Your First Look at Belo Bar in Hoboken

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The Hoboken bar scene as we know it is a-changing. With new go-to spots like Pig + Parrot {on 77 Hudson Street} and Wild Moose Saloon {on 30 Newark Street} and closures like Biggie’s {on 36-42 Newark Street} and The HUB {on 16 Hudson Place}, the list of bars you’ve come to know and love is definitely evolving. One of those changes is the former Cooper’s Union space, which was recently revealed as under new ownership.

The old Cooper’s Union — located at 104 Hudson Street — is a small tavern with an outdoor patio area. Acquired earlier this year by Hoboken Hospitality Group — which also owns Wild Moose, Birch Hoboken, and CocoHavana, the ownership was then acquired by three locals who will be turning the old Cooper’s Union into a jazz and cocktail bar called Belo Bar.

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“Our concept behind Belo Bar is community,” says Camilla Marino. “It’s putting all this talent of the people who believe in this space to create a reliable, consistent and evolving bar atmosphere.”

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Here’s what we know about Belo Bar

Back in September, Hoboken Girl reported that Cooper’s Union was under new ownership, but at the time, not much was known about what would be happening. Fans of Cooper’s were speculating: Would the long-time bar just be reopening under new ownership while keeping the same name? Would it rebrand? Get a new name? Now, it seems, we finally have an answer — it’s new ownership, a new name, and a new concept.

belo bar hoboken

^Two of Belo Bar’s owners, Amine Chenguiti and Camilla Marino

Here’s what we know: Patrons can expect a piano bar, live music, and a whole lot of jazz and good vibes. Originally, the owners {Amine Chenguiti, Camilla Marino, and David Lucibello} were shooting for an October or late November opening, but Belo Bar officially opened its doors in December 2019, just in time for the new year. In fact, Belo Bar just did a soft opening on Thursday, December 14th.

As far as what to expect, Marino says, “Friendly service, cocktails, and a large variety of wine from all over the world. The menu we are developing will have small plates from all different cuisines. We’ll also offer great happy hour all week and weekly music and entertainment.”

“Our goal for this bar is to create a place where you open the door and immediately feel like you’re in your own home,” Marino adds.

Inclusivity is a big part of the new Belo Bar brand.

belo bar hoboken

“I think the most important thing we want to express is that this bar is a place for everyone,” Marino adds. “Our bartenders are football fans who will take over on the sports days, they’re artists who want to create experiences with locals, they’re wine connoisseur and cocktail geniuses who want to please your palate. We are here for the people and you can expect something different here at BELO BAR.”

They’re going to be hosting piano karaoke nights {where a professional pianist will be playing and get this — you can do “live” karaoke with the piano player seranading}, and live music several nights per week. “It will be a great place for people to enjoy downtown, with a good ambiance and affordable drink prices,” Belo’s co-owner, Amine Chenguiti explained to Hoboken Girl.

So, what happened to Cooper’s Union?

Cooper’s Union was a small tavern near the PATH Station. With a pool table and shuffleboard, the Cooper’s space was situated on Hudson Street right next to the Mile Square police headquarters. Earlier this year, Sauced Sandwiches — a burger and sandwich shop that was previously located at 217 Washington Street — moved downtown into the interior of Cooper’s Union. The idea behind the move, of course, was to give bar patrons the best of both worlds: cocktails and sandwiches.

“Sauced will be keeping your favorites, adding exciting new options, pairing our signatures with delicious cocktails in a sit-down setting,” the Sauced website said at the time.

No word as to exactly why Cooper’s Union closed back in August. But it does seem unexpected, with Sauced moving its pop-up in just months prior.

The old Cooper’s Union is hardly the only bar/restaurant space in Hoboken to rebrand or undergo new ownership as of late. The Winston Churchill-themed speakeasy, The Winston, on 72 Hudson Street also recently rebranded and is now known as The Ugly Irishman. Village Pourhouse {at 205 1st Street} is also undergoing some remodeling, then will reopen as The Inn.

Also rebranding is Cadillac Cantina — a once beloved Mexican restaurant-slash-bar where margaritas were endless and tacos were a go-to. You may recall that Cadillac closed its doors back in August of this year, but Hoboken Girl reported back in September that the space would re-open soon as 80 River Bar and Grill.

But if you loved Cooper’s Union — don’t despair. Marino says Belo is a lot like the old space, just with an upgrade. “The main difference is we no longer have games to offer. As well as the decor. But some things have stayed the same,” Marino explains. “We’re bringing back some old bartenders and a great local atmosphere. This place has a solid foundation and we’re lucky to have such a cozy space in the heart of downtown. If anything we want to build off of what Cooper’s left and tweak it a bit.”

Belo Bar is open now. Changes are still being made, but according to Marino, the kitchen is open, cocktails are ready for the making, and everything is ready to go!

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.