• Hemp Garden Rebrands to The Green Room + More News You Missed

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    It’s been a big week in Hudson County, most notably for the fate of e-scooters. As you may have learned throughout the week, a mother and her 3-month-old were struck by an e-scooter riding on the sidewalk. More on the repercussions of this incident {and others} below.

    In other, non-scooter-related news, Hoboken Girl is planning a Find-a-Friend Social on October 3rd {get the details here}, we published an all-encompassing guide to picking apples and pumpkins in Hudson County, and did a special feature on Joey No Nuts, a nut-free café opening at 7th and Willow.

    Keep reading for an e-scooter update, more on Sam A.M.’s recent closure, details on what’s happening with Piggyback Bar, and an inside look at Hemp Garden CBD’s recent rebranding. All that and more below!

    Our Next Find-a-Friend Social is Happening Thursday, October 3rd at Alfalfa

    hg social

    Mark your calendars — our next Find-a-Friend social is happening Thursday, October 3rd at Alfalfa {located at 1110 Washington Street}. The event will feature a fall menu sampling, giveaways from local businesses like 718 Beauty Bar, Washington General Store, Alfalfa, + more, and the chance to meet new people. Find out more info about the event here and get your tickets ASAP here.

    Hoboken Places Operational Ban on

    E-Scooters in Parks

    ojo scooters banned hoboken

    As of Wednesday, September 18th, the City has unanimously voted for an operational ban of e-scooters in city parks. This, of course, includes the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway {but bike lane is allowed on Pier A}. The vote comes directly after a mother and her 3-month-old infant were struck by an e-scooter while walking along the sidewalk. The incident occurred at 8th and Clinton Streets in Hoboken and resulted in Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla terminating the City’s contract with OjO. {Hoboken’s contract with Lime is still in effect.} Both the mother and child fell to the ground. The mother was in attendance at the September 18th vote and implored Council to act.

    According to the now voted-in addendum to the e-scooter ordinance:

    “No person shall ride on the portion of the Waterfront Walkway that begins at the North End of Sinatra Park running south to the municipal border including but not limited to the promenade area adjacent to Blue Eyes Café nor the portion of the Waterfront Walkway that begins at the south end of the Skateboard Park and runs north to the Municipal Border.

    This prohibition shall not include bike lanes or roadways along the Waterfront Walkway.”

    This additional part of the addendum states that e-scooters are allowed on the Waterfront in specific, designated areas.

    The OjO CEO, Max Smith, was also at the meeting and provided Hoboken Girl with a copy of his letter to City Council President Jennifer Giattino prior to the meeting.

    “We understand there is more work to do,” Smith states in the letter. “As we continue to evolve as a company, we will remain absolutely committed to maintaining an open and positive dialogue with Hoboken City officials.”

    According to Councilwoman Tiffanie Fischer, OjO did have plans to roll out new safety features the same day that Mayor Bhalla terminated the contract.

    Sam A.M. Bergen-Lafayette Closes Regular Service

    sam am closure

    In a recent Instagram post, Sam A.M. revealed that its Bergen-Lafayette location has closed regular service. That being said, the Paulus Hook location is remaining open.

    “Hey JC! It’s been a blast but sam a.m. Bergen-Lafayette has closed regular service. Thank you to everyone who shared meals and memories with us at the OAK on Pine and sam a.m.,” the caption begins. “Although sudden, this change is something we need to do in order to give our families, guests, and staff the attention they deserve through our Paulus Hook location.”

    According to their IG, Sam A.M. was known for bringing Americana comfort food to all meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    “With any door that closes, another opens and the same is true here!” the caption continues. “Daily dinners and brunch won’t be happening at our Pine Street location anymore but exciting supper clubs and other opportunities will abound! We will now be available to you for private events, catering and community gatherings. Inquiries are welcome at samamcafe@gmail.com or join our mailing list at sam-am.com.”

    The caption adds, “Thank you so much for your support, we look forward to seeing you at supper clubs and sam a.m. Paulus Hook for years to come!”

    Police Say Man Spotted Outside of Hoboken School Was No Threat

    police siren

    Parents and students alike were rattled after many saw a man with a camera sitting outside the Hoboken Catholic Academy earlier this week. However, police say this person did not pose any threat to children, staff, or parents as police identified the man as a private investigator. Police went on to say the investigator was looking into “a private matter.”

