21 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

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There is so much to look forward to in Hudson County, especially this summer! Beyond the reopening of many beloved beauty + wellness spots, there’s the news of Jersey City’s new pedestrian plaza opening up this weekend, a few new shops + restaurants coming soon to Hoboken + JC, and much, much more to get excited about. Here are all the headlines missed this week in Hoboken and Jersey City:

 

Two Hoboken Men Arrested for Aggravated Arson After Fireworks Incident

police

Two Hoboken men have been arrested in conjunction with a report of fireworks being shot. Elijah Scott, 20, of Hoboken was charged with possession of fireworks, conspiracy to commit aggravated arson, and weapon possessions; Tyrese High, 19, of Hoboken was charged with aggravated arson, weapon possessions, and possession of fireworks.

The incident took place on June 22nd near 3rd and Jackson Streets. Hoboken police responded to the area on a report of fireworks being shot nearby. The scene was clear; then on June 23rd, police received evidence that clearly shows High and Scott in possession of fireworks. According to this evidence, both High and Scott shot fireworks into 320 Jackson Street, hitting the building and only just missing the building’s windows.

Charges were placed on a warrant and both arrestees were transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility.

Mayor Fulop Announces Loew’s Theatre in Journal Square to Move Forward With Renovation

loews theatre

After years of proposals to renovate the historical landmark, Loew’s Theatre in Journal Square, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has announced that the reno is finally moving forward thanks to Friends of Loew’s {FOL}.

“The pandemic is not going to slow the city down, and after six years of stalled progress and litigation we are excited to finally have a positive plan in conjunction with FOL,” Mayor Fulop said in an official statement. “We will now restore the theatre and find a partner that can bring world-class talent on a regular basis to Jersey City. This is a significant step for Journal Square and the entire city.”

As part of a long-awaited Redevelopment Plan for the theatre, the renovation of Loew’s is projected to cost nearly $40 million. Mayor Fulop added that the City plans to use historic tax credits and contributions from developers to at least partially finance the renovation project.

“I think we can create a practical partnership between FOL as a dynamic, community-based arts organization, and a major commercial promoter/venue operator so we can create something more expansive, successful, and contributory to our community than would be possible by either alone,” founder of FOL Colin Egan said. “FOL is committed to the goal of having the Loew’s host a regular schedule of commercial programming for the affordable enjoyment of area residents, and also as a means to provide support for the theatre and other programming in it.”

Loew’s Theatre first opened in Jersey City 90+ years ago and as such, is cited as a historical landmark.

Hoboken High School and Middle School Announce Social Distancing Graduation Dates

graduation

The final months of the 2019-2020 academic school year have certainly been one for the books. In an attempt to give Hoboken High School seniors a chance at a true graduation, the Hoboken school has announced a class of 2020 graduation ceremony on Wednesday, July 8th at 6:00PM at JFK Stadium. Eighty-seven seniors will graduate as the class of ’20.

“All parameters set forth by the Governor are being followed including social distancing guidelines,” explained Hoboken Schools Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson. “The graduation will only be open to those invited to ensure that seats can be separated appropriately. Each student has received two tickets for family members. If it rains, we will move everything by one day.”

The Hoboken Middle School will also hold a moving-up ceremony on Thursday, July 9th at 6:00PM at JFK Stadium. Hoboken Public School District will also host Hoboken Charter’s High School Graduation and Mustard Seed’s Moving Up Ceremony at JFK Stadium.

Flatbread Grill Closes Brick and Mortar, Pivots to Delivery-Only

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The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way restaurants have done business in recent months, one of which is Flatbread Grill. Located at 517 Washington Street, this Hoboken restaurant has announced that it will be shutting down its brick and mortar location to focus on a delivery-only concept.

“The restaurant industry is going to see incredible shifts over the next couple of years,” the Esendemir sisters, founders of Flatbread Grill, tell Hoboken Girl. “Through our deep involvement in this industry for the past thirteen years with running our stores, we have prided ourselves in being forward-thinking. The reality is, we must pivot to maintain long-term sustainability in an uncertain environment.”

