Home Food + DrinkBars Team Behind Elysian Cafe Opens New Wine Shop in Jersey City

Team Behind Elysian Cafe Opens New Wine Shop in Jersey City

by Stephanie Spear
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There’s a new spot in Jersey City that is bound to become a go-to destination for home bartenders and adventurous drinkers of all types. Elysian Wine and Spirits has opened at 130 West Side Avenue, and yes, it’s a sister business to Elysian Cafe in Hoboken. Elysian Wine and Spirits, owned by Travis and Abigail Young, sells craft beer and a curated selection of wine and spirits, often mixing in more offbeat selections that the duo hopes will get people excited about tasting new things. The Hoboken Girl had the chance to chat with Abigail and Travis to learn about the new shop. Read on for more about what to expect from Elysian Wine and Spirits in Jersey City.

About the Team

Abigail and Travis Young are the team behind beloved Hoboken spot Elysian Cafe, located at 1001 Washington Street. Elysian Cafe is known as the oldest continuing operating restaurant in Hoboken, and it’s also the home of the Best Fries in Hoboken according to HG readers. Elysian is a favorite pick for anything from a casual, kid-friendly brunch with friends to an elegant, celebratory dinner.

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The space was built in 1895 and many original architectural details are still part of the decor. The interior caught the eye of location scouts from American Horror Story, and the restaurant was used as a filming location for the show.

Travis and Abigail Young and their four children

^ The Young Family. Photo credit: Travis + Abigail Young

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Travis had been a chef at the restaurant for eight years before purchasing it with Abigail and a team of investors in 2018. In a 2018 interview with HG, Travis said, “I don’t feel like just an owner of a bar or restaurant, I feel like part of history in Hoboken. That’s what it feels like. It’s just such a great honor. I’m nervous, it’s a lot to live up to. I’m a little nervous but I’m mostly excited. That’s the best part, to be a part of that legacy.”

Read More: The Best Restaurants in Jersey City Heights for Your Next Foodie Adventure

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Since then, Travis and Abigail have seen continued success in the restaurant as well as growing their family. They have four children: daughter Emma, 15, and sons Chase, 13; Ryan, 11; and Owen, 2. Travis and Abigail, a former bartender, met while working in the Hoboken restaurant industry. They worked together at Elysian for some time, then Abigail stepped away and spent a part of her career working in retail management. “When Covid hit, there was so much going on that I stepped back into the restaurant,” Abigail said. “I did the bookkeeping, payroll, a lot of back-of-the-house stuff. I’m still doing that for Elysian and I’m doing it for the wine shop too.”

Travis + Abigail Young

^ Travis + Abigail Young. Photo credit: Travis + Abigail Young

Travis said that opening a wine shop was a natural next step for the duo. “Opening this shop goes hand in hand with running a restaurant. Especially with Elysian, we have a big front bar,” he said. “As we’ve grown older, we’re always tasting new things, getting more educated about what’s available. You already know the product to a certain extent. The restaurant has become so successful, that it felt seamless. Our cocktail program is so successful. We understand the liquor industry side of things.”

Having successfully made it through Covid, Travis and Abigail felt like it was time to start thinking seriously about the wine shop. In early 2023, Travis asked a friend to keep an eye out for any liquor stores for sale, knowing that purchasing the license would be a big hurdle. They quickly found Stuyvesant Liquors, which had been around for nearly 30 years at 2718 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

 

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The Youngs and their team were able to purchase the license and the store’s inventory and transfer that to the location they had selected for the shop. The new spot is 130 West Side Avenue, which was formerly the Mojo Lounge. The team spent much of 2023 getting everything ready before opening in December 2023.

What to Expect

According to Abigail and Travis, their goal is to make Elysian Wine and Spirits a destination for buying and learning about wine and spirits. “It’s not what you see typically in Jersey City. We sell beer and wine, and sell more craft beers than anyone else,” Travis said. “We sell wines that are unique to being a wine shop.”


Travis continued, “The vision was not to just open up a liquor store in Jersey City, it was to open up something unique and bring elegance to a city that has over 100 liquor stores. This shop is unique in that it is an elegant, unique wine shop trying to educate people and bring a whole new idea of what that type of shopping experience can be. Bringing in new products, things that are unexpected.”

Even though the shop has only been open a few weeks, Travis and Abigail say they’ve enjoyed getting to know the neighborhood and have a few regulars. “People walk in and are surprised, they didn’t know we were here,” Abigail said. “It’s not just about buying a bottle of liquor. It’s about educating and having fun with the products we have.”

elysian wine and spirits storefront

^ The exterior of the shop. Photo credit: Travis + Abigail Young

Looking ahead, the duo has big plans for the shop. “We want to add delivery and events,” they said. “Tastings, education, and coordinating events with the restaurant.” The shop hours are: Monday 11AM – 9PM; Tuesday – Saturday 10AM- 10PM; and Sundays 12PM – 8PM. Abigail says that they are working with Jersey City officials to host an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

See More: Bars in the Montclair Area to Visit Based on Your Drink Preferences

To keep up with the shop, follow along on its Instagram account. Be sure to follow @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok for all of the Hoboken + Jersey City news.

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