    After reports of the strange man with a camera came in after surfacing in the Hoboken Mommies Facebook group, police responded and secured the surrounding area on 7th Street. By the time police arrived, the man had left the scene; however, police were later able to determine he was a private investigator.

    Portuguese Cafe Eira PT Coming to Mercer Street

    eira pt

    {Photo credit: @eira_pt}

    Formerly Kraverie Korean Barbecue, 24 Mercer Street in Jersey City will soon be home to a Portuguese restaurant called Eira. Though new to Downtown JC, the owners may be a familiar face, as they also own Broa, a restaurant located at 297 Grove Street.

    Wondering what kind of food you’ll find at Eira? Bolas de Berlim Mini, a spin on a Portuguese donut with powdered sugar and cured egg yolk filling, has become a staple on Eira’s Instagram.

    “It is a very popular Portuguese pastry which historically originates in Northern German pastry making,” the Instagram caption reads. “The cured egg yolk filling in a ‘Bola de Berlim’ is always visible as the doughnut is sliced into halves. They are made with sweet dough fried in oil with some powdered sugar icing on top.”

    Congrats on the impending opening!

    7 Seventy Hoboken Luxury Apartments Open on Jackson Street

    7 seventy house

    {Photo courtesy of 7 Seventy}

    Open and ready for leasing — 7 Seventy House is the latest rental property effort from Bijou Properties and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation. Located at 770 Jackson Street, 7 Seventy is a mixed-use building that is made up of 424 luxury rental residences and a total of 25,000 square feet of retail space on the building’s ground level.

    From MHS Architects, 7 Seventy consists of 14 stories, a glass-and-brick exterior, and a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes. At 7 Seventy, residents will also find a penthouse pool and rooftop deck, an amenity deck featuring fire pits and BBQs, outdoor gardens, a bocce ball court, a gym, playroom, and game room.

    “7 Seventy House offered an opportunity to further elevate Hoboken’s burgeoning west side which has experienced a lifestyle upswing in recent years with a vibrant new mix of retail, dining, parks and public amenities complementing its cultural core at Monroe Center and access to public transportation,” said Larry Bijou, managing partner of Bijou Properties.

    7 Seventy doesn’t stop there, as we can expect even more construction at the Jackson Street lux apartments to begin soon. Like, September soon. As part of the property’s next steps in development, a one-acre public plaza with stepped seating and a tilted lawn panel is to be constructed; the park will also feature a plaza and play sculpture and moving forward, will hopefully be used as a place for vendors and markets.

    Residence leases start at $2,300 per month.

    Hoboken Police Make 5 DWI Arrests Over the Weekend

    dwi hoboken

    With five DWI arrests made over the weekend, you could say Hoboken police have kept busy lately. Over the course of just six hours last Sunday, four individuals were charged with Driving While Intoxicated, one of which drove into a pole, and another of which fell asleep while helming the wheel. One other DWI charge occurred during the weekend as well, making for a total of five.

    Police Chief Ken Ferrante says five is an uncharacteristic number of DWI charges for Hoboken in just one weekend.

    “It showed people were out watching the games and were careless and reckless,” Ferrante said. “They’re not planning safe ways to get home.”

    The first incident happened at 1:55AM Saturday when Meghan Gorman, 40, of Jersey City, fled the scene where police were attempting to administer her a sobriety test. According to police, she later tried to escape handcuffs once detained and kicked an officer.

    The second incident occurred on Sunday at 5:51PM, when Ryan Dougan, 26, was traveling south on Garden Street from Fourth Street and was involved in a hit-and-run crash.

    Third was Sunny Patel, 28, who was found asleep in his running car on Observer Highway, according to Ferrante. Ferrante said Patel had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

    The fourth incident involved Russell Smith, 27, who collided with a pole at the 2nd Street Light Rail Station. According to police, Smith was uninjured but when talking to police, he was observed to be swaying and have bloodshot eyes. A breathalyzer test determined Smith had double the legal limit of alcohol in his system as well.

