Home Events + News Jersey City Trying to Decriminalize Marijuana {+ More News You Missed This Week}

Jersey City Trying to Decriminalize Marijuana {+ More News You Missed This Week}

by Steph
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Happy Sunday, Hoboken and Jersey City! If you’ve got some time to spare in between {hopefully} some R+R, now’s a good time as ever to catch up on everything happening in our two cities {+ beyond}. Below is a recap what you may have missed this week — from the latest New Jersey state legislations {pot decriminalization and beaches banning cigarettes} to the Hoboken Turtle Club’s bittersweet departure and Van Hook Cheese’s new Hamilton Park venture. Keep reading to check out the top news stories of the week in Hoboken & Jersey City:

Jersey City Featuring Local Artists in Muralist Show

jersey city muralist show
Are you a mural artist? Do you know a mural artist?  If you responded “yes,” to either question then this is the call for art for you. Downtown 234 Gallery is presenting a Jersey City Muralist Show and is looking for local Jersey City mural artists to participate. The opening reception will be held from 6:00PM to 9:00PM on Thursday, July 26th and the exhibition itself will run from 7/26 to 8/17.

Rumba Cubana to Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The grand opening of Rumba Cubana is right around the corner. Even though the Cuban restaurant’s website says it’s currently hiring, that the site will be filled out soon, and that the expected opening day is sometime in July 2018, Rumba has a classic Cadillac outside its doors in anticipation for the Park Francis Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, July 24th at 4:00PM.

Jersey City’s Latest Policy Decriminalizes Marijuana

marijuana decriminalization
Laxer regulations on marijuana are potentially on the way for Jersey City. With Philadelphia decriminalizing marijuana in 2014 and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announcing last May that he ordered officers to stop arresting people caught smoking weed, JC hopes following suit. Mayor Steven Fulop and new chief municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut have instituted a new policy — which began Friday, July 20, 2018 — that amends five cannabis-related offenses including possession, possession in a motor vehicle, being under the influence, use or possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, and loitering to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance. 

“What gives me pause is that despite the similar cross-racial usage of marijuana, New Jerseyans of color are three times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for marijuana than white New Jerseyans,” chief municipal prosecutor Hudnut said. “I think prosecutors have an obligation to acknowledge this and fix this problem.” And it’s clear Mayor Fulop is completely on board with the decriminalization. “It’s probably the first time the city has had a prosecutor that has been really proactive thinking about policies and how they really impact the entire city,” Fulop said.

An update as of July 20, 2018:
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told the city’s new chief prosecutor on Friday that the policy is void because it violates state criminal laws.

“As a municipal prosecutor, you do not have the legal authority to decriminalize marijuana or otherwise refuse to criminally prosecute all marijuana-related offenses in the municipal courts of Jersey City,” Grewal told Jake Hudnut, the new prosecutor, in a July 20 letter. “The criminal laws of this state are enacted by the senate and general assembly, not determined by municipal prosecutors based on ‘(r)ecent public opinion polling.'”

End of an Era: The Hoboken Turtle Club to Close Its Doors

turtle club office party

It’s a sad day for Hoboken Turtle frequenters. The long-time Hoboken staple announced earlier today on Instagram that it will be shutting down after eight years in the restaurant and bar industry.

“After eight incredible years, it is with bittersweet sentiment to share that the Hoboken Turtle Club will open its doors on Friday, August 31st for the last time,” restaurant owners Cory and David revealed on Instagram. “The Hoboken Turtle Club was our first leap into the restaurant industry; as we’ve expanded our family with several properties along the years that has limited the amount of time we’ve been able to spend at the restaurant.”

“Rather than compromise the quality we promise to deliver to each guest, we have made the difficult decision to close our doors,” the IG statement continued. “In parting, we share a familiar saying, ‘When one door closes, another opens.’ Stay tuned for what’s next.”

Smoking at the Beach Now Banned in New Jersey

asbury park nj
Public beaches and parks are no longer spots where visitors can light up a cigarette. According to new legislation signed by NJ Governor Phil Murphy, anyone caught smoking in one of these public, state-owned spaces could be fined $250. But the fines don’t stop there. That $250 fine is just for first offenders; for a second offense, smokers will be fined $500, and each subsequent offense will cost the smoker $1,000 each.

At the bill-signing ceremony, Murphy said, “Today New Jersey is taking action to get the butts off the beach. This was a long time coming.”

The law goes into effect as of January 2019.

Wine & Design Is Moving to Weehawken

wine design hoboken
Wine & Design — an interactive art experience that encourages people to unwind and have fun while painting and sipping — is officially moving to Weehawken. “We got the keys,” Wine & Design owners posted to Instagram. “It’s official. Wine & Design is coming to Weehawken [at] 4700 Park Avenue to be precise.”

