Home Best of Guides West of Willow: 10 Things {You Probably Didn’t Know Were} Located in the Monroe Center

West of Willow: 10 Things {You Probably Didn’t Know Were} Located in the Monroe Center

by Jennifer Tripucka
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If you’re new to Hoboken and are a frequenter of Washington Street and the main drag, then you may not be familiar with the Monroe Center or things that are “West of Willow” as we like to call them. Sure, you know our friends at Iron Plate Studios and Local Barre West are there…but do you really know all of the amazing things going on in the Monroe Center? It’s a huge, 5-story building devoted to local business and the arts…chock full of amazing things.

Here are just 10 of the noteworthy ones to start:

1. Artist Makeup Academy

artist makeup academy

Hello Hydration Sidebar

This huge space offers amazing makeup and beauty classes for professionals– as well as bridal services {hair & makeup} + makeup for fashion, beauty, and special events. Just had a makeup trial there and hired Jules, the owner, on the spot! She does amazing work and has a team of pros! Follow the girls @artistmkupacademy on IG to see all their amazing work.

Harborside Sport + Spine

2. Urban Arts

urban arts nj

Hobbs Inc

Urban Arts offers children’s art classes & workshops tiered for all age and skill levels as well as in-depth adult painting & drawing classes. We have yet to take a class, but we are hoping to take one soon as we hear very good things!

3. Eat Metal Inc

eat metal inc hoboken girl monroe center

EatMetal, Inc. specializes in handmade, custom jewelry, and one of a kind art jewelry, fine jewelry collections and classes. Its owner, Elizabeth Tokoly, holds a masters in fine arts {metalsmithing} and has been a metalsmith since 2000. In her space, she hosts jewelry classes as well as houses her own personal studio to create custom pieces. Her jewelry is contemporary, and she uses traditional techniques to create unique engagement rings, wedding bands, and other custom jewelry. Elizabeth works with a GIA certified gemologist and has created sterling silver and 18k gold engagement rings and jewelry containing semi-precious and precious gems.

AXIS School of Dance

eat metal hoboken monroe center

In addition to custom pieces, Elizabeth offers jewelry classes and one-day jewelry workshops for small groups where each student will construct a finished piece of jewelry such as these bracelets, above {plus, it’s BYOB!}. So fun!


4. CycleBar


Spinning is all the rage these days, and CycleBar certainly delivers a fun, fast-paced, heart-pumping experience. Get your sweat sesh on here, where you’ll spin to themed-classes {Wine-Down Wednesday} that will make it feel like you’re more in a club and less at a gym.


5. M. Avery Designs


If you’re looking to learn how to sew, craft or learn how to make cool stuff, you’re SEW in the right place! M. Avery Designs is a sewing studio offering classes for adults and children including Make-Your-Own-Handbag Workshops as well as sewing and crafting classes. Megan Avery, the owner & designer, began M. Avery Designs in her Hoboken apartment in 1999. After realizing that corporate America just wasn’t for her, her entrepreneurial spirit took over and she started making handmade handbags & her business was created. Soon after, she began selling her creations both online and at local craft fairs in the area. In 2003, M Avery Designs moved into the Monroe Center for the Arts. The space was initially used for studio space to make bags, but soon Megan realized how many people out there were interested in learning how to make their own bags…so the classes started. Love!


6. 6th Borough School of Music

hoboken school of music hoboken girl

Just when you thought that the Monroe Center was skimping on the music scene, the 6th Borough School of Music comes to town! The 6th Borough Music Academy is now offering a rehearsal space for musicians to rent and the room can be rented for a private place to practice or jam, solo, or with your band. The space is also perfect for music teachers needing a room for private lessons — equipped with an acoustic drum kit, two acoustic guitars, electric piano, PA, microphones, harp, and additional percussion instruments. In addition to the rehearsal space, the 6th Borough Music Academy also offers private lessons (in-home or in-studio) for piano, guitar, and harp. For more information on services, contact 6th Borough at (201) 798-2600

7. Cheese + Wine Hoboken

cheese wine hoboken

We’ve discussed this amazing shop before, but it’s now in a larger Monroe Center location and under new ownership — which seems to be suiting it very well! C+W’s mission is “to offer the world’s finest selection of artisan and farmhouse cheeses, hand-selected wines, charcuterie, imported foods, gourmet sandwiches and craft beers available.” Their selection of products are chosen on the basis of quality, flavor and craftsmanship, and we must say their selection is amazing! The aesthetic alone is enough to make you want to drink wine and cheese like crazy — and they also host evening wine tasting classes! The best.

8. Shaka Bowl 


If you’re feeling like you need to take a much needed vacay, a trip to the tropics is right down the street thanks to Shaka Bowl. You’ll feel like you just stepped foot in Hawaii with their fruity acai, pitaya and poké bowls. They even serve breakfast and coffee, so you can pay a visit here just about any time of the day. Healthy never looked or tasted so delish!

9. Pannello Pizza


Panello is a new West of Willow artisanal pizza spot centered around an authentic wood burning oven {forno a legna} baked bread. Boasting BYOB + delicious pizze, piatti piccoli, e pane — their menu is the perfect size to not be overwhelming but still give you a variety of options when you want to try something new. Can’t wait to try!

10. Hob’art Gallery

hobart galleryvia nj.com 

Hob’art is a non profit artists’ co-operative gallery with over 50 members, and they host a new show of member artists every month. Their mission is two fold: one, to help artists create, promote, exhibit, and sell their work and two, to reach out to the larger community to share a love of art and all that it can do. At some point in the future, Hob’art hopes to offer classes, workshops, and film evenings to the public as well as our many exhibitions. Make sure to check it out! {Hours: Thursday- Sunday 1-5pm and open by appointment all other times}. For appointments call: 201-683-6252.

Well, those are just a few of the MANY spots in the Monroe Center that we love. Part II coming soon!


Have you been to the Monroe Center? What is your favorite spot? 


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