    The fifth incident occurred on Sunday when Karen Leoncio-Hernandez, 26, was found by police outside her SUV on Observer Highway. The SUV was on its side; Leoncio-Hernandez told police another car cut her off, then drove into a parked car, causing her SUV to flip. Police observed that Leoncio-Hernandez’s eyes were red and that she smelled of alcohol.

    “We want people to use designated drivers, use car services, use public transportation,” Ferrante concluded. “DWIs are not going to be tolerated, and we’re going to be very aggressive in our detection and our arrests.”

    The first arrest of the weekend, Meghan Gorman, was the only arrest of a Hudson County resident.

    Piggyback Bar Restaurant Owners Opening New NYC Venture

    piggyback bar jersey city

    It’s true that Jersey City has to say goodbye to Piggyback Bar, an Asian-American eatery located inside of Harborside. {We’ll miss you, corn with miso butter!} But as one door closes, another one opens, and it looks like the owners of Piggyback, Chef Leah Cohen and restauranteur Benjamin Byruch, will be opening a new restaurant in Manhattan. Of course, the new space is a totally different concept, but anyone who loved Chef Cohen’s work and Byruch’s vision, might still enjoy visiting their latest venture once it opens.

    In a statement over email, the Cohen and Byruch confirmed Piggyback’s closure on September 16th. “We have decided to close the doors to Jersey City’s harborside Asian-American tavern Piggyback Bar on September 30th, 2019, and will amicably go our separate ways from partner Mike Demarco of Mack-Cali. In the meantime, we are gearing up to open our new 80-seat restaurant this Fall, located in the heart of North Chelsea just steps away from Madison Square Garden,” the two wrote in a joint statement.

    Former PJ Ryan’s Tavern Turning into the Franklin Social

    franklin social jersey city

    {Photo credit: @franklinsocial}

    From PJ Ryan’s Tavern to a cocktail bar called Franklin Social. New signage at 292 Barrow Street in Downtown Jersey City has recently gone up, alerting residents that a new eatery/bar is coming to town. The PJ Ryan’s saga has been going on for a while, with the space remaining vacant for a few years now. Back in 2017, Jersey Digs reported that the spot was looking for a new owner and was listed for lease on Grid Real Estate. In 2018, rumors surfaced on reddit as users noticed PJ Ryan’s cut down their open hours again and again, then finally post signage saying they were closed for the summer.

    Not much is yet known about Franklin Social, though they do have an Instagram account. With only four posted pictures, the IG has kept pretty mum about their new location, not even announcing which city it’s in. Instead, the account keeps posting macro photos of different textures — presumably involved in the redesign.

    Jersey Digs also reports that the space was acquired {with a lease that included a liquor license transfer} by Skopos Hospitality Group. Skopos is the same hospitality group that turned Nutley into Cowan’s Public, opened The Barrow House, and The Vanguard inside the Harrison Station development.

    Jersey City Officers Found Not Guilty in Beating Case

    judge hotel givebacks 1024x1024

    The four police officers involved in the brutal beating of an innocent man in Jersey City have been found not guilty and no longer face jail time. Lieutenant Keith Ludwig, MD Khan, Officer Eric Kosinski, and Officer Francisco Rodriguez have been forced to resign and are prohibited from working law enforcement in New Jersey. However, they will not go to prison.

    As of right now, it is unclear whether or not these four officers will still receive their pension.

    In June 2017, officials confirmed Miguel Feliz, 48, was beaten and dragged in the street while on fire. Feliz was allegedly mistaken for the driver of a different car, who was fleeing from police. That driver collided with Feliz’s car, which then erupted in flames.

    According to Feliz, he was trapped inside the car and had to break the window on the passenger side to escape. His clothes at the time were on fire. When he escaped the vehicle, Jersey City officers then kicked, beat, and dragged him while he was on fire, resulting in Feliz’s severe burns to his hands and face. He also had multiple broken ribs.

    The beating was caught on cell phone camera footage.

    “Unfortunately, them four, I’ll tell you, man. They did everything completely wrong that night,” Feliz said.

    Khan pled guilty to a 3rd degree aggravated assault charge and was put on probation. Ludwig, Kosinski, and Rodriguez, however, pled guilty to a single count of endangering another person and will endure pre-trial intervention. Khan and Kosinski were originally charged with attempted murder, but those charges have since been dropped.

