2 New Businesses Opening, A Closing, + More News You Missed This Week

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As always, it was an eventful week in Hudson County. One major piece of news, however, is that the Tribeca Film Festival is coming to Hoboken, NBD. Beyond that, however, Hoboken will be getting a new gym in 2020, a new gelato spot is coming to the Mile Square, a beloved grocery store has closed in Jersey City + lots of other headlines. Keep reading for all the local news from this past week. 

Hoboken City Council Approves Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan in 9-0 Vote

hoboken rail yards redevelopment plans

Hoboken City Council has approved an amendment to the Hoboken Yard Redevelopment plan in a 9-0 vote. The amendment reduces the originally proposed development {adopted by Council in 2014} by 1 million square feet.

“The combined efforts of our Council subcommittee and the years of input from the Hoboken Task Force helped shape this into the commercially anchored plan that best meets the long term goals for both Hoboken and NJ Transit,” said Council President Jen Giattino in a press release.

Jersey City’s Filipino Grocery Store FilStop Has Closed

filipino grocery store filstop

{Photo credit: Google Maps}

After nearly 50 years in business in Jersey City, Filipino grocery store FilStop has announced it has closed its doors as of February 9th, 2020. In a Facebook post, the business wrote:

“We the Filstop family would like to say thank you for 46 years of letting us be a part of you’re lives. It has been the greatest blessing to serve everyone here in our locations. Yes the new Clifton location did not last long. I tried to expand but unfortunately it did not work out. I really wish it had. Jersey City was such a landmark and staple and we are so thankful for everyone being so loyal to us there. Even with all the issues shopping there like traffic and lack of parking and the small size of the store. With the humble beginnings of three sets of husbands and wife’s starting the store in 1973 they loved serving the community and introducing Filipino food to the area. Then in 2002 when I was given the opportunity to run the store. It was a blessing to let us serve everyone. We were able to do things we only dreamed of. From continuing the store to. Being able to start a website that was recognized as a leading Filipino destination for items online. During all this time we had the greatest employees as well. They were family to us not just workers.

Sorry for the rambling post but it’s a very hard time but we need to remember all the good times and that is what we hope everyone remembers about Filstop that was originally Phil Am Food. Just want to end this with we will love and miss all our customers and employees over the years.

So if you ever see me anywhere don’t hesitate to ever say hi. I am not going to let this end me. I will become better and be the best husband and father. This is the silver lining in all of this.

-Erwin Santos {sic}”

FilStop originally opened in Jersey City in 1973, under the name Phil Am Food. Erwin Santos took it over in 2002.

Running Car Stolen From Front of Dunkin Donuts in Hoboken

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Nice try! A Pennsylvania man has been charged after stealing a running car from in front of the Hoboken Dunkin’ Donuts on Newark Street. Rual Lopez, 33, was arrested for burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, and theft of a moveable property, according to Police Det. Lt. Danilo Cabrera.

The Hudson County View reports that around 1:30PM on Thursday, February 13th, police responded to the report of a stolen vehicle. Officers stopped the vehicle in question near 12th and Washington Street and determined the car was stolen. Lopez was arrested, processed, and transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility. The driver of the vehicle was issued a summons for leaving his vehicle running while he was not in it.

Unfortunately, this is the second time in a month that a running vehicle has been stolen in the Mile Square. On February 2nd, an Uber Eats vehicle was stolen after it was left running outside of the McDonald’s on Washington Street.

Officials Request Monitoring as Fear of Closing Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken Hospitals Escalates

christ hospital news jersey city

Concern that hospitals in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne could close is rising among city officials. In the past two weeks, various city officials have written letters to NJ Governor Phil Murphy, asking for his interference in the sale of two hospitals: Hoboken University Medical Center {HUMC} and Bayonne Medical Center. Both hospital lands are supposed to be sold to Alaris Health and owner Avery Eisenreich.

Earlier in February, Jersey City Mayor Fulop wrote a letter to Gov. Murphy, asking for the governor’s interference during the sale of Christ Hospital to RWJBarnabas. While reports said negotiations seemed to be headed in the right direction, the recent writing of letters from Hoboken and Bayonne officials suggests otherwise.

CarePoint Health began liquidating its assets in October 2019 and signed a letter of sale intent to RWJBarnabas Health for Christ Hospital and HUMC. However, pending lawsuits have brought negotiations to what Fulop called “an impasse.”

Coco Loco Bar in Hoboken Opening as Havana-Style Bar This Week

We just got word this week that Hoboken’s downtown spot at 32 Newark will now be opening as Coco Loco, a Latin-fusion casual eatery and bar this week. The new concept will stay true to its roots while offering dinner, brunch + happy hour and feature live DJs and nightlife entertainment every Friday + Saturday. Patrons can expect a fun, casual Latin-fusion experience with Instagram worthy details like oversized drinks and neon signs plus all-new cocktails.

Coco Loco will have an official grand opening on March 27th, 2020. “The restaurant will have a more Cuban feel than before,” said Gary Yip, one of the owners. “It will feel like you’ve stepped back in time into Havana.”

