A new burger joint has opened in the Paulus Hook neighborhood. Speedy’s JC now occupies the space at 84.5 Morris Street, Jersey City, that was once home to Paulus Hook Brick Oven Pizza. Read on to learn more about Speedy’s JC and what to expect when you visit.
The Concept Behind Speedy’s
Owner Dimitri Liberis, a Jersey City resident and NYC restaurant owner, started taking over Paulus Hook Brick Oven’s former space six months ago. Also owning the gastropub The Warren, located at 131 Christopher Street in New York City, Dimitri wanted to bring something “more accessible” to a spot across the Hudson River.
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“I’ve lived in Jersey City for about six years and, you know, being here in the neighborhood, I wanted to do something a little lighter and more playful than The Warren because there we’re doing the $72 ribeye and $28 burger, and it’s delicious and it’s great food, but we’re doing more higher-end bar food,” Dimitri tells HG. “I wanted to do something more accessible like this $10 burger and disco fries and playful salad bowls.”
^ Speedy’s disco fries, which are made with mozzarella cheese and beef gravy
After getting the necessary permits and renovating the space located in the historic neighborhood, Dimitri officially opened Speedy’s on Wednesday, March 9.
“I woke up one day and the name ‘Speedy’s’ just came to me! No joke,” Dimitri says. “We’ll see if it’s good or not — only time will tell. But I wanted to kind of convey what we’re doing. We’re doing fast, casual, grab and go, and I wanted it to reflect the concept of the place.”
About the Menu
The owner created Speedy’s menu with help from the chef, Juan Bautista. The goal was to create something “very different” from The Warren, which already has a famous burger (Warren burger, dry-aged blend with onion jam and frisee).
^ Speedy’s Burger (Pat LaFrieda blend, lettuce, tomato, onion, white cheddar, Speedy’s special sauce)
“I wanted to bring the burger back to its roots here,” Dimitri says. “The jumping-off point is the burger, but then what we also wanted to do is satisfy the demand for many different types of burgers. There are a lot of vegetarians in the neighborhood, there are a lot of vegans in the neighborhood, a lot of pescatarians, so we thought, ‘Okay, let’s do gourmet burgers, let’s make the price point affordable, and let’s bring something else to the table.’”
The menu includes Speedy’s burger made with Pat LaFrieda blend and Speedy’s special sauce, Speedy’s Jr’s burger, Cajun chicken burger, veggie burger (eggplant based), steelhead salmon burger, and Cubano burger made with pulled pork and ham.
The menu also includes various bowls, which have add-ons available like a hard-boiled egg, grilled chicken, and grilled shrimp, but is not customizable. The bowls consist of pre-created options including the classic Caesar salad bowl (see below), quinoa bowl, field green bowl, Greek bowl, and a salmon poke bowl.
The sides available to select from include house-cut French fries, disco fries made with mozzarella cheese and beef gravy, and vegetarian nachos made with soy chorizo, pickled jalapeno, and nacho cheese.
“We wanted to start with a small and simple menu. That’s always how I’ve started my restaurants. I like to build organically, see what the customers want and where they want to take it,” Dimitri tells HG. “I think generally you have an idea of what you want to do and then it turns into something completely different over time-based on demand, and you just have to be able to adjust.”
Check Out Speedy’s
Inside Speedy’s customers are able to quickly place an order, wait for it, and either enjoy inside or take it to go. There are three tables and a small counter for dining in. Due to the size of the space, the burger and bowls restaurant is focusing on delivery and take-out orders.
^ Photographed: Inside Speedy’s, 84.5 Morris St., Jersey City
“Going through the pandemic and seeing what we saw and how delivery and takeout really is a huge part of how people approach their culinary life, I wanted to jump in head first,” the owner shares. “The goal is just to get this up and running and really put all my energy into this place. Hopefully, we’ll have some outdoor tables and have a little bit of a vibe here and take it as far as we can.”
Dimitri adds, “It feels really good to be part of the community. I frequent all the restaurants here and I know all the restaurant owners. It really is a small-knit community of restaurants, especially in Paulus Hook, because it’s a very specific neighborhood, so it’s just nice to be a part of it without a doubt.”