For years, Dom’s Bakery was something of a Hoboken institution. Tucked away on 506 Grand Street, the family-owned Italian bakery didn’t only serve bread and baked goods to Hoboken locals — it provided bread for a handful of other Hoboken eateries and, at one point, even shipped special deliveries to Frank Sinatra in his California residence. It was that good. In January 2023, Dom’s permanently closed its Mile Square doors, leaving many Hoboken residents devastated and wondering what would take the iconic bakery’s place. Now, Otok Bakery has officially taken over the space — and it comes to us from the owners of Schmitty’s. In an ode to Dom, the new spot has kept the legacy of Dom’s bread going by his hiring bakers who worked with Dom for over 25 years. Read on for what we know about Hoboken’s newest bakery, Otok.
All About Otok Bakery
On September 13th, local resident Maren Schmitt took to our Hoboken Girl Insiders Facebook Group with a recommendation request for a local artist to paint a mural. Any new mural is exciting in itself, but many local residents were more interested in where this new mural would go: inside the former Dom’s Bakery location at 506 Grand Street.
In the post, Maren shared: “My husband and I bought Dom’s bakery in Hoboken and are excited to open it very soon. We are putting on the final touches which will include a mural.” In the comments, Maren added some detail, sharing that the new business is a bakery “keeping Dom’s legacy alive.” As it turns out, Maren and her husband are also the owners of Schmitty’s, a popular sports bar on First Street.
In true Frank Sinatra fashion, Otok Bakery opened up on his birthday — December 12th. Maren Schmitt and Amanda Schmitt, sister-in-laws and co-owners of Schmitty’s, run the bakery. As we mentioned above, bakers who worked at Dom’s have been hired at Otok to continue his bread tradition — Juan and Lupe worked with Dom for over 25 years.
^ Dom Castelitto outside Dom’s Bakery, photo from 2018
^ Maren Schmitt in the same spot, now Otok Bakery
Otok Bakery will serve up coffee, pastries, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches made with thick-cut bacon in the oven, and Dom’s line of famous breads, as well as pizzas served at night. The oven is coal-fired and the coal only comes from Pennsylvania, which is delivered every two weeks. The spot will also be selling to restaurants, and Maren shared with HG that the pastry chef will start on Friday.
What Was There Before: Dom’s Bakery
Dom’s Bakery first opened with the Castelittos as owners in 1979 at 5th Street between Adams and Jefferson. In 1988, Dom and Flo Castelitto bought the new location just around the corner at 506 Grand — where they have been baking bread ever since.
Dom’s Bakery was, of course, known for its bread. And while its regular baguettes were brag-worthy on their own, Dom and his crew whipped up a bunch of other delectable creations — fresh focaccia bread with homemade sauce, pepperoni + sausage stuffed breads, and the classic Italian pastry, sfogliatella.
When Frank Sinatra was still alive and living in California, he actually had Dom ship bread to him and his favorite local restaurant on the West Coast.
“We would ship it out from Newark Airport to California where he and other famous actors like Lucille Ball and Dean Martin ate,” Dom proudly told us. The locale was also known for its Sfogliatella, an Italian dessert staple.
On Saturday, January 21st, the bakery took to its Facebook page to share the news of Dom and Flo’s retirement, sharing, “As many of you know, we have made the decision to close this chapter of our lives. We are beyond thankful to the entire Hoboken community for your lasting support and loyalty during our past 43 years of business. We invite you all to stop in for a celebration and one last loaf this upcoming Saturday, 1/28 from 2-4PM. We look forward to seeing each one of you for our final goodbye. With love, Dom and Flo.”
Comments poured in, with locals sharing their sentiments and well wishes for the duo’s retirement, and all the while expressing their sadness of such a Hoboken institution closing. Dom’s officially said goodbye to Hoboken on Sunday, January 29th.
In April of 2023, Dom Castellito sadly passed away, but the Hoboken community continues to remember his legacy.
Otok’s owners hope to start serving coffee as soon as possible, and its pastry chef begins Friday. There will also be pizza served up on Thursday-Sunday, a new addition to its location.
As for the bread, it’ll be available daily. The Sfogliatella? “It’s a work in progress,” Maren shared with us, noting how complicated the Italian pastry is to recreate. “What Dom created was truly an incredible work of bakery art.”