The sisters added, “Beginning this fall, we are switching to becoming a delivery-only concept and will be operating out of shared kitchen spaces. This will allow us to serve a wider audience while giving us the opportunity to meet consumer demand in retail. You will also be able to shop an online store of our packaged goods, including our sauces, seasonings, hummus, and frozen flat melts. We have been working very hard behind the scenes, meeting with major buyers over the past two years to make our retail dreams a reality.”

Flatbread Grill’s proprietary bread will still be available at major, nationwide retail outlets as well as select national restaurant chains.

LGBTQ+ Pianist Envy in Jersey City Closing For Good Due to COVID

pianist envy closing jersey city

{Photo credit: @pianistenvynj}

Pianist Envy, a LGBTQ+ friendly piano bar and restaurant that only just opened in Jersey City in December 2019, has sadly announced that it must close its doors to the coronavirus pandemic. Located at 100 York Street, owner Michael Billy and the Elene Food Group transformed the former Los Dos location into a go-to spot for the LGBTQ+ community.

Earlier this week, Pianist Envy announces its closure on Instagram, writing, “We simply can not come back from the devastation COVID-19 has caused countless locally owned small businesses.”

The IG post continues, “We are extremely proud of what we were able to create for our community in such a short time. This was a special place with the most talented, loving, and caring staff. We will miss all of you more than words can express.”

Pianist Envy opened in the Paulus Hook area of Jersey City back in December and offered happy hour specials, an all-inclusive environment, and live piano performances.

Hoboken Seafood Market and Restaurant Tutta Pesca Closes

tutta pesca closing news

Tutta Pesca Restaurant + Fresh Fish Market, located at 155 3rd Street in Hoboken, has closed. Now listed for sale, Hoboken Girl can confirm that the Caracappa family officially made the decision to close for good back in March, pre-Coronavirus quarantine. Mike Caracappa intends to sell the actual building, rather than just the business. More info here.

McGinley Square Pedestrian Plaza Officially Opens to the Public This Weekend

mcginley square pedestrian plaza jc

{Photo credit: @mcginleysqsid}

As coronavirus restrictions slowly but surely start to lift throughout New Jersey, Jersey City {and Hoboken for that matter}, local businesses are looking to provide as many outdoor spaces as possible, spaces that make social distancing easier for locals. Enter: the official opening of McGinley Square Pedestrian Plaza.

McGinley Square Pedestrian Plaza is a pop-up plaza that will open from Duncan Avenue to Reed Street along Bergen Avenue in JC.

Outdoor dining options along the pedestrian strip include Astor Bar + Grill, Carvao BBQ, Champs Chics + Waffles, Crema, and ITA Italian Kitchen. You’ll also find live music and other scheduled events happening throughout the weekend.

For those looking to participate in McGinley Square Pedestrian Plaza’s inaugural weekend, a mask is required and standard social distancing practices of remaining six feet apart are required.

The pop-up will be open from 12:00PM-6:00PM on both Saturday and Sunday.

New Coffee Shop Café Vista Is Bringing Vintage Vibes to Monroe Street

cafe vista menu

A new coffee shop called Café Vista is coming to Hoboken at 527 Monroe Street. This new coffee shop venture comes from Balsayat, a local mom originally from Istanbul, Turkey. On the menu, you’ll find healthy salads, toasts, items from the bakery, and of course, a few sweets. Plant-based and gluten-free patrons will be able to choose from a few vegan and GF options, too.

On the beverage menu, you’ll find an array of coffees and teas, both hot and cold. From traditional Turkish coffee to the fragrant rose latte, all of Café Vista’s brews are served in Mac-Kenzie Child’s iconic black-and-white checkered tea kettles.

Barbès Burglarized, Along With Two Other Local Eateries Last Weekend

A handful of local restaurants have been targeted by what seems to be a chronic burglar. In the wake of the robbery, Barbès Restaurant — which was one of three eateries ransacked has released the above photo of the burglar in action.

