Home Culture Inside Hoboken’s Monroe Center for the Arts

Inside Hoboken’s Monroe Center for the Arts

by Megan Joseph
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In an area with so much artistic opportunity, Hudson County is a highly sought-after location for entrepreneurs and growing businesses. With such a bustling artistic community, it’s no wonder Hoboken had to create a center strictly dedicated to local artists — enter Monroe Center for the Arts. This locale opened in 2011 at 720 Monroe Street and remains a convenient space for residents all over the city.

It has two main buildings which add up to about 180,000 square feet of artist studios, offices, and retail space home to over 90 businesses. The most recent owners, Basad Realty, renovated the center to adapt to Hoboken’s growing business community. Monroe Center features some of the most unique Hoboken-based companies and we’re giving you a look inside its standout spaces. Read on to learn about what’s inside Hoboken’s Monroe Center for Arts — with just the tip of the iceberg {if we featured them all, you’d be here all day — def worth a visit!}.

monroe center inside

Attain Medspa {Suite E407}

attain medspa hoboken

{Photo credit: @attainmedspa}

If you’re looking to rejuvenate, the Monroe Center is home to Attain Medspa, which offers a variety of beauty services. The spa boasts services such as Botox, fillers, PRP hair restoration, and skincare treatments to help fight the effects of time + sun exposure.


Monday-Friday: 9:00AM-7:00PM

Saturday: 9:00AM-5:00PM

Artist Makeup Academy {Suite C404}

ama makeup bridal

{Photo credit: @artistmkupacademy}

Located in both Hoboken and Miami, Artist Makeup Academy is a cosmetics school that offers courses and certifications in one-on-one makeup design, editorial makeup, bridal programs, and theatrical and special effects. AMA also provides a department for luxury bridal or special occasion hair and makeup. The school has been in the area for over six years and their Miami counterpart just celebrated its one-year anniversary.

Artist Makeup Academy is open Monday through Thursday during normal business hours. See more on the school’s website or stop by at the Monroe Center in suite C404.


Monday: 10:00AM-6:00PM

Tuesday: 10:00AM-4:00PM

Wednesday: 10:00AM-4:00PM

Thursday: 10:00AM-3:00PM

Friday to Sunday: Closed

Bear Mattress {Suite C508}

monroe center bear mattress 

{Photo Credit: Bear Mattress}

Scott Paladini’s family has been in the mattress business for over three decades. In 2014, he opened Bear Mattress at Monroe Center because of the bright space and its like-minded, creative business owners. Bear Mattress offers mattresses, pillows, and sleep accessories in their showroom in Suite C508. More than 200 professional athletes have bought Bear Mattress on their own dime. Scott says the athletes really believe in the business and trust the recovery properties of the product to help them perform at their best.

The company partners with Good Sports, an organization that provides new sports and exercise equipment, apparel, and footwear to kids. The program has helped local Jersey City and East Orange communities with donations totaling over $150,000. Bear Mattress’ showroom is open 10:00AM-6:00PM, but you can shop online 24/7 on the website. 

Branding Shorts {Suite E217} 

monroe center mayor

{Photo Credit: Micki Pagano}

Micki Pagano-Parente and Tony Parente founded award-winning production company Branding Shorts in 2008, moving to Monroe Center in 2014. The company creates short, branded videos from script to screen for businesses and organizations including The American Cancer Society, the Mile Square Theatre, American Express, and the City of Hoboken itself.

Branding Shorts also creates videos for local initiatives such as the Hoboken Save the Waterfront Initiative and the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Micki says the company pours love and passion into the projects they create for their clients.

Branding Shorts’ works within normal business hours but is usually available to clients at any time. Email either micki@brandingshorts.com or tony@brandingshorts.com or call 646-644-2270 with inquiries.

Cheese+Wine {Suite C102}

 monroe center cheese wine

{Photo Credit: Victoria Alcaca}

Victoria Alcaca, owner of the Cheese+Wine in Monroe Center, says her shop’s mission is to offer the world’s finest selection of artisan and farmhouse cheeses, hand-selected wines, gourmet sandwiches and craft beers available. The store also crafts custom gift baskets and charcuterie boards in addition to hosting wine + cheese-paring parties for any special event.

