Top News Stories of the Week in Hoboken + Jersey City {February 25th}

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Hello Hudson County! While it may not be 75 degrees and sunny today, last week’s spring weather teaser was VERY nice. Aside from the gorgeous weather making a surprise appearance, the Mile Square is soon to be home to three new eateries, Casa Cubana will now be opening in the Heights, and $1M of funding has been given to Hoboken for transportation projects. All this and more below in your weekly roundup — here are the top news stories from Hoboken and Jersey City:

Firehouse Blazing Pizza Coming to the Heights

Photo by @firehouseblazingpizza

Retired Hoboken firefighter Felix Santiago is setting out to bring back the family dining experience, sans electronics, by opening a firehouse-themed pizza spot in the Heights. According to Jersey Digs, Firehouse Blazing Pizza will open this spring at 488 Central Avenue, and Santiago hopes that the family-oriented atmosphere and unique decor will keep the electronics away from the tables. Construction is being led by Santiago’s son Felix and will feature a red roll-up door, indoor and outdoor seating, brick walls, yellow floor markings, and firefighter-themed artwork from Jersey City’s Paws21 Art. Old photos, vintage newspapers, and other memorabilia will round out the decor. Although the menu is still being finalized, Santiago hinted that the main items would be pizza, sandwiches, salads, cheese fries, and pasta.

Drunk Driver Crashes into Church Square Park

According to hMag, the Hoboken Police and Fire departments responded to reports of crashed car in the vicinity of Church Square Park last Tuesday at 1:00PM. Neither the driver nor any pedestrians or park-goers suffered any injuries despite the fact that the vehicle was driven in between the  fencing and a telephone pole at the perimeter of the park. The 44-year-old driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated.

Sauced Set to Open on Washington Street

Sauced will be opening at 217 Washington Street this spring, and will occupy the space that was formerly Muscle Maker Grill. The new spot will serve up a variety of items that will meet any dietary needs and/or preferences, including vegan and gluten free meals/sauces. The menu primarily consists of sandwiches, bowls, sides, and more. One standout menu item has to be “The Trailer Park,” consisting of breaded chicken, thick-cut bacon, pickled jalapenos, fired onion stings, Cape Cod chips, lettuce, pepper jack cheese, honey mustard, and mook sauce on a hero. Sign. Us. Up. Sauced will be open from 11:00AM to 9:00PM Sunday thru Wednesday, and 11:00AM to 2:00AM Thursday thru Saturday. Stay tuned for the official opening date.

Local Bars Issued Suspensions by the City of Hoboken’s Alcoholic Beverage Control

Following a meeting on Thursday evening, the City of Hoboken Alcoholic Beverage Control {ABC} announced that several local bars would be facing suspensions up to 30-day suspensions for events stemming from SantaCon and other events affecting public safety. Additionally, six other local bars reached settlements with the ABC and received lesser penalties. The suspensions will run through Hoboken’s LepreCon festivities, which are scheduled to take place over St. Patrick’s day weekend. For more details check out Hoboken Girl’s full recap of the suspensions here.

Bobby Dee’s Under New Ownership

Photo by @bobby.dees.bar

Bobby Dee’s, a long-time staple in Jersey City Heights, is officially under new ownership, writes Jersey Digs. The new owners plan on keeping the “old-school Jersey City” vibe at Bobby Dee’s, so regulars can continue to visit the bar the have come to know and love. Located at 49 Beacon Street, Bobby Dee’s is best known for being a place where locals could discuss and celebrate anything or anyone. Improvements to the space will include larger windows, the creation of a permanent wall on one side of the space, Future Friday night Karaoke, and live music. Similarly to old Bobby Dee’s, the bar will be open Friday and Saturday from 5:00PM-3:00AM and Sundays from 12:00 – sometime in the late night. While the full scope of the construction is still in development, patrons can stop by Bobby Dee’s for a drink anytime during their business hours.

Sugarsuckle Bakery is Opening a Storefront in Hoboken

Photo by @sugarsuckle

Sugarsuckle officially announced on Instagram that they will be opening at 600 Newark street in Hoboken. Sugarsuckle was started by Jennifer Choi, a self-taught baker who moved from her kitchen to a Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC — to launching her own bakery. Sugarsuckle specializes in Instagram-worthy cakes, frosted sugar cookies, and “desserts in a jar.” Additionally, Jennifer hosts a variety of themed workshops where students can practice decorating techniques and take home their own sweet creations. To preview their menu and see an overview of the ordering process, visit Sugarsuckle online.

$1 Million Awarded to Hoboken for Transportation Projects

Hudson County municipalities, included Hoboken, were recently awarded with local aid grants for street, safety, and quality-of-life improvements. The funding was provided by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund. Hoboken’s Mayor Bhalla announced that the money will be invested in pedestrian safety initiatives, road repair, and other projects. According to NJ.com, the NJ DOT provides 75 percent of a grant when a city awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the job.