“It occurred around 2:00AM,” Lisa, of Barbès, tells Hoboken Girl in an email. “He broke a door to get in, broke two registers open, ransacked the place looking for cash, and made off with a briefcase that had personal items of value!”

The burglary at Barbès occurred during the restaurant’s first official week of being open. However, it was not the only place the burglar targeted. Two Hoboken restaurants including Johnny Pepperoni’s were also broken into as well.

Carpe Diem Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Streaterie Outdoor Dining Expansion

carpe diem streeterie

Last Wednesday, Carpe Diem restaurant at 1405 Grand Street hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the official grand opening of “streaterie,” the expansion of outdoor dining in the Mile Square.

A streaterie permit allows dining establishments to expand their outdoor dining space from the sidewalk to closed streets, nearby parks, or parklets to make up for lost indoor capacity. Hoboken now has 21 approved parklets and streateries throughout the City as part of Hoboken’s new Business Recovery Plan.

In conjunction with the expansion of streateries, Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla has signed an Executive Order to enact certain safety measures. These include:

  • All businesses must require any patrons waiting for entry into an establishment or outdoor seated area to wear face masks and social distance at least six feet from others. Face masks do not need to be worn when seated at an outdoor café.
  • No business is permitted to serve “to go” drinks to standing patrons while waiting for a table
  • — The capacity of an outdoor café, outdoor sidewalk café, or any other outdoor area is limited to the number of seats available.
  • Only patrons who are seated are able to be served, and everyone must be seated while consuming beverages or food.
  • As a reminder, all tables and chairs must be six feet apart, measured from the back of a chair with a seated patron, to the back of a chair at an adjacent table with a patron seated.

Mayor Bhalla added, “I’m confident that these added precautions, along with the continued partnership of the City and our small businesses, will lend to a safer experience for everyone.”

Developer Behind Jersey City’s “Dream Tower” Says It’s No Longer Feasible, Due to COVID

26 cottage street jersey city tower

The coronavirus has impacted the economy greatly and caused many small businesses to either take a loss or even have to permanently close. It’s also, however, affecting construction proposals. The developer behind Jersey City’s once-forthcoming Dream Tower says the project is “no longer feasible” thanks to the financial distress brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Jersey Digs, the Dream Tower proposal depicted a 25-story high rise at 693-701 and 703-707 Newark Avenue along 30 and 40 Cottage Street. Though the project has been in the talks for the past two years, it looks like the mixed-use high rise is no longer coming to fruition as a direct result of coronavirus.

As mentioned in last week’s Jersey City Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners {JCRA} meeting, “the redeveloper advised the agency that it cannot proceed with the project as proposed. The developer allegedly said the proposal “is no longer feasible due to changes in the market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Canbis LLC and Dream Hotel Group were named part of the Dream Tower project back in 2018.

The proposal called for 350,000 square feet of development, which included a hotel featuring 160 rooms, a rooftop space and restaurant, 265 residential units, 100 parking spaces, and 6,000 square feet of retail space.

The status of the Dream Tower currently remains unknown.

The Mile Square’s Bloomie Flower Studio Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

bloomies flower studio

{Photo credit: @bloomie_flower_studio}

Hoboken’s own Bloomie Flower Studio, located at 107 4th Street, is celebrating its grand re-opening post-COVID. Now open Monday through Friday from 10:00AM-5:00PM, Saturday from 11:00AM-5:00PM, and Sunday 12:00PM-5:00PM, Bloomie is accepting walk-ins as long as you are wearing a mask.

Online orders are also up and running and can be made at Bloomie Flower Studio‘s online shop.

Hoboken Mayor Bhalla Calls Special Council Meeting to Discuss Not-Yet-Announced Municipal Budget

budget sid

Mayor Bhalla called for a special Council Meeting earlier this week, during which plans to discuss the not-yet-disclosed municipal budget were on the table.

According to Hudson Reporterthe special meeting took place on Wednesday, June 24th. What started as a $7 million+ budget gap has now grown to what Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher {who acts as Chair on the financial subcommittee} estimates to be $20 million, particularly due to the need for emergency resources the unforeseeable coronavirus caused.