Cheese+Wine opened in the building over 11 years ago, originally just a cheese and provisions shop. The shop’s hours are Tuesday through Sunday and you can reach out to Victoria with questions via phone 201-683-8162 or email vicki@cheeseandwinestore.com.


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00AM-8:00 PM

Wednesday: 10:00AM-8:00PM

Thursday: 10:00AM-9:00PM

Friday: 10:00AM-9:00PM

Saturday: 10:00AM-9:30PM

Sunday: 11:00AM-7:30 PM

See More: The Best Wine Shops in Hoboken, Jersey City + Bayonne

 Christina Andersen Floral Design {Suite E506}

monroe center flowers 2

{Photo Credit: Christina Andersen}

Christina Andersen Floral Design has been in business for 21 years in the same Monroe Center location. The company specializes in custom arrangements for events, gifts, and weekly flowers for corporate buildings or households. Passionate about handmade pottery, Christina also sells her flowers in stoneware or porcelain vases created by local artists Daniel Bellow and Kevin Wilcoxson.

Some of her most notable clients and events include Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Halifax, the NJ Symphony Orchestra, and the 9/11 commemorative flowers on Pier A. Christina Andersen Floral Design is available by appointment through call, text, or email to 201-401-9349 or violafleur.cafd@gmail.com.

David Branch Jiu Jitsu {Suite C410 + C411}

david jujitsu monroe center

{Photo credit: @davidbranchjiujitsu}

If you’re looking to dive into the world of Martial Arts, check out David Branch Jiu Jitsu in suites C410 and C411 in the Monroe Center. David and his instructors are highly skilled in the art and open to training anyone at any level. In addition to Jiu Jitsu, you can explore Muay Thai, Judo, wrestling, yoga, and mixed martial arts.

Adult classes run seven days a week both morning and night depending on the instructor. The children’s classes are for ages four to 14 and also are available seven days a week. To contact the studio, call 551-256-3820 or e-mail at davidbranchjiujitsu@gmail.com. 

EatMetal, Inc. {Suite E511}

 monroe center jewelery

{Photo Credit: EatMetal}

Elizabeth Tokoly is the owner of EatMetal, which has been operating in Hoboken since 2011 in suite E511. She hosts jewelry making classes, in-depth workshops, and fun DIY events for small groups in the EatMetal showroom. Recently, Elizabeth was asked to participate in the mystery box challenge hosted by the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America. The challenge involved making a piece of jewelry in four weeks using unknown materials and the money raised from their art contributed toward scholarships for other jewelers.

EatMetal’s hours vary on a daily basis, but Elizabeth is always in the studio Monday through Saturday. Call or email for an appointment at 201-926-9620 and Eatmetal@mac.com.


Monday: 1:00PM-5:00PM

Tuesday: 9:00AM-11:30 AM, 4:30PM-9:00PM

Wednesday: 9:00AM-2:30PM

Thursday: 9:00AM-9:00PM

Friday: 9:00AM-4:00PM

Saturday: 9:00AM-4:15PM

Hartshorn Portraiture {Suite E418}

 monroe center picture

{Photo Credit: Mac Hartshorn}

A family-owned studio, Hartshorn Portraiture specializes in family portraits, custom framing, and hand torn watercolor prints and canvases. Jennifer Hartshorn runs the day-to-day business and marketing, and her husband Mac is a distinguished photographer with more than 35 years under his belt. Their clients mainly reside in the greater NYC area, including the Jersey Shore, the Hamptons, and parts of Westchester and Connecticut.

Hartshorn Portraiture has been in the Monroe Center since 2002 and at that time, they were the only portrait photographer in the area. Some of their previous clients include Cake Boss Buddy and his family, several Hoboken mayors, and local charity fundraising shoots like Family Promise of Hudson County.

Hours are 9:00AM-5:00PM Monday through Friday, but there are photography sessions available seven days a week from morning until night. Call 201-610-1199 for an appointment or send inquiries to studio@hartshornportraiture.com.

Jane DO {Ground Floor}

jane do studio hoboken girl

Founded by fitness trainers Jacey Lambros and Danielle DeAngelo, Jane DO offers total-body workouts that focus on women empowerment. As former professional dancers and Radio City Rockettes, they incorporate their artistic experience and athletic ability into each class. Their team’s goal is to improve a woman’s strength and confidence through a workout that makes her feel her best.

