30 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

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A week of life in Hoboken + Jersey City means there is plenty of news to catch up on. Among the local headlines: NJ lifts local travel ban as COVID-19 cases decrease; Alessio’s to open a kiosk in Pier A Park; Fairmount Triangle Park improvements; Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante announces his retirement, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Hoboken, Jersey City, + beyond.


New Jersey to Drop Indoor Mask Rules for Vaccinated Customers

 

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Big changes are coming for those who have been fully vaccinated in New Jersey, per NJ.com. As of May 28th, those who have received both shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the single dose of  the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be permitted to enter shops and restaurants without a face covering. This change comes in the wake of the CDC approving a lift in mask mandates, to be determined on the state level.


Cafe UniBread Opens on Washington Street Following Rebranding

The restaurant space at 519 Washington Street, formerly home to the Sunmerry Bakery has rebranded and opened as Cafe UniBread. Selling the same fresh pastries, delicious cakes, and refreshing drinks — just with a new look.


South House to Reopen in Jersey City

The southern comfort food staple of Jersey City, South House will be opening in the coming weeks. The restaurant closed in 2020 in amidst the pandemic but the HDSID announced via Instagram that South House will be coming back before long. “Exciting News! South House is reopening in the coming weeks after closing its doors in late 2020. We are looking forward to joining them for their excellent Southern-style food and handcrafted cocktails on their outdoor patio ☀️”


Bear Brook Dental Care to Open in Hoboken

Bear Brook Dental Care, a pediatric dental practice, has put up signage in the new commercial space at 8th Street and Adams Street. Councilperson-at-large, Emily Jabbour shared the new development in a tweet saying, “Spotted in Hoboken: a pediatric dental office moving into the new commercial space at the corner of 8th and Adams.” The company site says the offices include a separate Kids Zone for young patients to play in before their appointments.


Kiki Lu Gelato Space Under Construction

In November 2019, the empty commercial space at 900 Garden Street was approved as a Class III restaurant space at the Hoboken Planning Board meeting. Since then, plans have been underway to convert the space to a new gelateria called Kiki Lu, owned by Joe Cascetta who is the co-owner of Otto Strada. A specific opening date has yet to be announced but the warmer weather is definitely calling for new chilling desserts in Hoboken. The menu will feature gluten-free, vegan and non-dairy options in addition to an espresso bar, and Italian desserts.


Jersey City Bakery ‘Delizioso’ Opens on 16th Street

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There’s a new Italian bakery in Jersey City, with an unusual pairing at the helm. Delizioso Bakery + Kitchen was started by two couples at a crossroads. These friends, one who was retiring from the NYPD, and the other who had baking in his blood, were on a quest to bring New Jersey a full-service kitchen combining old, Italian favorites with a modern twist. Ralph Guzzo and Eric Weshner began a journey, along with their wives Giuliana and Lynne, to create a new bakery and eatery tailored for Jersey City. Click here to read more about how Delizioso Bakery + Kitchen, located at 273 16th Street in Jersey City, plans to open its doors on May 18th.


Alessio’s to Open Kiosk in Pier A Park

 

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Alessio’s has been a fan favorite since it opened its doors at 539 Park Avenue at the height of the pandemic lockdown.  It quickly became known for its pizza, gelato, pastries, and all-around great quality products. The café announced via Instagram on May 19th that it will be opening a second location at the kiosk in Pier A Park. Click here to read more about Alessio’s new Hoboken outpost along the pier.


Hoboken Student Graduates from New Jersey STEM Program

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On Saturday, May 15th, Hoboken student Christian Buckley completed his year-long STEM study by graduating from the Governor’s Stem Scholars, per Patch. This is a prestigious STEM program of the Research and Development Council of New Jersey which had 69 New Jersey graduates.

“With more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else around the globe, New Jersey has one of the country’s most highly educated workforces and is a national STEM research hub,” said the President of the Research & Development Council of NJ, Anthony Cicatiello.


Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante Announces Retirement

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On Tuesday, May 18th, Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante announced that he will retire from the Hoboken Police Department effective July 1, 2021. In a letter to the press, he explained that he had met with the mayor and county officials to apply for retirement. Ferrante served as a Hoboken Police Officer for 28 years, two years as OEM Coordinator, and as the Chief of the Department for the last seven years. This announcement comes one year after his new 3-year contract was negotiated with the City of Hoboken. Click here to read more.


UFC Gym Opens New Location in Jersey City

 

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UFC Gym has opened a new location at 300 Coles Street in Jersey City. In an Instagram post the gym shared more information: “We moved and it’s been such a great experience with our new equipment and classes! Continue to check out our schedule as we just updated new classes for next week and planning to add even more in the future.”


