Home Events + News Owner of CoolVines Gives Update on Jersey City Food Hall

Owner of CoolVines Gives Update on Jersey City Food Hall

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Back in mid-September, the team behind a family-owned wine shop in Jersey City, CoolVines, announced a new venture in Jersey City. Called The Bread Factory, the project was a new food hall on the ground floor of the 19th-century bread factory in the Powerhouse Arts District, 124 Bay Street. The building is currently under development and will soon be home to several new businesses, except for the proposed food hall. Originally slated to open this spring, plans for the food hall have dissipated, and The Bread Factory is no longer coming to Jersey City — but the CoolVines team has confirmed with us that the brand is still thriving and intends to grow even more. Read on for more details about The Bread Factory plans that fell through, including more from CoolVines owner, Mark Censits.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by CoolVines Jersey City (@coolvinesjerseycity)

 

What We Know

CoolVines owner Mark Censits was written up in Eater in early February, with the article noting that the market will not be opening in the space and plans are off the table for the Jersey City food hall.

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Per Jersey Digs, a social media account associated with The Bread Factory has also been deleted since the original announcement.

CoolVines owner Mark Censits shared more information exclusively with The Hoboken Girl as to why the plans fell through.

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“We had our architectural design plans complete, our contractor selected, our technology platform developed, a liquor license in our possession, and more importantly our wine list and bar program developed! We went into the planning of the hall with the expectation that the developer group would be a major equity partner of ours, providing support through the buildout of the site,” he shared.

“This is how the vast majority of Food Halls throughout the country are financed. When it became clear that they were not going to support the project, despite very strong economics in their favor, we turned to a crowdsourcing approach to raise the necessary capital – in excess of $5M. Although we got overwhelming interest from the community of customers and supporters, we were immediately informed by the state regulators that crowdsourcing is not allowed for alcohol-related businesses. We felt shut down at every turn.”

Mark went on to share, “It was with great sadness and disappointment that we were forced to abandon the project.”

Mark also mentioned that his sources with the developer told him that the space will instead house a medical services company. The Hoboken Girl will keep you updated as more details come out.

A few new businesses are still coming to the Arts + Powerhouse building 124 Bay Street: Daily Provisions, Han Dynasty, Rumble Boxing, and Tacombi Jersey City. Read more in our article here.

Read More: NYC-Based Chinese Restaurant, Dun Huang, Opens Jersey City Location

Original Plans for The Bread Factory

In an Instagram post on Monday, September 18th, CoolVines first announced the project: “Coming April 2024 – from the team that brought you CoolVines – Jersey City’s 1st food hall!”

The new food hall was set to take over 8,700 square feet of space at 124 Bay Street in Jersey City — formerly a 19th-century bread factory (hence the name, The Bread Factory).

 

The Bread Factory Jersey City planned to feature “a selection of top chefs preparing a selection of epicurean street food,” pairing these gastronomic options with “two bars serving natural wines, full alcohol, and no/low alcohol cocktails,” among other items. The food hall was originally looking at an April 2024 opening before the plans fell through.

This news came just a few months after CoolVines announced the closure of its Hoboken location, which formerly operated out of 211 Washington Street. In June, CoolVines Hoboken shared on Instagram: “It has been our pleasure to serve the Hoboken market from our little shop on Washington Street for the last three years.”

Mark shared with us regarding the Hoboken CoolVines closure that “When COVID began to lift, and the City granted privileges to the bars and restaurants to build curbside pavilions, we found ourselves surrounded with them. They consumed multiple storefronts of parking. They blasted the sidewalk with music from speakers and flatscreen TVs. Our customers found it difficult and less pleasant to come to our store.”

He continued, “We aimed at increasing delivery but our delivery car – the little electric vehicle that we bought to minimize CO emissions and additional road traffic – was vandalized by inebriated patrons of these bars. Sales began to drop and our staff became demoralized. Meanwhile our stores in Jersey City and Newark were growing and in need of more staff. The decision was a disappointing, but ultimately, highly rational one – focus on the successes we had in the portfolio.”

He assured with us that the CoolVines brand is only looking to grow in the future, saying “We are on the path to our strongest year of sales in the history of the company and we have not abandoned our intentions to continue to grow.”

See More: Team Behind Laboratorio Kitchen Opening New Maplewood Restaurant Soon

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