Noted Chef David Drake Now in Jersey City

Leaves Lake Hopatcong for Light Horse Tavern

Light Horse Tavern in Jersey City. Photo: Laura Moss

Chef David Drake, who we have followed since he opened the Frog & the Peach in New Brunswick, has left Alice’s Restaurant in Lake Hopatcong, where he was executive chef. He is already at work as the new executive chef of Light Horse Tavern, a popular spot in a historic building in downtown Jersey City, near the Hudson River.

It’s nice to be working with David,” says Light Horse owner Bill Gray. “We are very excited to have him join our team.”

The Light Horse has a history of good food and notable chefs, going back to Ian Kapitan, who worked at the Light Horse after jump-starting the Jersey City restaurant renaissance more than a decade ago at Marco & Pepe across from City Hall.

Drake has quite a history himself. He worked at the Stage House Inn in Scotch Plains, then opened Restaurant David Drake in Rahway, which for awhile was one of the best restaurants in New Jersey. He also was the opening chef of Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick before taking the post at Alice’s in 2009.

Drake was the first chef to have two restaurants simultaneously  on NJM’s Top 25: Restaurant David Drake and Daryl. That feat was later matched by Zod Arifai, who had Blu in Montclair and, yes, Daryl in New Brunswick on the Top 25 one year. Something about Daryl–things haven’t gone well there for any chef. The restaurant has been closed for awhile.

In his new post, Drake will oversee the opening of another restaurant from the owner of Light Horse. To be called Greene Hook, it is located at 70 Greene Street in Jersey City, in the area known as Paulus Hook.

Gray describes it as “a full service bar and restaurant with a focus on affordable modern American food, craft beer, and specialty cocktails.”

Green Hook is expected to open in mid- to late June.

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