Hoboken Chef Wins Chopped Competition

 

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Local star, Chef Kiersten of Shaka Bowl, participated in the cooking competition show Chopped, which aired on Food Network on  Tuesday, May 18th. She went on to win the competition. In an Instagram post, she said, “CHOPPED TOMORROW🔪🔪🔪 on Taco Tuesday 😋 Tune-in TUESDAY, MAY 18th, 9pm EST you can see me compete against 3 other Chefs for a TACO BRAWL! Love, Chef Kiersten xoxo”


NJ Lifts Pandemic Travel Ban

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As case numbers decline and the number of state residents getting vaccinated increases, officials have decided to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions, per NJ.com. This means individuals returning to or visiting New Jersey will no longer need to quarantine.

“We do encourage everyone to continue to exercise common sense when traveling domestically and to follow all local health and safety protocols wherever you are traveling to,” Governor Murphy said during a COVID-19 briefing in Trenton. “If your goal is international travel, recognize that the COVID reality in many nations is much different than here, and adhere to the travel guidance and advisories posted by the United States Department of State.”


New Jersey Students to Return to In-Person Learning Next Year

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On Monday, May 17th Governor Murphy signed into effect Executive Order #175,  allowing all New Jersey students to return to full-time, in-person classes starting with the 2021-2022 school year. Full-time remote learning will no longer be an option for “most families”, according to the order. Parents will not be able to opt their children out of in-person learning in the coming fall.

The official New Jersey Covid information website reports that the majority of schools are open in some form for in-person instruction, whether it be full- or part-time.  With the new ordinance in place, by next school year every New Jersey-based school must reopen and be in accordance with the health and safety guidelines outlined in the state’s reopening guidance. Click here to read more.


Tipsy Tie Dye Taking Over Former Sushi House Location in Hoboken

A colorful new business will take over Sushi House’s location this summer in Hoboken. Tipsy Tie Dye, co-founded by siblings Katie Tague and Kevin Tague, has been popping up at restaurants and bars for the last few years, and now, the tie-dye company will be operating permanently at 155 1st Street in Hoboken. Click here to read all about the fun things behind the business of Tipsy Tie Dye.


Jersey City Public Library to Keep Mask Mandate

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The Jersey City Free Public Library held a virtual Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 19th in which participants discussed the choice to continue requiring masks inside the library. The library staff is committed to safely offering the in-person services it offers, which means masks are staying for now. At this time, the Library continues to require all staff and patrons to use masks and practice social distancing indoors and outdoors. The meeting also featured discussion regarding the 2021 Summer Reading Program and other upcoming events.


Jersey City Man Among Lineup for Upcoming Season of The Bachelorette

 

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Jersey City native Jeff will be participating in the upcoming season of The Bachelorette. He works as a surgical skin sales rep and comes from a big family.

His bio on ABC says, “Jeff comes from a big, loving Italian family and is looking to find the love that his parents have. For Jeff, family is everything, and he still finds time every weekend to mow his parent’s lawn, do some laundry and sit down for a big Italian dinner. When he’s not chowing down on a plate of his mom’s home-cooked meal, Jeff is dealing with his clients both in and out of the operating room, where Jeff works as an artificial skin sales rep! His family and professional life are in a great place, and now, he is hoping to find the only thing he is missing – love. Jeff is energetic, outgoing, and loving to his core. He’s seeking an adventurous woman with a great sense of humor who won’t have trouble giving it back to him when she sees fit. Jeff calls himself an exceptional lover, so here’s to hoping he doesn’t show up and disappoint!”


Fairmount Triangle Park Upgrade Officially in the Works

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Jersey City officials broke ground for the $200,000 upgrade to Fairmount Triangle Park, and plan to transform street segments that cut directly through the park, per Hudson County View. The City has worked closely with the community to incorporate residents’ input for a better park area. “If anything, the pandemic has taught us the importance of open space,” Joyce Waterman, the Council President said. The grant-funded parks improvement project eliminates two street segments that bisect existing green spaces, at the intersection of Fairmount and Summit Avenues, to create and expand an uninterrupted public park.


Box Cafe Opens in Jersey City

 

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In March of this year, Jersey City Heights’ cafe scene expanded when an eatery called Box Cafe opened its doors. This locally owned cafe at 115 Palisade Avenue 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. Click here to find out more about Box Cafe, a cozy new bistro in Jersey City.


Newark Teen Receives ‘Hero to Animals’ Award

PETA presented Newark teen Darius Brown with the “Hero to Animals” award after his work helped shelter cats and dogs to be adopted, per the PETA website. Brown makes and donates bow ties to animal shelters in order to boost the animals’ cuteness level and their chances of getting adopted. 


Annie & Em’s Bakeshop to Open Location on Third Street

In an Instagram post this week, Annie & Em’s Bakeshop shared it will be opening a location on Third Street in Hoboken this fall. The post said: “The sign is up & we’re excited to share that Annie & Em’s Bakeshop will be open for business at 155 Third St. this coming September/October! ⁣We will share exact dates as it gets closer. Thank you all so much for your patience, we can’t wait to see you!”


