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June 4, 2013

For Hoboken All’s Well That Maxwell’s by Chris Halleron

This article has been re-posted with permission of the author Chris Halleron who has been writing about Hoboken for many years. His blog is http://chrishalleron.com/. His take on the closing of Maxwell’s coming up on July 31st is below:

For Hoboken All’s Well That Maxwell’s

Maxwell's Hoboken HDR - Live Music

Snotty Brooklynite Hipster: “Y’know, Hoboken is nothing but a homogenized, flavorless suburban enclave full of yuppies and strollers.”

Self-Loathing Yuppie Hobokenite: “Oh yeah? Well we still have Maxwell’s.”

Checkmate. That argument has now been taken off the table.

With the breaking news of its impending demise, I’ll sit here and eulogize Maxwell’s—along with a number of post-post-post collegiate current and former Hoboken residents—because it’s a pretty big blow to the community. In my 15-year Hoboken tenure I’ve seen a lot places come and go—a fair amount of sh!tholes, but a few gems. Maxwell’s is more than a gem, it’s a cornerstone… and now it’s being removed.

It’s not the first major change to hit Hoboken. I imagine the Lenape Indians were equally, if not more pissed off when the Dutch moved in and tore down the first Wigwam. “Ah man—that was Ockanickon’s old joint. We used to have some pretty sweet drum circles down there.” Fact is times change, and places change along with them—sometimes for the better, and sometimes they turn into a Buffalo Wild Wings with a bouncy castle nursery back where the stage used to be.

Over the next few weeks you’ll hear a lot about Maxwell’s being “an institution,” and none of it is hyperbole. With an amazing bar and restaurant, coupled with one of the more intimate venues in the New York Metro Area, Maxwell’s is Hoboken’s mullet—business in front, party in the back. The guestbook includes Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Springsteen, The Pogues, The Feelies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, and so on. But while these names are all impressive, they arguably play second fiddle to the dining room’s legendary chicken potpie.

Yet like many in Hoboken, Maxwell’s has simply grown weary. The town has become noisy, competitive, pushy or even downright obnoxious—and that’s just the parking situation. As noted by manager and co-owner Todd Abramson in his interview with The Star-Ledger’s Tris McCall, “The culture in Hoboken is driven by TV now. A lot of the bars downtown are fighting with each other for who has the most giant TVs. That’s what Hoboken nightlife has become.”

If you don’t have chicken wings, Bud Light Platinum and wall-to-wall plasma, then you’re simply not going to cut it. Business decisions are made based on market conditions. If the market dictates that cookie-cutter sells, then that’s what you end up with.

And that’s the shame of it all. I can sit here and gripe about it, but it is what it is. Beyond some absurd Schindler’s List notion that, “I could have [drank] more,” there’s not much anyone can do about it. I’m looking down the barrel at 40 and spent last weekend drinking beer in my backyard while my kid chased my dog around. If I’m the Maxwell’s demographic—too old to actually get out and enjoy it, so I sit home and wax nostalgic on the internet, then go to bed—I guess a change may do them good.

Whether Hoboken has outgrown Maxwell’s or Maxwell’s has outgrown Hoboken will be the subject of some debate around here.

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, as they say. Or perhaps more befitting a New Jersey institution, “It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win…”

Link to original post: http://chrishalleron.com/2013/06/03/for-hoboken-alls-well-that-maxwells/

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January 8, 2013

The Tux Shop Leaves Hoboken for Bayonne

Filed under: Closings,Hoboken,Hoboken Businesses,Retail Stores — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 2:55 PM

The Tux Shop Hoboken

The Tux Shop at 341 Bloomfield Street in Hoboken has packed their bags and is moving to 719 Broadway in  Bayonne, NJ. Their number there will be 201-436-5210. They are promising a larger selection and same day service with the move and likely they will have lower rent and more space to provide their services. This is yet another business in Hoboken that has shuffled or moved out of Hoboken in recent months. Here is wishing them well at their new location.


The Tux Shop - Hoboken to Bayonne NJ

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July 13, 2012

Sammy’s Roadhouse Farewell Letter and Real Texas Barbeque Replacement

Sammy’s Roadhouse located on the ground floor of the Sky Club in Hoboken recently closed their doors. We are not sure exactly why but they sold the restaurant to owners of successful local NJ and NYC Restaurants and clubs. The new place will feature “Real Texas Barbeque”.

The quesiton of the day is: Will this new owner make a go of the place that has seen a bit of an ownership merry-go -round? Located near the extreme Southwest tip of Hoboken, the location might lack enough foot traffic to bring the customers in. Perhaps an outstanding restaurant could bring in people from outside in Hoboken. We will have to wait and see but the location has to be somewhat of a handicap if talented local chef Anthony Pino could not make a go of it.

Thanks to reader “The Bank Robber” for the tip.

