El Gordo Peruvian Eatery Coming to Union in August

Plus: Other openings in Toms River, Hoboken, Jersey City and beyond.

Ceviche at El Gordo. Photo courtesy of El Gordo

—We’ve been big fans of El Gordo in Passaic (one of our 7 Great Peruvian Restaurants in New Jersey), so we’re happy to hear the family-run restaurant is about to open another location in Union Township. Run by the Armero family, El Gordo, which has locations in Passaic and Jersey City, first opened in 1996. The restaurant’s menu features a ton of Peruvian flavor, including Chinese inflection in dishes like the iconic Lomo Saltado, creamy Aji de Gallina, Chaufa “El Gordo,” or Fish and Shrimp over Peruvian Fried Rice. The new location is set to open mid-August, with Covid-era-friendly operations up and running. El Gordo Peruvian Eatery, 2179 Morris Avenue, Union; no phone yet.

—A dog-friendly and Covid-era ready bar called the Backyard Bar is slated to open in the old location of the Nag’s Head Pub on First Street in Hoboken. Considering Nag’s Head’s two decades of serving locals, the presumably neighborhood-friendly Backyard Bar has a lot to live up to. They plan on doing so with an emphasis on local product, including beer, and aforementioned dog friendliness. There’s not an opening date slated just yet—Nag’s Head closed down in June—but we’re guessing the Hudson County family and developers behind the bar will want to take advantage of the weather while it’s still summer. The Backyard Bar, 359 First Street, Hoboken; no phone yet.

Burger 25 in Toms River is set to open a bigger location in the former home of Wolfie’s Deli on August 1. The restaurant owners had planned on relocating along Route 37 earlier this year, sometime in spring, but were set back by the coronavirus pandemic. The new location not only has more parking than the previous spot, but can accommodate up to 80 guests in the outdoor dining set-up. Burger 25, 199 Route 37, Toms River; no phone yet.

—If you don’t know the Bubbakoos world and you live anywhere near Lincoln Park, good news—there’s a skater vibe burrito spot coming to your town. The chain, which began in Point Pleasant, does build-your-own burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and nachos (among other things), with fairly expansive options for alternative diets (think Keto, vegan, gluten-free—they even do a Vegetarian Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower). No exact word on an opening date. Once it’s open don’t forget to download their new App. Bubbakoos Burritos, Lincoln Park; no phone yet.

—Hoboken’s Garden State Farmers Market has relocated to the 14th Street Viaduct, nicknaming the operation the “Uptown Farmers Market,” which will be in operation every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. The announcement came in late May, after some speculation and even a presumably permanent closure of all operations. The uptown space, between Grand and Adams Streets, offers better social distancing (so don’t forget your mask). The market operates through October of this year. Uptown Farms Market, 14th Street Viaduct, Hoboken.

—Not quite a restaurant, but Canopy by Hilton is opening a hotel in Jersey City. Located in the city’s Arts District, the hotel is slated to open mid-August (they’re taking reservations for August 12 onward) and they will have a dining establishment and a bar. In fact, Canopy locations do local wine, beer, and spirits tastings—not to mention some nice-looking cocktails—and they seem to emphasize in-house dining, so expect to hear more about the Jersey City location as they open up. They’re also big into repping local product, including food and drink, and even local art, and in Jersey City all three abound. Canopy by Hilton, 159 Morgon Street, Jersey City; 201-254-4664

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