Broadcast on Zoom Wednesday night, the two ordinances examined were an ordinance examining proposed $4.7 million renovations to the Hoboken Public Library to use the $4.7 million surplus as an injection into the budget, and an ordinance that would change Hoboken’s affordable housing laws to “strike an appropriate balance between meeting its affordable housing obligations and providing other significant and necessary public projects or community contributions within the City.”

The council voted to introduce the bond ordinance for the almost $4.7 million by a 5-4 vote. Council members Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino, Michael DeFusco, and Vanessa Falco voted against its introduction, and Councilmembers Phil Cohen, Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour, Ruben Ramos, and Michael Russo voted in favor of the ordinance’s introduction.

Councilwoman Fisher, according to Hudson Reporter, called for the administration to present a preliminary budget before a final vote on the bond is authorized, so the council can get a grasp on the city’s finances and perhaps make further changes, expressing concern about using more surplus funding. She projects the city will not regenerate enough in upcoming years and faces uncertainty about revenue sources.

Councilman DeFusco also called for an independent forensic audit prior to the ordinance’s second reading, according to a press release, and noted in the release that he had asked the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs — to review the legality of the bonding and library transfer.

Hoboken Police Chief Addresses Firework Usage

fireworks

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante has issued an official response via Nixle alert to the recent string of fireworks set off in town. In his response, he said:

A major quality of life problem in the tri-state area right now is fireworks being set off from 10PM thru 4AM nightly {12 straight nights},” Ferrante began. “The following are some of the theories that have been discussed on mainstream media as well as social media: 1) support for protests, 2) freedom of expression, 3) teens and young adults releasing frustration for months of being stuck home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 4) police, fire and government doing it in retaliation of protests. No one knows for sure, but after dealing with this the past 12 nights in Hoboken, I can assure our residents that police officers, fire fighters nor government officials are setting off these fireworks in Hoboken.”

No matter what the reason is, the time that the conduct is occurring is unacceptable and is causing problems for Hoboken’s 53,000+ residents and first responders. We are taking immediate steps after what our residents and officers dealt with over the weekend.

Many groups were setting fireworks in all areas of the city, consistently on the waterfront, and organizing and meeting points were proven to be along Sinatra Drive. The consistent amount of large groups congregating on the waterfront, playing loud music, setting off fireworks, and multiple other quality of life misconduct like drinking and urinating in the parks needs to be addressed. Last night, shooting off of fireworks in Queens, NY led to a three alarm fire where 12 firefighters were injured. Surrounding communities like Jersey City and West New York are reporting the same conduct.

Starting tonight, a quality of life, high visibility deployment of police officers will be hitting the streets, supplementing our regular night patrols targeting the setting off of fireworks as well as other quality of life issues including the playing of loud music, revving car and motorcycle engines, and drinking in public. City Ordinance summonses for Disturbing the Peace will be issued. Fines for that ordinance usually cost in the area of $500.

I have also asked Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his Administration as well as the City Council to consider putting forth legislation banning both the sale and the use of fireworks in the City.

The Hoboken Fire Department is assisting with doing inspection at stores to ensure that they are not currently selling illegal fireworks. State legislation in 2017, signed by then-Governor Chris Christie, legalized many forms of sparklers and fireworks but not all.

The Nixle alert concluded with Chief Ferrante urging anyone who observes groups setting off fireworks late at night to please contact the HPD at 201-420-2100.

Fresh Flowers + Dim Sum Spot Touch of Heart to Open in Hoboken in July

touch of heart hoboken 9

{Photo credit: @TouchtheHeart_Hoboken Photography}

Coming soon to 324 Washington Street in Hoboken is a new Chinese-American dim sum style eatery and storefront. Formerly the brick-and-mortar location of Pure Pita {which is still operating online for delivery and catering}, Touch the Heart will be part Chinese-American eatery, part flower, and part antique shop.