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May 5, 2012

First Falafel War Casualty? Ibby’s Apparently Closed at 614 Washington Street in Hoboken


Great balls of falafel! It appears Ibby’s Falafel is closed at their Hoboken location at 614 Washington Street in Hoboken. The eatery had not even been open a year and the location appears to be shut down. Perhaps there were too many falafel places in Hoboken for them to make a go of it. I thought the owner was very nice and had a good sense for business and produced a good product with nice décor inside.  Mamoun’s, which is down the street still seems to get the business despite the competition due to their reputation and connection to their famous NYC location. This closing will probably only help them a little bit more.  Here is wishing the owner the best of luck whatever he decides to do next.

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April 17, 2012

Hoboken Antiques Moving Out After Long Time Owner Dies

This is a sad day in Hoboken as a long standing store is apparently closing due to a death of its owner. The Store is Hoboken Antiques and it was located at 511 Washington Street and served Hoboken for many years.  Dora Stern, proprietor and owner of Hoboken Antiques, had died on March 6, 2012, at Hoboken University Hospital. She had lived in Hoboken since 1976 and was active in the community and a supporter of the arts.

The photo below is from today sent in by Rory Chadwick who owns a business in town Midtown Authentic, masquerades around town as Hoboken Robin and contributes to this site on occasion.

Belated condolences to the family and best of luck with whatever they  decide to do with this storefront.


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April 13, 2012

Former Curves Location in Hoboken is For Rent – Hoboken Curves Thrown to the Curve

Filed under: 10th & Willow,Closings,Hoboken,Hoboken Businesses — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 12:25 PM

Hoboken Curves- For Rent

Curves was formerly located at 168 1st Street  Hoboken, NJ but that location is now for rent. Hoboken does have a lot of fitness options and my take on curves from a male perspective is that Just maybe Curves  is more suited for a suburban mother than a city dweller. Perhaps the location did not get enough traffic. With more and more fitness options like Zumba fitness and rowing coming maybe these type of gyms aren’t the best business model for female Hobokenites. TheBoken.com is curious to see what comes in next at this location and sorry to see another business go. But hey, that is capitalism in action. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to reader, “TheBankRobber” for this tip and photo.

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April 10, 2012

“The Light is Out at Gaslight”– Bar/Restaurant to Close?

Gaslight Facebook

The Bar and Restaurant Gaslight located at 400 Adams Street in Hoboken posted this message on Facebook yesterday: “The light is officially out at the Gaslight. It was a pleasure” . This reads to TheBoken.com as they are going out of business. TheBoken.com will update this post as we get more information.


Gaslight Facebook Kaput

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/gaslight

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April 6, 2012

Frites Fried- Pommes Frites goes out of business in Hoboken

Pommes Frites Hoboken Out of Business

Pomme Frites located at 207 Washington Street in Hoboken has closed for business. The Belgian fry place has pulled out of town and the rental signs are now up at the location. They had recently tried items such as hot dogs and fried Oreos but perhaps the foot traffic in Hoboken was not enough for this business model. Maybe a bustling area in NYC a place like this would fare much better. Share your thoughts in the comments below as to why you think this place couldn’t cut the mustard or pass the ketchup.

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March 19, 2012

Washington Street Shuffle: HomeMade Pizza Company Shuts Down in Hoboken–Store up for Lease

HomeMade Pizza Company Shuts Down in Hoboken

The HomeMade Pizza store in Hoboken has been shut down according toThe Boken.com  reader and occasional photo contributor Anthony Torres of  AST Photos . The Boken.com went down to check it out and the store located at 213 Washington Street in Hoboken is papered over and already advertising it is available for rent. They left this message on the door to the customers of Hoboken that they served for about a year. the message reads as follows:

“We’re sorry to say that our Hoboken store will be closed as of Friday March 16th. Over the last 10 months, your friendship and loyalty have meant a lot to us, so thanks for inviting us into your home. Be on the lookout for our new stores at www.homemadepizza.com

For whatever reason the business model didn’t seem to work in Hoboken because it seems they are having success in other markets. They did provide an excellent whole wheat crust which distinguished them in terms of pizza dough but apparently that was not enough to drive sales at this location. Feel free to share your thoughts below as to why you think their idea could not make it in Hoboken.

HomeMade Pizza Company Shuts Down in Hoboken

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January 30, 2012

Hobson’s Choice Farewell Party–Hobson’s to become Hotel Victor Bar and Grill?

Filed under: Bars,Closings,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 9:00 AM

Yesterday, Hoboken’s Hobson’s choice had its last day under current ownership. Loyal patrons of the bar were there to pay their last respects. One patron told TheBoken.com “It hasn’t sunk in yet that they are closing, I am still in a state of denial”. The establishment will close its doors for a period of renovation and re-open as word has it as the “Hotel Victor Bar and Grill’? Why not, they have an historic sign outside that has character of a much different time in Hoboken. Rumor is that the new place will be more upscale than its down home predecessor Hobson’s choice. Below are some photos from yesterday…   

Hobson's Choice FarewellHobson's Choice FarewellHobson's Choice Farewell

The Hobson’s Choice Pool table, will it stay  with the new establishment?

Hobson's Choice Pool Table

The Hotel Victor Bar and Grill Sign will possibly be renovated with a cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Hotel Victor Bar and Grill

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