Classes are mixed-level, 55 minutes, and incorporate each part of the body like cardio class Dance Your A** Off and a sculpting class called Floor Play. Other locations include downtown Jersey City, NYC, Edgewater, and Waldwick. The schedule incorporates classes every day of the week in the morning, afternoon, and evening. You can book a class online or check out Jane DO’s Instagram for more information.

Laura Clare Design {Suite C406} 

monroe center flowers

{Photo Credit: Laura Clare}

Laura Clare says florists are artists, and flowers are their medium. Her studio Laura Clare Design often does wedding or corporate events décor with a range of services including flowers, linens, lighting, and all the details to create the perfect ambiance. The business also offers private floral design classes and schedule classes during the week — great for birthdays, wedding showers, and girls’ nights.

It has operated in Hoboken since 2003 with an additional retail store in Bernardsville, NJ. Laura Clare Design is by-appointment-only. You can call 201-217-9696 or order online through their website.

Lee Levine Architects {Suite E513}

monroe center outside

{Photo Credit: Lee Levine Architects}

Lee Levine Architects is the official architect of the Monroe Center for the Arts, specializing in space planning, interior and building design, and project administration throughout the tri-state area. The company has been located in the area for almost six years, but in operation since 1986. LLA creates amazing spaces all throughout the area including the Pilsner Haus + Biergarten, Elysian Café, and their multi-family projects at 1101 Grand Street and 718 Jefferson Street. It has helped with the redevelopment of various historic buildings on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City Heights.

LLA hours are 9:00AM-5:00PM, but they do meet with clients for special scheduling requirements. Contact 201-653-8927 or email lla@leelevinearchitects.com.

Local Barre {Suite C300}

local barre monroe center

{Photo credit: @localbarre}

Hoboken has no shortage of workout studios and inside the Monroe Center is no exception. Local Barre can be found at suite C300 in the center and is a barre studio that offers classes that both barre-newbies and seasoned professionals can enjoy.

The studio was founded by Jen DeMarco in 2010 and has been keeping Mile Square residents fit ever since. Beyond the Monroe Center, Local Barre can be found Uptown, too, at Maxwell Lane.


Monday-Friday: 6:00AM-9:00PM

Saturday-Sunday: 7:00AM-1:00PM

Maison 24 {Suite E101}

mainson 24 outside

This eclectic boutique in the Monroe Center features vendors from France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Owners Allison and Louis are brother and sister and describe Maison 24 as a luxury lifestyle retailer. The shop sells everything from specialty chocolate to vibrant furniture to faux fur eye masks.

Opened in 2008, the siblings love the friendly and warm Hoboken community, which they say really looks out for one another. Maison 24’s inventory is constantly changing in store at suite E101 and even online, so make sure you check out all the fun goodies it has to offer. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00AM-5:00PM.

Monroe Street Movement Space {Suite C504}

monroe center kids play

{Photo Credit: Movement Space}

The Monroe Street Movement Space offers wellness classes during the week and summer for children and adults. For kids, these include Parent/Child Movement, Music + Language, School Time Drop Off, and ballet or modern dance classes. The Movement Space also hosts birthday parties and arts’ camps during summer and winter breaks for kids ages three to 12. Adult classes are Tai Chi, Pilates, and various yoga classes.

The company has operated in Hoboken for over 25 years. Founder Dena Reynolds says Movement Space’s main focus is on building self-esteem and creativity while celebrating each child’s unique personality and talents. The studio is open for classes Tuesday through Saturday from September to May. In the summer, camp runs Monday through Friday. For questions, contact 201-222-8033 or email info@movementspace.com.

Panello {Suite C105}

panello pizza

Panello is a cozy, artisanal pizza restaurant in the Center. It boasts an authentic LePanyol wood-burning oven and a BYOB atmosphere. The menu has a yummy variety of pizzas and some great choices for pasta and traditional Italian meat dishes. Chef Iggy Sciancalepore graduated from the French Culinary Institute and then went on to be sous chef for French restaurant Bouterin in Manhattan.

Iggy and his wife Frieda were previous owners of Englewood cheese shop LaBaraque and Jersey City pizza place LaRustique. Panello is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner and the spot is perfect for date nights, families, and just about any occasion.

