Hard Grove Cafe Will Open This Month, Newark Avenue Spot Coming in 2 Years

Get ready for the return of Hard Grove Cafe. The Cuban restaurant is looking to open at 286 First Street before the end of the month, ensures co-owner Evelyn Padin.

Jersey City Upfront spoke with Padin who told us that the menu at the new restaurant will be very similar to its previous menu. The restaurant will include a full bar, secluded outdoor dining area, and plenty of delicious tostones and ropa vieja.

The new location will also debut a new signature drink dubbed the Piña Colada Mojito.

Padin said that they still plan to open a restaurant at 143 Newark Avenue (inside the Pedestrian Plaza) and foresee that restaurant opening within two years. The Newark Avenue location will provide a more upscale take on Cuban cuisine — the location opening this month will offer a more casual vibe — and will also include a rooftop lounge that overlooks the Pedestrian Plaza below.

The original Hard Grove Cafe opened in the 80s on the corner of Grove and Columbus Drive. It was the first downtown restaurant to offer sidewalk seating and live music, helping to pave the way for the wave of restaurants, bars, and development we see today.

(Photo: Hard Grove)


    • They abandoned those plans once the space on First Street (which is in a more prime area) became available.

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