Home Events + News West Bistro: Jersey City’s Newest Cuban Restaurant

West Bistro: Jersey City’s Newest Cuban Restaurant

by Diana Cooper
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West Bistro NJ, a new Cuban restaurant in Jersey City, has officially opened. Located at 331 West Side Avenue in Jersey City, West Bistro took over The Backyard’s former location. With a private dining and event space, the Cuba-inspired restaurant is much more than a place where one would go to dinner with friends or family, or go on a date. The interior design alone makes for a cozy night out — think upbeat music, fireplaces, and one-of-a-kind artworks. Read on to learn more about West Bistro NJ in Jersey City.

west bistro nj west side ave

Bringing a Taste of Cuba to Jersey City

Opening a Cuban restaurant was something owner Bill Cuello had wanted to do since he fell in love with the country when he visited in 2018. “It was the first time I went to Cuba. It was my favorite vacation of all time. I love the food there, I love the culture there,” he told The Hoboken Girl about why he was inspired to open a Cuban restaurant.

The Lodi-based restaurateur, who also owns Summer and Autumn Cafe in Lodi, came across the Jersey City space as he was browsing real estate sites while mending a back injury. After doing a quick tour of the property, he knew that it was the perfect spot to open up what now is his restaurant, West Bistro. He signed the lease in October 2023 and the restaurant officially opened on Valentine’s Day 2024.

west bistro nj restaurant

There was no doubt in choosing Jersey City. “It’s the most diverse community in New Jersey. There’s literally all types of people from all different parts of the world, and I think it’s a great place to bring a cultured restaurant,” Bill reasoned. “And on this side of town, it’s up and coming. There’s only around three restaurants that you could sit down and dine in here. I’m hearing people are very excited just about these new restaurants that are coming in.”

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

Bill took inspiration in creating the vibe of the restaurant to how he normally enjoys going out to eat. “I love just being able to go to a space where you can get some good music, good food, but it’s a more relaxed environment. And on top of that too, I don’t want to spend $180 every time I go out to eat… I want to go to a place where we could spend 40 bucks each,” he explained.

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west bistro nj fries

There are TV screens with faux fireplaces that emit heat and original artwork from a local artist named Hota’te. A painting of famed American novelist Ernest Hemingway painting is hung upstairs since the writer lived in Cuba for several parts of his life. The restaurant has about 26 tables — primarily on the main level and a few upstairs, and, of course, upbeat music that sets the vibe.

About the Menu

The Cuban/American menu is broken up into starters, burgers/sandwiches, mains, and sides. The popular items include Ropa Vieja Empanadas (stuffed with shredded beef), Habana Wings, Dumbo Burger (Angus beef with gouda cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions), Vaca Frita (fried pulled strip steak with white rice and beans), and Cuban Fried Rice (“one of a kind wok-style Spanish stir-fried rice” with vegetables and pulled pork).

west bistro nj dishes

The 31-year-old entrepreneur said that he wanted to have a lot of “core traditional Cuban foods,” but also some American dishes like chicken wings, but add some Cuban flavors. Right now, it’s a set menu, but down the road, Bill will be adding seasonal food items. “For example, I have the red sangria, I have the white sangria, I have a strawberry sangria a little bit throughout. Once the season changes, I’m thinking of adding a cinnamon apple sangria,” he told HG.

 

 

Even though the restaurant is BYOB, Bill says he and his staff enjoy giving out free sangria to make customers feel more welcome and to show his appreciation.

west bistro nj sangria

West Bistro launched its brunch menu on Mother’s Day weekend. The brunch menu, which can be seen online, includes chicken and waffles, Cuban burger, steak sandwich, chicken and pancakes, and Hemmingway eggs, among other items. Bill shared, “I’m definitely excited about [brunch]. I’m bringing some of the dishes that I have at my other restaurant here and then mix it with some of these Cuban flavors.”

What’s to Come

Apart from the brunch menu, there are other exciting things upcoming for West Bistro. Right now, the team is in the middle of spicing up the event space that’s on the upper level, which can hold up to 85 guests. In addition, there is a private room that hosts about 25 guests and comes with its own TV and speaker system — which makes for a fun private karaoke night.

west bistro nj private space

Bill said that he has been doing private events for certain artists, including one who came from the Dominican Republic. “He sold the place out and we did a private dinner and a show here. It was a ticket-only event and he did about 14 songs here,” he revealed. “And I’m thinking about doing that with more artists, bigger artists, a little bit more of a high ticketed item.”

See More: Where to Find the Best Empanadas in North Jersey

West Bistro NJ is open Wednesday and Thursday from 3PM to 11PM, Friday and Saturday from 3PM to 11:30PM, and Sunday from 3PM to 10PM and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Pickup and delivery are available through DoorDash. For more information, visit the website.

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