Hoboken Man Arrested For Cutting Lock on a Bicycle

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A Hoboken man has been arrested after cutting the lock off a bicycle, according to Police Det. Lt. Danilo Cabrera. Angelo Gomez, 43, of Hoboken was charged with theft, possession of burglar tool, and possession of drug paraphernalia, The Hudson County View reports.

The incident occurred on February 4th, after a victim reported his bicycle stolen from 600 Harrison Street in the Mile Square. The victim maintained his bike was secured with a lock and that when he returned to the area, he found the cut lock.

Around 4:00PM on February 11th, Detective Paul Quinn stopped and arrested Gomez near 12th and Madison Street. Gomez had already been identified as the thief at that time.

Gomez was transported to Hudson County Correctional Center, where his charges were placed on a warrant.

Jersey City Mayor Fulop Asks BOE to Cut Spending, Raise Taxes

hoboken budget

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop wants the Board of Education to cut school spending and implement three years of school tax increases. The request is part of Fulop’s financing plan, which was revealed earlier this week. The plan explains that the district should raise school taxes by $25 million in 2021, 2022, and 2023. It also calls for $45 million in budget cuts, according to NJ.com.

Big cuts in school spending and three years of school tax hikes would be in store in Jersey City under a comprehensive financing plan unveiled by Mayor Steve Fulop on Tuesday.

Fulop’s plan, which he announced alongside Councilman Michael Yun, calls on the district to raise school taxes by $25 million in each of the next three years and make $45 million in budget cuts.

Fulop says the plan will save the school district $250 million by 2022 and solve a budget crisis sparked in part by a massive change in the state funding formula. New Jersey’s second-largest school district will lose at least $175 million over a seven-year period that began in 2018.

Image Renderings for New Hudson County Courthouse Released

frank j guarini justice complex renderings

{Image renderings courtesy of Hudson County Improvement Authority}

It looks like the new and improved Hudson County Courthouse is one step closer to becoming a reality. Image renderings of the proposed Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex — which has been in the works for years — were released by the Hudson County Improvement Authority earlier this week. And that’s not all — the county board recently approved three resolutions regarding construction, according to Jersey Digs.

The new Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex will cost $345 million and will take the place of the current Hudson County Administration building. It will still be located at 595 Newark Street, but will also feature another structure across the street that will contain 24 courtrooms, jury assembly spaces, offices, and the Sheriff’s Department.

The new complex comes at a hefty cost, but also with significant construction to be done. The county plans to get rid of Cook Street altogether, adjusting several other roads so that ultimately, Central Avenue will connect to Newark Avenue.

Hoboken Batman Switches Costume to Ghostbuster

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Everybody in Hoboken knows Marlon Rodriguez — just maybe not by name. The Hoboken resident is infamous for riding around town on a bike dressed as Batman. Affectionately known as “Hoboken Batman,” Rodriguez has decided to change things up for the remainder of winter. Until the spring, Rodriguez will now be dressed as a Ghostbuster. Say it with us: Who ya gonna call?!

Rodriguez can be found biking or walking around the Mile Square with a vacuum on his back, blasting the Ghostbusters theme song.

“I decided to be Batman in 2006,” Rodriguez has said. “That’s the freedom of this country. You can go to a store and buy whatever you want, especially something you love. I decided to buy the Batman costume to think about the dream I had.”

Rodriguez grew up in poverty in Cuba and always dreamed of coming to the United States. By day, he is a massage therapist.

Rodriguez says his notorious Batman costume will return come the spring. For updates on Rodriguez’s Hoboken adventures, you can follow him on Facebook.

NJ State Department of Education Denies Elysian Charter School’s Expansion Request

school charter school

The New Jersey State Department of Education has denied Elysian Charter School’s request to expand its K-5th classrooms over four years to an additional 36 students.

Hoboken’s own Board of Education previously had voted against the expansion request in December. However, it was ultimately up to the State to decide. If the request had been approved, Elysian Charter School would have gone from a population of 288 to 324.

Jersey City Ranks 2nd in Most Popular City for Indian Cuisine, Nationwide

jersey city indian food

Chef’s Pencil has released a report stating the most popular ethnic cuisines in America and Jersey City has made the list! In fact, Jersey City is ranked second for America’s most popular city for Indian cuisine. Who beat out JC? Fremont, California. In terms of states, however, New Jersey ranks first for the most popular state for Indian cuisine in the U.S.

Other local areas also made the list, with Yonkers, NY being named the capital of Italian cuisine and Newark, NJ being named the capital of Chinese cuisine in America.

Wolfpack Fitness Opening Soon Between Park and Garden

wolfpack fitness hoboken

{Photo credit: Facebook}

A new gym called Wolfpack Fitness is coming to Hoboken, between Park and Garden Streets. With sister businesses in Kearny, Lyndhurst, and Maplewood, New Jersey, Wolfpack’s all-inclusive memberships offer access to each facility. According to the Wolfpack website, each gym features treadmills, a turf area, a private training room, towel service, a state-of-the-art Cybex set, and weights ranging up to 120 pounds.

While there’s no word yet on when Wolfpack Hoboken will open, the Hoboken chapter seems enthused on both Facebook and Instagram to open their doors to the Mile Square.

