Home Food + DrinkBrunch Otok Bakery Just Debuted Dining Experiences in Its Coal-Fired Oven Room, Formerly Dom’s

Otok Bakery Just Debuted Dining Experiences in Its Coal-Fired Oven Room, Formerly Dom’s

by Jennifer Tripucka
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Picture this: You’re dining in one of the oldest bakeries in Hoboken, next to its coal-fired oven, with its owners creating a delectable meal for you, all using coal to heat and prepare your food.  Dom’s Bakery has always been something of a Hoboken institution. Tucked away on 506 Grand Street, it was most famous for shipping 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. Lucky for Hoboken, new owners, Maren and William Schmitt (who you may know as owners of the bar Schmitty’s) took over, updated and remodeled the space. The new bakery was named Otok Bakery, and had an updated look while still paying homage to Dom’s — keeping the two bakers who worked at Dom’s for over 25 years to work the coal-fired oven. Most recently, the Otok owners just rolled out a new interactive dining experience in the coal-fired oven room of the bakery. The Hoboken Girl team got to experience it this past week, and we’re sharing more details on Otok and the newly-debuted coal-fired oven dining experience.

otok bakery new dining experience hoboken coal fired oven

The New Dining Experience

If you’re already a Dom’s / Otok fan, this is going to knock your socks off (and the heat of the oven might not literally — but close). The oven is something of a landmark, and deserves to have all the attention during the meal.

The meal is four courses, and it starts off with a tuna tartare and scallop fresh out of the oven for each guest. The menu changes at times, but the basics will be there — cheesy garlic bread (obvi), focaccia, tartare and scallops, bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese, crab legs — which sometimes are swapped for sausage and peppers, sides galore (think: asparagus, cream of spinach, fingerling potatoes), and Tomahawk steaks as the main event, coal-fired all the way.

The Hoboken Girl team

^some of The Hoboken Girl edit team, enjoying a nice lil dinner at Otok

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Dessert was also delicious, as the flourless chocolate cake + sfogliatella were beyond.

otok bakery sfogliatella private dining experience

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The meal goes for $175/pp, but with a SERIOUS Tomahawk situation, coal-fired one-of-a-kind experience — and BYOB — it’s a fun gathering for a small group of friends any night of the week. We had a group of 10 people, and it was a perfect size complete with Love is Blind gold cups iykyk. If you’re lucky, you may get a chance to scoop some coal and keep the oven’s flames going, which is an experience unto itself.

otok bakery private dining experience

To make reservations, you can DM @bakedbyotok on Instagram for more info. It’s select dates and nights, so don’t wait (because we foresee this being another sold out 15 Fox Place situation, just sayin’).

All About Otok Bakery

The journey to Otok has local HG Facebook Group beginings. On September 13th of 2023, 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 residents were more interested in where this new mural would go: inside the former Dom’s Bakery location at 506 Grand Street.

Read More: Best Bakeries to Visit in Hoboken + Jersey City

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, sisters-in-law and co-owners of Schmitty’s, run the bakery. The duo hired bakers Juan and Lupe, who worked with Dom for over 25 years, to man the coal-fired oven. 

^ Dom Castelitto outside Dom’s Bakery, photo from 2018

^ Maren Schmitt in the same spot, now Otok Bakery

Otok Bakery serves up coffee, pastries, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches made with thick-cut bacon in the oven, and Dom’s line of famous bread. The oven is coal-fired and the coal only comes from Pennsylvania, which is delivered every two weeks. There’s also a pastry chef and the bakery is now selling bread to local restaurants.

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 bread, and the classic Italian pastry, sfogliatella.

doms bakery hoboken nj

When Frank Sinatra was still alive and living in California, he 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.”

See More: Old-School Candy + Chocolate Shops in North Jersey

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 had shared originally shared with us, noting how complicated the Italian pastry is to recreate. “What Dom created was truly an incredible work of bakery art.” Lucky for you, it’s now part of the grand dessert finale of this new dining experience, which was iconic even prior to the ending.

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