    What’s the Future of E-Scooters? Lime Evolves With 3.0 Model

    lime scooter

    In the wake of Hoboken terminating its contract with OjO scooters, Lime Scooters seems to have taken the opportunity to turn up the heat. And well, turn down the speed. Lime has rolled out new Lime 3.0 E-Scooters in its Hoboken fleet, which are being touted as a safer model. With front dual-suspension modeled after mountain bikes, larger 10″ wheels for improved stability, front and rear brakes, and an overall more durable frame, this new model is thought to give the driver more control. These new models supposedly also have a longer battery life.

    “The Lime scooter program has been immensely popular in Hoboken and with the 3.0’s longer-lasting battery, our scooters can keep up with demand,” said Phil Jones, senior director of east coast government relations and strategic partnerships at Lime in a statement. “Hoboken took the lead in supporting micromobility in the Tri-State area, and aims to improve its transportation network so that residents have reliable and convenient options around the Mile Square City.”

    In ongoing efforts to make the e-scooter program in Hoboken safer, Lime has implemented a slow zone along the pedestrian waterfront and offers bi-weekly safety courses to riders looking to learn more about the local e-scooter ordinances.

    JCPD Seizes Seven Handguns in Last 10 Days, 11 Related Arrests

    handgun arrest

    Just weeks after Hoboken Girl reported that Jersey City has stopped publicly posting its crime stats on the City website, it has been reported that Jersey City police have seized seven illegal handguns in the last 10 days, making 11 related arrests. According to JCPD, this has been a collaborative effort between specialized police units and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

    “When people have illegal firearms, what usually follows is a shooting,” said Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly, “so every time we can intercept these weapons, it’s a shooting our police officers have prevented.”

    The most recent gun violence statistics for Jersey City are from 2018 and 2017. In 2017, Kelly reported there were 46 shootings between January 1st and June 2nd of that same year. During the same timeframe in 2018, there were 35 reported shootings. According to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, there have been 14 shootings during the first six months of 2019. Kelly says since he took over the police department in January 2018, there has been a 30 percent reduction in shootings.

    “It’s really good, collaborative police work,” Kelly added. “We have been stressing the intelligence end for the Jersey City Police Department for two years and it’s a large reason why gun violence has been significantly reduced.”

    Each of the 11 arrested and booked were charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. All of the confiscated guns, Kelly adds, were loaded.

    On September 7th, police seized a .32 caliber revolver from Ferdinand Jacobs, 24, of Stevens Avenue. Jacobs was also charged with possession of heroin. On September 9th, police arrested Davis Simmons, 21, of Ocean Avenue, and seized a .380 caliber handgun. Also on September 9th, police seized a 9mm handgun from Lamarr Fishburne, 34, of Queens. In another separate arrest on September 9th, police confiscated a .22 caliber handgun from Noah Hill, 21, of Garfield Avenue.

    On September 10th, police arrested Shariyf Higgins, 37, of Union Street. During a motor vehicle stop at Union Street, cops seized a .32 caliber handgun. The next day, police arrested two adults and one juvenile, Alfreda Williams, 39, Rodney Williams, 38, and a 17-year-old boy.

    And on the following Monday, police took three more people into custody during a motor vehicle stop: Yusef Mathis, 29, Jalil Burns, 32, of Arlington Avenue, and Yairisa Lizardo, 25, of Summit Avenue. Mathis, Burns, and Lizardo were also charged with possession of heroin and a .40 caliber handgun reported stolen in Pennsylvania was recovered by police.

    Hoboken Fire Department Gets New Fleet of Hybrid Cars

    hoboken fire department hybrid vehicles

    {Photo courtesy of Hoboken Fire Department}

    The Hoboken Fire Department just got faster — and sleeker! — thanks to the addition of two hybrid emergency vehicles to its fleet. The vehicles are 2019 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedans that feature gasoline-electric power. Outfitted with department lettering, decals, and of course, emergency response lights and sirens, these vehicles are primarily assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau — a department that focuses on fire investigation, code enforcement, and public education.

