Home Culture Montclair-Based Cuban Pete’s Takes Steps Towards Opening in Former Charrito’s Space in Hoboken

Montclair-Based Cuban Pete’s Takes Steps Towards Opening in Former Charrito’s Space in Hoboken

by Danielle Farina
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Hoboken can sometimes feel like a revolving door of businesses, with old storefronts becoming new restaurants, boutiques, chains, or beauty parlors just to become old again. Amidst the transience, though, are the staples — the longstanding local legends that are as integral to the city as its people, and are that much harder to part ways with when it’s time to say goodbye. One such spot, Charrito’s, closed its last remaining Hoboken location in August 2023, leaving residents to wonder what would succeed the popular taqueria. Well, Hoboken, wonder no more. Cuban Pete’s, a BYOB Cuban restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey, is moving into the former Charrito’s space at 518 Washington Street, with plans to open up as early as this June. The new spot now looks like it’s taking steps towards opening, with new signage in the windows that displays “Coming Soon Summer 2024”. Read on to learn more about Cuban Pete’s, the newest restaurant making its way to Hoboken, New Jersey.

cuban petes

The Charrito’s Closure

Charrito’s arrived in the Mile Square in 2002, and during its 20-plus year run, garnered a pretty serious fan following with its delicious Mexican fare. It used to be BYOB and the team would make top-tier margarita or sangria pitchers on the spot. The guac, enchiladas, and tacos were also something to write home about (and we did, often). At one point, Charrito’s even had three locations throughout The Mile Square, including a vegan restaurant downtown, though, by 2023, the 518 Washington Street outpost was the only one remaining.

Read More: This Hoboken Block is Adding 4 New Businesses to Its Roster

On August 14th, 2023, a reader of The Hoboken Girl shared an image of a letter from the Charrito’s team. The owners got right to the point, introducing the note with: “It is with great sadness that we announce our closure of our Hoboken Charrito’s location.” The letter went on to express gratitude to the Hoboken employees + community, who supported Charrito’s since it arrived some twenty years prior. Read the full note below.

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Though locals were sad to see Charrito’s go, there’s comfort in knowing that its Weehawken location remains up and running, serving up the same tacos that Hoboken OGs know and love.

Introducing: Cuban Pete’s

In early March, attentive Washington Street walkers might’ve noticed a neon sign glowing through the Charrito’s window. The sign bears the name of Charrito’s successor: Cuban Pete’s, a popular BYOB restaurant in Montclair known for its sangria and mojito mixers. Just last summer, Cuban Pete’s opened an “express” outpost in the Willowbrook Mall with an abbreviated menu of its trademark Cuban fare.

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The owner of Cuban Pete’s, Dominick Restaino, confirmed with HG that he is expanding to 618 Washington Street, and is expecting to open as early as June 1st of this year. The signage in the windows now displays a “Coming Soon Summer 2024” message, per Jersey Digs. Much about the Hoboken restaurant will mirror that of Montclair’s — namely the menu of Cuban eats, sizable portions, and lively, Havana-inspired atmosphere. One notable difference, however, is that the team is trying to secure a liquor license for the Hoboken outpost. The license is still very much up in the air though, and if it’s not acquired, Cuban Pete’s will open BYOB.

Our sister site, The Montclair Girl, has shown Cuban Pete’s some love over the years, previously describing it as a “vacation in Havana,” with salsa music playing, palm trees lining the walls, live performances, vibrant colors, and authentic Cuban food. North Jersey locals frequent the spot for its tapas, some of which include empanadas, garlic shrimp, chicharron de Pollo (crispy chicken lollipops with mojo sauce), masitas de puerco (bite-size crispy pork), or platanos rellenos (stuffed plantain with ground beef + white cheese).

cuban petes

See More: A Guide to the Best BYOB Restaurants in Montclair

We’ll share more updates as they unfold. For now, be sure to follow @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok, and sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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