GP’s Restaurant in Jersey City to Close

Plus: More openings and closings in Hoboken, Woodbridge, Cherry Hill and beyond.

Photo courtesy of GP's Restaurant & Bar


–After eight years in business, owner George Politis’s GP’s Restaurant & Bar is closing its Hamilton Park location in Jersey City. The restaurant—”a classic Italian-American red sauce joint,” in Politis’s words, will serve its last meals on January 5 (FYI, they plan on “going out with a BANG” for New Year’s Eve). They’ll be honoring all GP’s gift cards at their Guttenberg location and will continue to cater in the Jersey City area.  Politis, 48,

“The main reason we’re closing Hamilton Park,” Politis told us, “is to concentrate on our original Guttenberg location, our crown jewel, and give it a little polishing. It’s 43 years old. We could have kept both going, but not at the standards we want. Hamilton Park deserves someone’s full attention. We had a great beginning, middle and end, and now its somebody else’s turn.”

Last Friday, Mike Gondevas, owner of two restaurants just off Hamilton Park—Hamilton Inn and Hamilton Pork, the latter a barbecue spot—signed a deal to open a new Italian restaurant this spring in the GP’s space. “We love the neighborhood,” says Gondevas. “We’ll keep it Italian, but give it a new name and do our own take, and also add pizza.”

GP’s Restaurant & Bar, 236 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City; 201-418-8800


Que Ricas recently opened its doors in Westmont. The restaurant is a family business: the brainchild of chef Sahar Soleymani and her father Dar, with their shared experience and love of food anchoring a menu grounded in the flavors of Venezuelan street food. Empanadas and especially arepas are the name of the game at Que Ricas, the latter being a Venezuelan specialty and a food that anyone who is drawn to delicious meat-in-carbohydrate-pocket eating should get to know. Que Ricas has many offerings on the Arepa Lab section of its menu, including Venezuelan favorite here nicknamed the “Curvy Queen,” with shredded chicken with avocado salad and smoked gouda. There’s also a Jersey homage with pork roll, fried egg, and cotija and the Dario, a vegan arepa with falafel, sweet pepper cabbage slaw, and pico de gallo (all arepas are made with a gluten-free corn-based dough). Per their December 18 Grand Opening announcement, keto-friendly, vegan-friendly, even earth-friendly with biodegradable takeout containers (which you’ll need—it’s a small space, with just 16 seats). Que Ricas, 46 Haddon Avenue, Westmont; 856-858-8500

–As of just over a week ago, New Jersey got its third location of Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant. The new location—in Metuchen—follows locations in Wayne and Toms River (the near 40 year-old chain has 26 locations all over the Northeast). The menu is definitely a bit more interesting (and the food looks far fresher) than your average chain restaurant, and per the name, Margaritas are made to taste fresher, with fresh citrus juices. Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, 53 Route 1, Woodbridge; 732-549-0444


–Amici Restaurant in Cherry Hill is opening a second location in none other than the former home of La Campagna, or more recently, Denim American Bistro. David Murray moved his restaurant from Cherry Hill to Haddonfield in October (renaming it Denim BYOB), and the vacant, ample space on Kresson Road finally has a new owner. The move will take a few months, per Amici’s Facebook post announcement, meaning the original location at 306 Kresson Road will be open for all the holiday business you can bring its way (including a $55 New Year’s Eve prix fixe). After the move, chef and owner Alex Duka will keep the original space for catering. Amici, 306 Kresson Road, Cherry Hill; 856-354-1500

Closing and Opening:  

—The first of Maricel Presilla’s Hoboken restaurants, Zafra, closed down operations about a month ago. The Cuban-born Presilla is better known for Cucharamama, for which she earned a James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award and repeat appearances on New Jersey Monthly’s Top 25 and later Top 30 annual lists. (Presilla opened both restaurants with partner Clara Chaumont). Fans of Latin cuisine in the neighborhood can rest easy: a new restaurant (though with no affiliation to Presilla) has opened in the space. Chango Kitchen is doing its part to fill the Presilla-sized hole in Hoboken hearts with a healthy menu of Cuban and other pan-Latin dishes (Tinga, Mofongo, Patatas Bravas, Tamales, etc.). Chango Kitchen, 301 Willow Avenue, Hoboken; 201-610-9801

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