Home Food + DrinkBars Don’t Tell Liv, a Speakeasy-Style Lounge, Coming to Jersey City

Don’t Tell Liv, a Speakeasy-Style Lounge, Coming to Jersey City

by Stephanie Spear
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A new bar is coming to Jersey City’s Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza. Don’t Tell Liv is a new, upscale lounge that will be on the second floor of 138 Newark Avenue, just steps away from the Grove Street PATH Station. It’s one of the first new businesses to come to this newly renovated area that has an emphasis on nightlife and walkability. Read on to learn what we know about this new business.

The Space

The building at 138 Newark Avenue was built in 1897 and the ground floor is home to Oliva Market, an organic grocery store. Oliva Market will remain in place as Don’t Tell Liv takes over the second floor of the building. The location on Newark Avenue now faces the new Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, which was completed this past 2022.

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Newark Ave Ribbon Cutting

This portion of Newark Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic and has been repaved with new lights and landscaping added to create a wide, inviting avenue. The space is also used for community events, such as the All About Downtown Street Fair hosted by the Historic Downtown Jersey City Special Improvement District. Several other new businesses plan to open in 2023 on the plaza, including a few cannabis retailers, a barbeque restaurant, and two burger restaurants.

The Concept

Not much is known about what Don’t Tell Liv will be like, but according to Jersey Digs, the images shared by the restaurant’s designer give it a speakeasy feel. The images show cozy banquette seating with cocktail tables, and the designer calls the project an ‘upscale lounge’.

The artwork and some of the design choices call to mind a wine cellar or a Mediterranean-inspired grotto. A mural of Venus de Milo is imagined on a brick wall, and faux-marble columns complete the aesthetic.

The images also show a full bar with seats in addition to table seating.

See More: A Guide to Speakeasies in North Jersey

This bar could be the first new bar to open in the new plaza, depending on a few other new businesses’ race to complete their permitting processes. Notably, Don’t Tell Liv has applied for the transfer of a plenary retail consumption liquor license, which would allow the business to both sell alcohol for consumption on-site and for retail sales. The application is now in front of the Jersey City Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The next time the Board will meet is December 20th, and no agenda has been released as of this writing.

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