Jersey City is seeing some progress when it comes to noteworthy restaurant expansions from locals as well as pulling big names from Manhattan. It makes sense with the city’s building boom and its spiking rents. With more people moving in and paying more for apartments, flashier neighborhood amenities could follow.
Danny Meyer’s cafe, Daily Provisions is on an expansion tear, having opened four cafes in Manhattan followed by Cobble Hill. The popular bakery cafe that first opened in 2017, known for its crullers and dressed-up egg sandwiches, is opening an outpost in Jersey City in the “second half of the year” at 124 Bay Street, near Warren Street.
The 8,700 square-foot space will also house a location of Philadelphia’s Han Dynasty, known for its dan dan noodles, with locations in the East Village, the Upper West Side, Dekalb Market, and this past week, Long Island City. Tacombi is also slated for the space, the taqueria that’s also backed by Meyer, and has nearly 20 locations with 60 more on the way.
The location was going to originally include Cool Vines, a New Jersey-based wine shop with three outposts: Owner Mark Censits helped spearhead what was to be a Jersey City food hall under the name the Bread Factory. This, he says, is now off the table, and his business will no longer open in the space.
A couple of Jersey City spots are opening sooner. In Jersey City Heights, natural wine shop, Riverview Wines, will open its own restaurant called the Alps, on February 8. The menu will be vegetarian and offer a selection of wines, with a lounge area in the back with vintage pinball and pachinko machines. Over in Paulus Hook from the team behind Sátis Bistro, high end 87 Sussex, at Washington Street, is opening February 13, a New American spot “with a Miami-style vibe,” says a spokesperson, with an emphasis on vegetables and seating for 120.
Then, in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood. the Roxy, at 66 Monitor Street at Maple Street, will come from the team behind the charming Italian BYOB Corto, which includes Drew Buzzio, who’s also a partner in the legendary salumi-producer, Salumeria Biellese, and the chef of Corto, Matt Moschella. The restaurant, which will serve alcohol, is on track for March, according to a partner, and is going into a luxury development called Starling. Next door to the Roxy, a Japanese doughnut and tea spot chain will open: Mochi Dough and Bober Tea, with pon-de-ring style mochi doughnuts and matcha.
Most New York brands heading across the river won’t serve booze. In Jersey, there’s a steep cost of liquor licenses — which can cost between $400,000 and a million dollars compared to a license in NYC that’s well under $10,000 — something that has long deterred or stymied operators.
Update: This article was updated on February 6 at 10:15 a.m. to include new information that Cool Vines is no longer associated with the 124 Bay Street space.