}

Blu Alehouse is a mini sports bar chain with locations in Woodbridge and Riverdale, New Jersey, and a forthcoming spot in the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack. This newest NJ Blu Alehouse is coming to the border of Weehawken in Lincoln Habor. Formerly the location of a food court, Blu Alehouse describes itself as providing family dining during the day, a nightlife destination at night. Here you’ll find lots of TVs {for sports viewing, natch} and of course, an extensive menu of craft beers.

No opening date has been announced as of yet, but you can take a look at the menu here.

Hoboken, Get Ready for Lebanese Tacos a la Loquito

loquito taqueria hoboken

{Photo credit: @eatloquito}

Coming to Hoboken in July 2019, Loquito is a Lebanese-inspired taqueria from one of the co-owners of O’Bagel. Chef Stephen El-Hassan, who previously ran a pop-up taco shop out of the 600 Washington Street O’Bagel location, has teamed up with his sister Helengrace El-Hassan and Sammy Abdo to reclaim the former Sauced location.

That temporary pop-up shop inside O’Bagel will now have a permanent home at 217 Washington Street. Loquito has already applied for signage that is awaiting approval by the Historic Preservation Committee.

Now, about the #noms: Loquito will serve Lebanese-inspired tacos, starting with taco árabes. Tacos have shawarma-style meat and are served on pan árabe, a pita-like bread. You’ll also find taco bowls, mezza, waffle fries, and so much more.

Portuguese Restaurant Called Tribos Peri Peri Opening on Columbus in JC

tribos peri peri jersey city

{Photo credit: @tribos.jc}

In just about a month’s time, 109 Columbus Drive in Jersey City will be home to the newly-opened Tribos Peri Peri. A Saddle Brook-based Portuguese restaurant is taking over the former ME Casa space and is expected to open this time next month near the Grove PATH station.

With options for both meat-eaters and vegetarians, Tribos lives up to its namesake. {Peri peri is a kind of super spicy hot sauce made with red chili peppers!} Tribos also specializes in African bird’s eye chili, inspired by chili that originates from Angola and Mozambique. Peri peri style of cooking is hugely popular in Portugal and while it focuses largely on spiciness and heat, Tribos also offers chicken, lamb chops, pitas, wraps, burgers, and even falafel.

Residents Express Concern Over PSE&G Hoboken SFE Scam

what toddler gif

Hoboken, locals have been expressing concern about the possibility of an ongoing scam. Hoboken Girl received an email from a reader regarding this issue. In the email, a Hoboken resident describes company representatives for SFE Energy coming door to door, claiming that the owner of the home has been overcharged by PSE&G. These representatives allegedly then ask for your information

“These people from SFE claim they are from the state and are here to ensure that you are not being overcharged because you have this ‘code’ attached to your account,” the email states. “When they find that you do, and everybody does, they will tell you that this is a mistake on PSE&G’s part. They had us log onto our account, took down our information and would have the issue fixed for us.”

But the complaint goes on to say that the reality of the situation is that these representatives are just looking for customers to switch over to SFE Energy from PSE&G.

“They are VERY aggressive and even took my phone, accessed my PSE&G account, and called some company on my behalf,” the email continues. “We stopped them halfway through the process because it seemed so fishy.”

Be aware!

Carpe Diem Pub & Restaurant Included in NJ.com’s 50 Best Bars

carpe diem pub

{Photo credit: Facebook}

Carpe Diem Pub & Restaurant was included in NJ.com’s 50 semifinalists for its list of Best Bars. The bar, which is located at 1405 Grand Street in Hoboken, celebrated the honor in a Facebook post.

“Thanks to NJ.com for including us in their competition for New Jersey’s best bars. Can’t wait to have them at Carpe this Saturday the 15th. We hope the entire Carpe Family can join us to show why Carpe Diem is the best neighborhood joint in the state!” the official FB wrote.

Carpe wasn’t the only local spot to receive the distinction. Also on NJ.com’s list of semifinalists were O’Leary’s Publik House and Zeppelin Hall of Jersey City, and Stewed Cow of Hoboken. Check out the full list here.

Capital One Leaves Historic Jersey City Building

capital one jersey city booted

{Photo credit: Google Maps}

The bank has left the building. Literally. In early June, Capital One vacated its spot at 201 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. The building, which was built in 1928, falls between both of Jersey City’s historic districts: Van Vorst Park and Harsimus Cove Historic District. However, the building is not protected or distinguished as a landmark as it is not technically located inside either historic zone. No word yet on what’s going to take over the former Capital One location.

Hoboken Public Library Introduces Their New Mobile BookBike

hoboken public library book bike

{Photo credit: Facebook}

Have you seen the BookBike yet? BookBike is the latest from Hoboken Public Library and seeks to bring the library to the people, rather than just the people to the library.

The Hoboken Library‘s new BookBike was at the Library’s Learning Center at 401 Harrison St. in Hoboken,” the official Facebook for the library shared. “You’ll be seeing this BookBike all over town throughout the summer and fall. Look for us and check out all the things we bring to you.”

Riverview Wine Beer & Spirits Craft Shop Opening in the Heights

riverview wine spirits facebook{Photo credit: Facebook}

“Real wine made by real people who hand-picked their grapes, got dirt under the fingernails, and respected the whimsies of nature.” That’s the “About” section for Riverview, a new craft beer and wine shop opening up at 43 Bowers Street in Jersey City Heights.

The former location of Mahnke’s Deli, Riverview specializes in focusing on organic and natural wines. Though Riverview is looking to open sometime in July, they also hosted a soft opening on June 12 out of pure excitement.

“Do we really have to wait until buildout is done to open?” reps for Riverview asked. “It won’t make any sense and it won’t be complete in any way, but at least we’ll be able to offer you something.”

At the event, Riverview sold boxed wine to any members of the community who stopped by. The party also served as a goodbye celebration to Mahnke’s Deli. The shop — when actually open — will also offer cheese, miscellaneous spirits, and more.

Lakoet Salon Opening a Second Jersey City Location

lakoet salon jersey city

{Photo credit: @lakoetsalon}

Downtown Jersey City is getting another Lakoet salon! Lakoet, an organic salon that boasts eco-friendly and cruelty-free practices and products, recently announced on Instagram that it’s establishing a second location in JC. {The first location is at 301 First Street!} The name also sound familiar because they’re affiliated with organic spa and shop Gaia’s Cavern. No deets on the second location have been confirmed just yet, but we’ll update you as those updates become available.

What’s Going on With Artichoke Pizza? Updates on Updates

artichoke-pizza-hoboken

SOoOo many of you have been writing in to ask about what’s going on with Artichoke Basille’s Pizza! Updates have been pretty few and far between since we reported back in November 2018 that the popular Manhattan pizzeria chain was coming to Mile Square. However, there’s been a recent development! The building over at 96 Hudson Street — which you may recall as the former spot of Jimmy John’s — is looking closer and closer to being finished. With brown paper covering the windows and a sign hung up advertising Artichoke, there’s definitely a lot of construction going on.

But still, many of us want to know: When will Artichoke open?

In an email with Artichoke’s team, a representative confirms the Hoboken location will open its doors late summer 2019. While an exact date is still up in the air {because it’s dependent on how construction goes and we know that means a very varied outcome in Hoboken!}, Hobokenites can rest assured that Artichoke is crawling toward opening sometime late summer and we will have our unique pizza slices sooner rather than later.

As Artichoke solidifies a firmer timeline, Hoboken Girl will provide updates.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email hello@hobokengirl.com!


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Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.