“Excited to open our door in Wolfpack Hoboken soon,” the caption reads. “Doing some finishing touches to the place including a live wall to bring a clean and natural vibe to the place. Thank you to @naturalistinteriors for the amazing pieces. Grand opening coming soon! #wolfpackfitness @ Hoboken.”

‘Sopranos’ Actor Federico Castelluccio Visited the Mile Square for Danny Aiello Tribute

sopranos furio gif

Federico Castelluccio, who played Furio on HBO’s The Sopranos, and Artie Pasquale, who played Burt Gervasi, both attended a tribute for the late Danny Aiello in Hoboken last Thursday. Aiello passed away in December at the age of 86 — he was a big fan of the Mile Square.

The free, open-to-the-public event was held at Bow Tie Cinema at 409-415 14th Street in Hoboken and featured a screening of the 1991 comedy 29th Street, starring, of course, Aiello.

The Tribeca Film Festival is Expanding to Hoboken

Yes, the news is true — the Tribeca Film Festival {yes, that one} is expanding to Hoboken this year. The 19th edition of the festival will open on April 15th and will be expanding its reach and events to right here in the Mile Square.

“We are incredibly thrilled to bring the renowned Tribeca Film Festival to Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla, in a press release sent by Tribeca Film Festival to Hoboken Girl. “There’s no better location to host the Festival than our Mile Square, offering a wealth of culture with our local artists, galleries, and The Mile Square Theatre Company, and further cements our City as one of the major cultural destinations in the tri-state area.”

Needless to say, we are EXCITED. Find out more about the details here.

Kiki Lu Gelato to Open in Hoboken

 

 

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Future home of KikiLu Gelato – finally 🖊 signed the papers. Can’t wait to bring our artisanal gelato, espresso, cannoli, focaccia and other authentic Italian desserts to Hoboken. Let the construction 🔨 begin! #jerseycity #hobokennj #goodeatshoboken #hoboken #hobokenlife #hobokeneats #hobokenfood #hobokennewjersey #hobokenfamilies #bergencounty #jerseycityeats #weehawken @goodeatshoboken @eatuphoboken @hobokeneats @njeats #hungryhoboken @hoboken365 @hoboken_eats @hobokenhungry @hobokengirlblog @hoboken.nj @dontsithome @rad__eats @hungryhungryhoboken @littlehoboken @reservationfor0ne @hudson_valley_fresh #artisanalgelato #hobokendesserts #fresh #italiangelato #hobokensweets

A post shared by KikiLu “il gelato che vuoi tu” (@kikilugelato) on


Ah, gelato — truly a gift of the gods. Kiki Lu Gelato, an artisanal gelato and espresso bar, is coming to Hoboken. In an Instagram post, Kiki Lu officially announced that it will be moving into the former Gold Cleaners location at 900 Garden Street. Although there is no ETA on the opening date yet, we’re just excited to see more creamy, delicious goodness {ahem, gelato}make its way to the Mile Square.

Evolve Medspa is Coming to Grand Street

evolve med spa

Looks like Hoboken is getting another medspa this year. Evolve Medspa is coming to Grand Street in the Mile Square. Currently, little information is available about this soon-to-be-here spa {as there is no official website or social media account yet, just a Google listing}, but what we do know is that the storefront is already up at 706 Grand Street. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

The 2nd Annual Hoboken Literary Weekend is Back This April

Book lovers, rejoice — the 2nd Annual Hoboken Literary Weekend is coming back this April 3rd through April 5th. Hosted by the Mile Square’s very own Little City Books, the weekend-long event will feature three days of storytelling and talks from a variety of local authors, who will chat about their current and upcoming works. We’re looking forward to this year’s event, but in the meantime, check out last year’s here.

Hoboken to Double Parking Meter Rates + City Council Passes Amended Hoboken Yard Redevelopment

construction jersey city

As if parking in Hoboken wasn’t already a hassle. This coming March, city meters’ hourly rates will increase to $2. This change passed with a vote of 5-4 by the City Council and is supported by the Hoboken Chamber of  Commerce, according to NJ.com. The change will “raise revenue as the city faces a deficit in the millions and to free up parking near businesses,” NJ.com wrote.

Additionally, the City Council also has also passed the amended Hoboken Yard Redevelopment plan. Now that the plan has been passed, this means that the developer {LCOR} and the City of Hoboken can start negotiating to come to an agreement regarding the project.

Public Charter School, HoLa Hoboken, is Nationwide Finalist for Dual-Language School of the Year Award

school teachers laid off jersey city

This week, public charter school HoLa Hoboken was named among three finalists nationwide for the dual-language School of the Year award, sponsored by the Spanish Embassy. HoLa is the only school in New Jersey named as a finalist. The award winner will be named in March.

The Spanish Embassy looked at schools nationwide to select innovative dual-language schools that produce the highest student achievement results and bilingual ability. Most of HoLa’s students arrive in Kindergarten not knowing any Spanish, and they graduate in the 8th grade completely fluent in the language. HoLa is a free, public school open to all Hoboken residents with a lottery process each January. Felicidades, HoLa!

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.