From Dan Grey — owner of other local spots like Grand Vin, Green Rock, and Saku Hoboken — and creative director Anne Marie, patrons will find an American twist on Chinese tapas, and antique knickknacks and flowers for sale.

“I’ve been wanting to do a dim sum or Chinese place in town for a while,” Dan tells Hoboken Girl. “That’s where I gravitate, to what I think the town needs. Anne Marie was asking me a couple of years ago to do a florist because she’s very talented and does events for me at Grand Vin and does a lot of flowers there. Instead of paying rent for a floral shop a business I know nothing about we decided to merge the two and have a two-in-one kind of thing.”

Touch of Heart is set to open in the early weeks of July and will begin by offering outdoor seating only. The place is also BYOB with expert mixologists on standby to create alcohol-free mocktails {that you can then add your liquor of choice into!}.

4th Street Treats Pop-Up Opens at House of ‘Que

4th street treats hoboken

Craving sweets? A new pop-up called 4th Street Treats has opened up at House of Que in Hoboken. Open Thursday and Friday from 4:00PM-10:00PM and Saturday and Sunday 1:00PM-10:00PM, 4th Street Treats offers sugary options like whips and milkshakes. All treats are customizable — up to two toppings! — and there’s also a build your own option.

Hoboken Business Alliance Hosts ‘Summer Streets’ Pilot This Weekend

1st street summer streets hoboken

This Sunday, June 28th, the Hoboken Business Alliance {HBA} is hosting its “Summer Street” pilot along 1st Street. The pilot is a part of the Hoboken Business Alliance’s {HBA} #GoBoken campaign, which is “the HBA’s city-wide, summer-long initiative encouraging the community to go now and help support Hoboken businesses in any way they can,” according to a press release.

The pilot event this Sunday will run from 11:00AM-8:00PM and will be happening down 1st Street in Hoboken, which will be closed to traffic. The goal of the pilot is to create “new opportunities for businesses to expand their footprint and connect with customers in a safe and meaningful way,” according to Gregory Dell’Aquila, president of the HBA.

The Hair Room JC Part Too Opens

the hair room part too jersey city

{Photo credit: @alexisrotter}

Now that hair salons are permitted to reopen, it’s only right to share the news that The Hair Room JC Part Too, the sister store to The Hair Room at 213 Montgomery Street, has officially opened the doors to its new {and second} Heights location. The new salon, located at 467 Palisade Avenue, features all of the services the first location features, including cut, styling, coloring, and more.

The Ainsworth in Hoboken Issued Citation

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The Ainsworth, located at 310 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, was issued a citation this past Wednesday as a manager there “was cited for the restaurant violating the State’s orders due to patrons dining indoors,” spokesman for the Hoboken Mayor, Vijay Chaudhuri told Tap Into.

Indoor Dining to Resume in NJ at 25% Capacity on July 2nd; Casinos Permitted to Reopen at 25% Capacity

new jersey indoor dining resumes

As more and more things start to return to “normal” throughout the state, two more things can be added to that list — indoor dining and casino going. This week, NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced that indoor dining can resume at 25% capacity and casinos can reopen and operate at 25% capacity.  Shortly after, Gov. Murphy announced that retail shopping malls will be allowed to reopen on June 29th.

30+ Jobs Listed on Hoboken Girl’s Job Board

hoboken girl job board

If you’re in need of a new employee or a new job, we’ve got you covered. This week, the Hoboken Girl Job Board features 30+ jobs, including 15+ brand new listings, as well as candidates to review on our candidates listings page. Current openings include:

— Assistant Store Manager at Alba and A X D. Apply here.

— Hair Stylist at Hudson Square Salon. Apply here.

— Manager at Hazel Baby + Kids. Apply here.

— Salon Coordinator and Assistant at Spesh. Apply here.

— Psychologist at Lukin Center for Psychotherapy. Apply here.

— Barista at Mojo Coffee. Apply here.

Check out the full list of jobs available here.

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


Check out Hoboken Girl’s new Job Board here!

 

 

 

 

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Written by:

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.


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