    “We are very pleased to have these vehicles added to our fleet,” said Fire Chief Brian Crimmins in an official statement. “Safety and performance are our priorities in selecting automobiles. It’s a bonus when we can also have outstanding fuel economy. These hybrids are safe, efficient, and enable our inspectors to show pride in our department and our community.”

    The hybrid Sedans replace two older SUVs {a 1998 Ford Explorer that suffered engine failure and a 2006 Ford Explorer that blew its transmission}. Both vehicles were retired last year.

    One of the goals in switching to hybrid vehicles, of course, is the added sustainable benefits: cost savings from reduced fuel consumption, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, fewer necessary oil changes, and less time spent refueling. It’s part of the Hoboken Fire Department’s bigger initiative to improve the resilience of the community. The department has also replaced lighting with LED bulbs, installed a water-permeable surface on its parking lot, invested in diesel particulate filters for its new apparatus, and even installed a visitor’s bike rack at its 201 Jefferson Street headquarters.

    “Thank you to the Hoboken Fire Department for the partnership with the City in our Climate Action Plan to exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mayor Bhalla in an official statement. “These two vehicles, and our plan to phase in additional hybrid and electric vehicles in the City’s fleet in the years ahead will reduce emissions and our carbon footprint.”

    Brownstone Diner in JC Closed While Remodeling

    brownstone news

    {Photo credit: reddit}

    According to new signage up at Brownstone Diner + Pancake Factory {located at 426 Jersey Avenue}, the eatery will be temporarily closed while they remodel. Brownstone is best known amongst Jersey Citians for its old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes and for serving breakfast all day long. Looks like Brownstone closed as of Monday, September 16th. No word yet on when it will reopen.

    Hemp Garden Rebrands Into The Green Room

    green room hoboken

    From Hemp Garden to the Green Room — the Mile Square’s premiere spot for CBD oil, vape cartridges, and edibles has officially rebranded. The Green Room’s official website says a redesign is coming soon; right now it’s just a stagnant page with links to the brand’s Instagram and Facebook handles. No word on what caused the rebrand, but it looks like all the store’s stock now is reprinted with The Green Room logo. The original Hemp Garden CBD opened up in May at 64 Newark Street, the former Re-Juice-a-Nation location.

    JC Woman Charged With Keeping Children in Filthy Home

    filthy home jersey city

    An 83-year-old woman and two children have been removed from a Jersey City home after the City’s Quality of Life Task Force paid a visit. Another woman, the mom of the kids and daughter of the senior, was charged. The Task Force found 54 Wayne Street to be covered in dog feces, flies, and fleas. Shortly after, Jacob V. Hudnut, city municipal prosecutor and head of the task force, declared the home uninhabitable.

    The Task Force was apparently tipped off by neighbors, who dealt with the fleas, mosquitos, and noticeable odor emanating from the house on a daily basis. Neighbors added to their concerns that they hadn’t seen the children’s mother, 45-year-old Bernadette Bisogno, recently.

    “This task force response is a demonstration of the importance of neighbors reporting concerns to the Residents’ Response Center,” said Hudnut. “Without the neighborhood alerting us to these conditions, we [would] never [have] been able to take this response and go in to provide help to those who needed it.”

    The Liberty Humane Society removed nine dogs, none of which were licensed and all of which had fleas. The dogs were also thought to have mange, a skin disease that is caused by parasitic mites. The two boys, 12 and 16, were also covered in fleas and taken into custody by New Jersey’s Divison of Child Protection and Permanency.

    Bisogno was arrested outside the home and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of neglecting the elderly.

    Members of the task force — which consists of representatives from police and fire departments, the Department of Public Works, Health and Human Services, Zoning Department, Housing Code Enforcement, Buildings Department, and the Division of Commerce — said the home had three refrigerators full of expired and moldy food. A source added there was no fresh food found in the home. Two of the home’s bathrooms had no running water and the second floor was covered with feces, as it was where the nine dogs were kept.

    On-Demand Jersey City Launching New Bus Service

    bus news

    Jersey City is set to launch a new on-demand bus service in partnership with Via, according to NJ.com. Working with the Via, a ride share company, the new on-demand transit system will cost $2 per ride, connecting Jersey City locals to any neighborhood in the city. Expect the new on-demand system to be fully operational by early next year.

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

    Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

    We release new episodes every Tuesday!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.