School of Rock {Suite E104}

monroe center school of rock

{Photo Credit: Jeremy Pores}

New to the Monroe Center for the Arts is School of Rock, a performance-based music education school for ages three and a half and up. Owner Jeremy Pores takes a unique approach to practicing through rock band style group rehearsals and live shows. He says students learn faster, practice more, have more fun, and build life-long friendships while part of the group experience.

School of Rock considers music, learning, and safety as a top priority for students that join their Hoboken community. All instructors are working, professional musicians in the industry. You can enroll today in the 2019 Summer Camp for every age and level, even adults who are able to play at real live rock venues in the area. For more information, call 973-464-0860.


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 3:00PM–8:00PM

Wednesday: 3:00PM–8:30PM

Thursday: 3:00PM–8:00PM

Friday: 3:00PM–8:00PM

Saturday: 10:00AM–5:00PM

Sunday: 12:00PM–5:00PM

Shaka Bowl {Suite E103}

shaka bowl hoboken acai poke

Açai, pitaya, and poké haven Shaka Bowl will have you fantasizing about your next vacay in just one bite. At the Monroe Center and Washington Street locations, they now serve coffee, brunch, and tacos­ — you have to try the buffalo shrimp. After founders Kiersten and Krista moved to Hawaii, they decided to open a healthy and delicious eatery inspired by their travels.

On the Shaka Bowl website, you can discover the health benefits of each one of their ingredients including bee pollen, cacao powder, and coconut oil. Order some mouth-watering eats online, via phone at 201-381-1647, or in person from 8:00AM-9:00PM Monday through Sunday.

The Spine & Sports Health Center {Suite C208}


For all your spine and joint aches and pains, the Monroe Center is home to The Spine & Sports Health Center. This local medical practice offers non-invasive alternative treatments in place of orthopedic surgery.

With three locations {the Monroe Center and two others in Jersey City + Bayonne}, The Spine & Sports Health Center has been around for eight years and has been providing the community with physical therapy, chiropractic services, acupuncture, and more.


Monday-Friday: 9:00AM-9:00PM

Saturday: 9:00AM-1:00PM

Tessa International School {Suite E105 + 106}

monroe center tessa school

{Photo Credit: Tessa International School}

Hoboken’s Tessa International School opened in 2017, offering Spanish or French bilingual programs and special programs to children ages two-and-a-half to elementary school. Through understanding and respect, they also emphasize social and emotional development with a challenging academic rigor.

Tessa considers each family unique and wants to improve bilingual language skills in the new generation. Last October, the school celebrated United Nations Day with Mayor Ravi Bhalla and other government representatives, dressing in outfits representing over 20 countries worldwide.

The school is open Monday to Friday 7:30AM-7:00PM and can be contacted by phone 201-755-5585, email contact@tessais.org, or directly through the website.

Read More: Preschool Prep Options in Hoboken For Toddlers + Kids

Urban Arts {Suite E206} 

urban arts monroe

{Photo credit: @urbanartsmonroe}

Whether it’s intricate drawing or a pre-school art class, Urban Arts is a great outlet for self-expression and creativity. The studio offers age-appropriate projects including early age art exploration, comic book illustration and digital art, and even independent study classes. Founders Justine Uva and Patricia Morale are passionate about all facets of artistic expression and have put a lifetime of hard work into Urban Arts.

The studio offers summer classes Monday through Thursday in June and July for ages five to seven and seven + up. Submit questions on Urban Art’s website for more information or call at 201-222-5400.

Zoku Home {Suite C308}

monroe center zoku

{Photo Credit: Ken Zorovich}

Zoku Home is well-known for its attractive and functional houseware products, including water bottles, barware, and ice cream makers. Company president Ken Zorovich says Zoku’s mission is to improve people’s lives through thoughtful design. In 2002, he launched his first business, a product design firm called Propeller, but opened Zoku Home in 2009 in an exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

The company’s first product was the Quick Pop Maker, which freezes a popsicle in less than seven minutes. Ken says the Monroe Center offers a flexible workspace optimized for creativity and it’s great for business-to-business collaboration.

Shop online for unique houseware products and gadgets designed by this Hoboken-based business. Zoku’s hours are 9:00AM-6:00PM and for any questions or product questions, visit their website.

Have you visited one of these amazing shops inside Monroe Center? Let us know in the comments!

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