City Council Members React to Mayor Bhalla’s Secondary Employment

Mayor Ravi Bhalla is serving as both as the mayor of Hoboken and as a special counsel to a nearby law firm, reports Patch. Hoboken City Council members, Jen Giattino, Tiffanie Fisher, Peter Cunningham, and Mike DeFusco, issued press statements last week expressing their concern and urging Mayor Bhalla to consider his position as mayor to be his full-time job. Council members cited the fact that the mayor of Hoboken receives an annual salary of $116,000, which the highest mayoral salary in Hudson County. A spokesperson for Bhalla, replied stating “[Mayor Bhalla] will serve in a limited ‘of counsel’ advisory role for Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromitis & Cohen, P.C., a small, Hackettstown-based law firm servicing clients in Sussex, Warrren and Morris counties. There are not any hours, it is an advisory role. The salary is roughly what a clerical staffer makes, well south of $100,000.” Of the twelve Hudson county mayors, seven other mayors hold another job, though their mayoral salaries reflect a job intended to be part-time.

Veterans Yoga Project Fundraiser

Back for a fourth year, Veterans Yoga Project {VYP} will be held on March 11, 2018. Nearly 120 yogis, volunteers, and Hoboken residents are expected to come together to raise money and awareness for veterans and their families. VYP provides Mindful ResilienceTraining classes, multi-day retreats, and advanced training to yoga instructors. They have helped thousands of veterans a suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and certain physical injuries. Fundraiser attendees can look forward to a yoga class taught by veterans, testimonials, and light refreshments. The fundraiser will be held at Stevens Institute of Technology’s Walker Gymnasium from 11:00AM-1:30. You can register online and to secure your spot and provide your $25 minimum/$100 suggested donation.

Casa Cubana Will Open in the Heights

Photo by @casacubanajc

Jersey City’s newest Cuban restaurant, Casa Cubana, will be opening in the Heights instead of Downtown JC as previously planned. The owners confirmed the news last week stating that the “up and coming” neighborhood in the Heights was a more strategic opportunity for the business in the long term. Casa Cubana will occupy the former location of res Cuartos Bar and Laguna Lounge at 1007 Summit Avenue. While Casa Cubana is not officially open for business, they are taking in a select number of catering requests and delivery orders from the local community. Menu items will feature authentic Cuban eats such as roast pork, ropa vieja, ham croquettes, and Cuban sandwiches. The grand opening will be sometime in the next three to five months so be sure to check back for updates soon.

Upcoming Cultural Events at the Hoboken Museum

The Hoboken Museum is debuting a variety of programming for visitors of all ages. A new art exhibition, “Hoboken Sensations: The photographs of Marcella Conti,” opens today and features the work of a Brazilian photographer who has captured the stories behind Hoboken’s mom-and-pop shops. Secondly, the return of the Hudson County Movie Tour of the Black Maria Film Festival returns for a four-part run on the first Wednesday of the month from March 7 – June 6. Additionally, local poet Danny Shot will be hosting a book event on March 11th in celebration of his latest collection, “Works,” which honors the 20-year legacy of the arts and literary magazine “Long Shot,” which he founded with fellow poet Eliot Katz. Finally three new kids programs will be launching or opening for registration this week including: Kids Night at the Museum, Kids Comics Club, and summer camps. More information can be found here.

Jersey City Teachers Rally for New Contract

Jersey City teachers have begun publicly rallying for a new contract, according to NJ.com. The teachers have worked without a contract since September 1st, and negotiations have stalled over rising healthcare costs. Since 2011, healthcare costs have risen nearly 400% primarily due to legislation outlined in Chapter 28, which mandated that public officials pay a portion of their healthcare premiums. District and union officials were scheduled to meet yesterday morning morning for another round of negotiations.

Toni & Guy to Move to Former Rebellations Studio in Hoboken

Photo by @toniguyhoboken

Toni & Guy, currently located at 1125 Maxwell Lane, will be moving to the former home of Rebellations Studio on Hudson Street. According to its owners, Toni & Guy prides itself on housing hairstylists who specialize in their services, so salon-goers can “rest assured” that their hair is being handled by an expert with concentrated hair training and salon experience. More details regarding the timing of the move will be released when available, but for now the Maxwell Lane location is open on Mondays from 3:00PM-9:00PM, Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00AM-9:00PM, Fridays from 9:00AM-9:00PM, Saturdays from 9:00AM-7:00PM, and Sundays from 10:00AM-7:00PM.

And that’s the latest Word on Washington Street news roundup for your Sunday. Hope you have a great one.

Have any news tips? Email hello@hobokengirl.com and news.hobokengirl@gmail.com to let us know — we appreciate it!


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Despite moving to the Mile Square on a whim, Nicole is happy to call Hoboken her home. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in biology and now works as a health & benefits consultant in the city. When she’s not killing it in corporate America, Nicole can be found shopping for her dream home on Park and Bloomfield, sipping a margarita on the rocks (she has yet to find one she hasn’t liked), or being dragged into a dog park by her giant goldendoodle, Sammy.