Cheech’s Own Coffee Company Opens in Somerville

Plus: Other openings and closings in Bradley Beach, Branchburg, Parsippany, Cherry Hill and beyond.

*Cheech’s Own Coffee Company quietly opened the doors of its first brick-and-mortar space in Somerville with the help of some Hondurian cold brew, an Instagram-based scavenger hunt, and preview party on August 31. Now the doors of 37 West Main are finally open to the public from 6 AM to 11 PM, with cold brew (including nitro and cold brew teas), Locktown Farms kombucha, specialty drinks, and baked goodies. Cheech’s Own Coffee Company, 37 West Main Street, Somerville; 908-393-1468

*Soy cutlets, tofu, seitan, and lots of vegetables fill out the menu at Luna Verde Vegan Mexican Restaurant in Bradley Beach. Opened in late July, Luna offers Mexican standards like tacos, burritos, huaraches, even ceviche with protein substitutes and vegan cheese (store-bought as of this writing, though the tortillas and salsas are all house-made). Luna Verde, 400 Main Street, Bradley Beach; 732-361-8180

*Family-founded Indian chain Honest Restaurant has locations everywhere from Thailand to Georgia, and (now) its third in New Jersey.  The new location in Parsippany (the other two are in Jersey City and Edison) focuses on South Indian, Indo-Chinese, Punjabi, and street foods. Uttapam, dosa, pani puri, gulab jamun, chat, paneer—the menu is long, but not daunting. Honest Restaurant, 794 Route 46 West, Parsippany; 973-396-8070

In the Works:

*Just down the road from Cheech’s you’ll find Village Brewing Company, which as of September 1, is still fairly deep in construction but set to open in the fall. Self-billed as an “upscale brewpub,” Village should have a menu to go with their (at least) three beers on tap: a stout, a hoppy pale ale, and a red ale brewed with rye malt. Village Brewing Company, 34 West Main Street, Somerville; 908-797-7959

*Formerly called Mr. Crabby’s Seafood House & Sports Bar, is now Mr. Crabby’s Craft Kitchen and Bar, helmed by newly appointed executive chef Eric LeVine. The interior has been spruced up, complete with a chef’s table for private dining, but the vibe will stay casual. Raw bar staples and fresh seafood are also going are staying put, but LeVine, a James Beard outstanding chef nominee who also ran Morris Tap & Grill in Randolph and Paragon Tap & Table in Clark, will highlight local, seasonal dishes with global influences. Menu changes roll out officially on September 24. Mr. Crabby’s Craft Kitchen and Bar, 399 Route 10 East, Randolph; 973-343-7688

*The Farmhouse in Cherry Hill didn’t last long past its May 2017 opening, but David Murray, the chef who helped open it, is returning to turn the space into Denim American Bistro. Murray plans to avoid the pitfalls that befell The Farmhouse by removing 35 of the historic building’s 110 seats (creating a more manageable, intimate service), lowering the cost of the prix fixe, and structuring a quarterly seasonal menu. Expect an opening in early October. Denim American Bistro, 1442 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill; no phone yet.

*Pho Today has one other location in South Plainfield, and this October they plan on opening a second in Fort Lee. The specialty of the house will, of course, be pho, but you’ll also find varieties of Com Tam (rice plate), rice noodle soup, and Vietnamese Bun. Bubble and boba teas, avocado shakes, and Vietnamese iced coffee will also be on offer. Pho Today. 2151 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee; 201-585-8818

Closed:

*Nik’s 202 – Outpost BBQ on Route 22 in Branchburg (near the Bridgewater border) closed over the summer. The sign outside the restaurant originally suggested seasonal renovations, but it looks like Nik’s 202 has moved and fully converted to Stax All Day Café. A new concept, Wild Burger, will be taking over the space on Route 22. Nik’s 202 – Outpost BBQ, 3205 Route 22, Branchburg.

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