The sip & paint studio first opened its doors in Hoboken but recently announced the move to our neighboring town, Weehawken.

“We are very excited to empower our community with art and have fun while doing it!” the statement continued.

NJ Skate Shop Is Moving — Get the Details

nj skate shop closing
Here’s what we know: NJ Skate Shop has been in Hoboken for the past 10 years and recently announced on Instagram that it’s moving.

“After 10 years at 91 Hudson, Hoboken, we are moving and will be having a moving sale,” the official NJ Skate Shop Insta wrote. “Stop by, check it. Help us make the move a little easier. Please share this post and spread the word.”

In an email with HobokenGirl.com, NJ Skate Shop owner Steve said, “We have been in biz 15 years and are moving due to being out-rented. 10 of those with this location in Hoboken and we’re very excited to move to 383 Monmouth Street in Jersey City.”

As more details about the NJ Skate Shop move are shared, HobokenGirl will keep you updated.


Attention Hamilton Park: Van Hook Cheese Opening New Location

van hook cheese hamilton park

{Photo Credit: Instagram}

Van Hook Cheese is celebrating its two-year anniversary at 528 Jersey Avenue with an exciting new venture {and announcement}. Van Hook Outpost, a new, small-scale sandwich shop that features the grilled cheese sandwiches Van Hook Cheese is known for {as well as cold sandwiches, drinks, and literal wedges of cheese}, will be opening soon in Hamilton Park.

Because the new Van Hook location used to be a sidewalk ATM, the Outpost will have an interesting layout: outdoor seating and a fast-food style walk-up window from which diners can order most of the items from Van Hook’s flagship store at Jersey Avenue.

New Building Proposal for Old Papaya Dog Space in Hoboken

papaya dog hoboken girl
Ever since a fire in 2017, which caused Papaya Dog and a few other businesses and apartments in the building to shut down to make way for building demolition, 55-57 Newark Street in Hoboken hasn’t been much more than an empty lot. That might be all about to change thanks to a new proposal, according to JerseyDigs. A new mixed-use project for the site in Hoboken’s Central Business District will soon be presented to the city’s zoning board, though there’s no word yet on whether or not Papaya Dog or another retailer will inhabit the space.

The proposal includes a 930-square-foot retail space on the ground floor, to feature nearly floor-to-ceiling windows and a stone exterior much like the one of the next-door historic bank building.

The refurbished property — just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the PATH station — will also include a 330-square-foot roof deck for residents to share and a 475-square-foot green roof.

New Leisure Spot to Include Golf Simulator, Ping Pong, and Billiards

ping pong
Hoboken is getting a golf simulator, ping pong tables, and billiards! The new leisure spot is set to arrive at 1012-22 Grand Street — adjacent to Columbus Park — sometime in October, as renovations of the former artists’ space have already begun. Though the gaming space has not yet been named, hours have already been revealed: the half-pool hall, half-entertainment space — which will not have a liquor license or serve food — will likely be open from 11:00AM to 10:00PM on weekdays and 9:00AM to 10:00PM on weekends. 

The owner behind Hoboken Golf, located at 125 Grand Street for nearly 15 years before the building was nixed in 2015, is spearheading the new entertainment venture. The Hoboken zoning board approved Hoboken Golf’s application appeal for the new entertainment space unanimously on June 19. Since then, construction and renovations have been HG’s top priority in order to open in the fall.

Northern Soul Hoboken Debuts CBD Cocktail

CBD cocktail

{Photo Credit: Instagram}

In other hemp-related news, Northern Soul Hoboken has an interesting new addition to its cocktail menu. The CBD Cocktail is the very first of its kind at Northern Soul Hoboken {and we think in Hoboken as a whole, too}. According to the bar, it features rum, vegan honey, lemon, pineapple, angostura, and CBD.

“Instead of traditional egg whites, we used Aquafaba to make the robus creamy top,” NSH wrote on Instagram. “This really is the perfect all-natural vegan cocktail you simply must try.”


Coming Soon to Monroe Street: Café Sophia

cafe sophia hoboken
After Hoboken HotHouse announced it was closing its doors, Café Sophia scooped up the recently-vacated space at 2nd and Monroe Streets. Café Sophia features Lavazza coffee and a both sweet-and-savory menu of breakfast sandwiches, salads, and even a Nutella croissant. That’s not all — Café Sophia also pays homage to keeping it local. After all, Ralph Gallo — who owns Hot House Pizza next door — is the face behind the café, which is quickly becoming the go-to café in town.

Café Sophia, which also shares a private backyard dining area with Hot House Pizza next door, is set to open their doors in either late July or early August. {More information on the official opening date when it’s made available. Stay tuned!}

Have any news tips? Email hello@hobokengirl.com and news.hobokengirl@gmail.com

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