Franklin Social Fully Open for Business in Jersey City

Plus: One vegan spot opens and another one closes.

Photo courtesy of Franklin Social

Open:

—Skopos Hospitality, otherwise known as the team behind the swimmingly successful Cowan’s Public, the Barrow House, and the Vanguard, recently opened their latest spot, a restaurant and craft cocktail den called Franklin Social in Jersey City. The space participated in the Miracle on Mercer “Miracle Bar” Christmas pop-up in December, but now they’re up and running sans Santa mugs. Per the name, the space does, yes, celebrate Ben Franklin and early Americana, albeit with a demure nightlife touch. And while there is some warm rusticity (apt for a place calling itself a “modern American tavern”), don’t let any patriotic preoccupations mislead you: the dinner menu is deftly modern. The drinks menu is inspired by “Colonial drinking culture,” i.e. cocktails include a tea-infused reposado tequila, a prevalence of rum and have names like Resolution, Frugality, Order, even Temperance (which does contain booze). The beer and wine lists include Colonial touches like a prevalence of ciders on the beer list and a Madeira selection on the tidy but appropriately France-leaning wine list (Franklin loved France). There’s even an amber ale on the beer list that’s been infused with molasses and spruce, “based off of Ben Franklin’s recipe.” They do brunch, FYI, but this is Jersey City, so be prepared to wait. Franklin Social, 292 Barrow Street, Jersey City; 201-413-1300

—Nicole Shaw-Provillion didn’t plan on mastering the art of the chimney cake, but when her husband’s job took her family to Budapest in Hungary, she ended up becoming a chimney cake specialist. When it came time to return home, Shaw-Provillion started making chimney cakes stateside, catering extensively with her business Kurly Kurtosh. And this weekend, Shaw-Provillion celebrates the opening of her first brick-and-mortar space inside Planted Eats on Essex Street in Hackensack. For those unacquainted with chimney cakes, they’re tube- (or chimney-) shaped spirals of crispy-soft dough that are rolled in sugar, baked on a spit-like contraption, and intermittently brushed with melted butter. They’re sweet, both tender and crisp, and at Kurly Kurtosh, they’ll be flavored with everything from the classic caramelized sugar to a sweet, crunchy walnut coating to this lovely little raspberry and Nutella creation. They’ll be hosting a Grand Opening on Saturday, January 25, and the business will be open Friday through Sunday, from noon to 6pm, or until sold out. Kurly Kurtosh, 355 Essex Street, Hackensack; 201-704-6353

—A small outfit called Vegans of Seitan is now peddling its meat-free meals from inside of the El Paso Tex Mex in Cranford (they’ll host a free “Grand Opening” on Saturday). No shock, as it’s a business within another small business, Vegans of Seitan operates with a relatively tiny menu—handwritten options recently included a pulled pork (jackfruit) burrito, Sloppy Joe, and Italian hot dogs (we’re not sure of the meat substitute here); the online menu includes Philly cheesesteak sliders made with the eponymous seitan (which, FYI gluten-intolerant, is made entirely of hydrated wheat gluten) and a loaded caked potato with vegan cheddar, broccoli and onions. Nothing is priced over $15 (for their Impossible burger), and most items cost less. The spot is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5—10pm. Vegans of Seitan, inside El Paso Tex Mex, 669 Raritan Road, Cranford; 732-877-0349

Closed:

—As one vegan spot opens, another closes. Mundo Vegan on Church Street in Montclair recently closed down operations. The restaurant, which opened in early 2014, announced the closure in a Facebook post that attributed the closure largely to the end of their lease at the restaurant space. Also according to that post, Mundo Vegan will continue existence as a vegan food brand, including classes, meal prep and consulting, and catering. Customers are encouraged to check their Facebook or Instagram page for updates and info on any of the above. Mundo Vegan, 20 Church Street, Montclair; 973-744-5503

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