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Box Cafe Opens in Jersey City

by Campbell Loeber
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In March of this year, Jersey City Heights’ cafe scene expanded — an eatery called Box Cafe, located at 115 Palisade Avenue, opened its doors. This new locale in Jersey City Heights, owned by local residents, is nestled amongst ivy-covered brick townhomes, condos, and a community garden. Recently, we got a chance to sit down with the owners to learn more about this cafe gracing the Heights. Read on to find out more about Box Cafe, a cozy new bistro in Jersey City. 

box cafe

(Photo credit: @boxcafejc)

The Owners

Sean and Linda Kerly have lived in Jersey City for nearly 25 years, and in 2020, like many of us, felt that the pandemic offered significant time to reflect on their goals. The duo realized they had long dreamed of opening an eatery in their neighborhood and finally decided to launch that dream when the space – previously the home of Mane Source Barbershop — became available, according to Jersey City Upfront. Despite the challenges of opening a restaurant during the pandemic, the couple moved forward, and Box Cafe is the delicious result of their efforts. 

Falling in Love

Walking into Box Cafe, patrons are immediately enveloped by its charming eclectic style and welcoming atmosphere. Antique couches and chairs provide plenty of space to meet friends and colleagues as the local community begins to reconnect. The Kerlys claim that their restaurant’s aesthetic takes after their own home. This is especially fitting as their residence is right in the neighborhood. 

Read More: Raine + River Apothecary to Open in Jersey City Next Month

In that spirit, local artists are invited to exhibit their work on the walls – as long as they check with the interior decorator, Linda herself. Open mic nights and live music will also begin as covid restrictions allow. 

box cafe

(Photo credit: @boxcafejc)

While Linda has taken the lead in the decorating and baked goods departments, her husband Sean is the chef. He produces French-style cuisine, with unique menus available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

What to Expect

The owners source their ingredients locally and recommend that customers give the roast beef sandwich – topped with a red wine reduction and served on ciabatta, or the salmon dinner platter a try. The box special, too, is a lunch-breaker’s dream. This box lunch allows you to sample half a sandwich and a small salad with the choice of an accompanying soup or cookie. Sandwich options include garlic shrimp, mozzarella, and basil, and of course, a classic croque monsieur. 

In its first three months, the cafe has been met with a warm reception largely from essential workers in the surrounding area. Linda noted that the business has strived to do its part for the doctors, nurses, and teachers that have begun to frequent Box Cafe. 

See More: Stack Creamery Opens in Jersey City

box cafe

(Photo credit: @boxcafejc)

The eatery has sent complimentary cookies to nurses and teachers on designated appreciation days, and hospital workers have certainly contributed to the daily lunch rush. 

On one occasion, the Kerlys even prepared a dinner order for a doctor that retired from his night shift at 10AM.

There are no plans to begin delivery service at this time, but take-out and catering are now available. 

And, it is a neighborhood feel that the owners are aiming for, with Linda telling Hoboken Girl, “People need to feel that they have a community again.” 

Follow along on Instagram for exact hours and updates as well as great food pics. 

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