Jersey City Creates Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee

 

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In November 2020, voters approved an Arts and Culture Trust Fund to create funding for the arts in Jersey City.  This week, the Jersey City Municipal Council unanimously approved the adoption of an Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee, per Patch. The fund is expected to generate $1M annually.


Jersey City’s ‘All About Downtown’ Festival to Make Reappearance this Fall

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The All About Downtown Festival hosted by HDSID is expected to happen this fall after being on pause last year due to the pandemic. The event will be held on September 18th, from 12PM – 8PM and will feature all the favorites of years past including kids rides, face painting, beer gardens, and live music.


Jersey City Teacher Chosen For “Above and BEE-yond” Award

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Jersey City teacher Amy Garrett was chosen as one of four winners from the Applebees “Above and BEE-yond” essay contest, per the Explore Middle School website. The contest rewards New Jersey teachers with a $500 sponsorship check to use for their classroom during the upcoming school year.  Ms. Garrett was the subject of one of the student-written winning essays, and was submitted by 7th grader and essayist Victoria Rich. “This was such a nice surprise and wonderful news! I am so proud of Victoria and honored that she chose me!” Ms. Amy Garrett shared.


Krispy Kreme New Jersey Announces $15/hr Minimum Wage

 

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Effective Tuesday, June 1st, all employees working at Krispy Kreme locations in New Jersey will earn a minimum of $15 an hour, per Tap Into. Krispy Kreme is hoping to bring in more employees for its peak season and hopes that the $15 wage will attract more full and part-time employees.

“It is our way to say thank you to our workers who have been nothing short of heroes this past year,” says Karl Halligan, of Krispy Kreme New Jersey. “We also see that the increase will not only immediately benefit our workers, but it will actually help all small businesses by increasing consumer spending, lowering turnover internally, better productivity and no doubt customer satisfaction.”


Hoboken Fire Chief Administrative Leave

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Fire Chief Brian Crimmins has been placed on administrative leave, seemingly for internal disagreements, per NJ.com. Battalion Chief Anton Peskens, former acting chief, will take the lead for the department. Crimmins, City officials, and the Fire Department have each declined to state a reason behind the chief’s leave. Crimmins has been a member of the Fire Department since 2004 and is a fifth-generation Hoboken public safety officer.


Newborn Dropped Off at Jersey City Restaurant

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A 14-year-old who had apparently just given birth walked into a Jersey City restaurant, handed the baby to a customer, and fled the scene, per NJ.com. Police located the mother and brought both the mother and the baby to the Jersey City Medical Center.

Restaurant staff called the police but the woman departed before they came. “Once she handed the baby to someone else, one of our customers, she just left,” said Frankie Aguilar, an El Patron employee. The baby was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center.


‘Operation Jersey Summer’ Offers New Incentives for Vaccination

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New Jersey residents who get vaccinated can enjoy an ever-growing list of freebies, per NJ.gov. As of Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass to those who have received at least one dose by July 4th. Those over 21 can receive a free glass of wine at one of New Jersey’s participating wineries in the month of May. The newest incentive is the chance to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31.


Be.WELL. Psychotherapy to Open in Hoboken

At Be.WELL. Psychotherapy each individual’s emotional well-being are always a priority. The diverse, all-female staff serves over 300 patients monthly, creating relationships that foster growth and change in each session. Currently, only telehealth visits are available until June 1st when the office is slated to open at 36-42 Newark Street in Hoboken.


The Flow Initiative to Host Yoga Even for Period Poverty Awareness

On Wednesday, May 26th at 8PM, The Flow Initiative and Sisterhood Yoga Session will host a yoga event at the Resiliency Park at 7th and Jackson Streets in Hoboken. Click here to register.


Art House Productions to Host Art Festival

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On Friday, June 4th the Art House Productions will host “Virtual Access JC Fridays” at 6PM via Zoom. The quarterly arts festival will showcase visual art exhibitions, music and dance performances, art demonstrations, and studio tours from 20 participating artists and organizations.
“It is imperative for arts organizations to not only make their programs accessible for patrons, but also for artists themselves,” said the Producing Director Courtney Little. “Virtual Access JC Fridays puts inclusivity at the forefront of our quarterly festival, giving these talented artists an intentional platform to meet new patrons and sell their work. The virtual format allows artists the ability to present from wherever they are most comfortable, eliminating some of the barriers that artists with disabilities frequently face.”

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Originally from North Carolina, Ainsley became a proud Hoboken Girl years ago. As a freelance journalist she has written about everything under the sun for the past six years. She works from her home office in uptown Hoboken or sometimes from Choc-o-Pain, because nothing says “freelancer” like working from a café with a fresh croissant nearby. As the mother of one very fast toddler, she has a passion for self-care, parenting hacks, and discovering all the fun things the Mile Square has to offer.