Last summer, we reported on the closing of Hooked JC, located at 467 Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City. Now, we can share what’s coming to the space. A popular sushi restaurant from East Rutherford is entering the JC sushi scene, called Samurai Sushi. Read on for more about what we know.
The space at 467 Communipaw Avenue had previously been home to Hooked JC, which opened in July 2017 and closed in July 2022. It was known for its seafood dishes, in particular the crab mac n’ cheese, fish tacos, and seafood gumbo. It was a BYOB spot, and the circa 1848 space was decked out in nautical knickknacks.
Hooked JC was the first venture for partners Natalie Miniard and Tory Aunspach, who are also the team behind Cafe Alyce, located at 641 Montgomery Street. Cafe Alyce opened in summer 2021. Natalie has lived in Jersey City for over 25 years and as a Realtor with Triplemint, has seen a lot of buildings. She had her eye on the Cafe Alyce space for several years, as it was then known as the Medical Center Luncheonette.
Natalie and Tory opened Hooked JC while they waiting to take over the Luncheonette space. Tory is a professional chef who spent many years working on private luxury yachts in the Bahamas. It was only natural that Hooked JC’s menu would be seafood-focused. They also used the kitchen at Hooked JC to run a ghost kitchen, preparing food for three other kitchens: Comfort Cookery, Lit Burger, and Green Things.
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In July 2022, Natalie and Tory closed Hooked JC to focus their energies on Cafe Alyce. The charming elements of the older spaces are evident in the space. Cafe Alyce has the building’s original floors, and several found items from the renovation are now part of the decor.
According to an Instagram post, Samurai Sushi is coming soon to the space. Samurai Sushi’s menu features sushi, steamed buns, ramen, hot dishes, and salads. The East Rutherford location of the restaurant has a full bar, and an omakase tasting menu.
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The Hoboken Girl spoke with Isabela Marquis, the owner of both locations to learn more about what diners can expect. Isabela lives nearby the Jersey City location and is excited about offering a new flavor to the neighborhood. “There is no sushi, no other Asian food nearby,” she said. “We’re excited to bring something different.” She went on to say how positive the experience has been. “People are really looking forward to the opening,” she said. “People in the neighborhood have been very welcoming. Since there are a lot of new apartment buildings going up, we hope to be very busy.”
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Social media posts indicate that the restaurant is opening in late February, and many positions in the front and back of the house are being advertised. The exterior of the space has been repainted and new artwork has been hung, matching the Asian-influenced style of the East Rutherford location. Isabela said that the menu will be exactly the same as at the East Rutherford location. “At first, we will probably do omakase only once a week until we can figure out demand,” she said. She also said that the Jersey City location will not have a liquor license. “We are applying for one,” she said.
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The same ultra-fresh fish that can be found at the East Rutherford location will also be at the Jersey City location. “Almost all of the fish is Japanese,” Isabela said. She plans on using the same suppliers.