Openings: Spotlight on Somerville

A smoothie tiki bar, specialty salads, noodle bowls and more.

Craig Polignano, the celebrated chef now at the helm of culinary operations at Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, said it right here in late December: Somerville is “an up-and-coming town.”

The chef was talking about the restaurant scene in the county seat of Somerset, and he’s spot-on right: There’s a lot happening right now in Somerville—and even more will be happening in the coming year.

Towards the end of 2017, a Thai restaurant called Kuay Tiew Noodles & More opened at 42 West Main Street in Somerville, with a roster of both traditional dishes and spins on the classics. However, during one of the cold-wave weather events New Jersey experienced early in January, a burst pipe forced Kuay Tiew to close; it took a few weeks to repair the damage to the new eatery. On Monday, the folks at Kuay Tiew reported the BYO is again open and serving both lunch and dinner daily except Sundays. 908-393-9555;

Opening tomorrow (Friday, February 2) is The Salad House, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in customized and signature salads located at 58 West Main Street in Somerville. It’s a franchise owned by David Delinko, who aims to put twists on old-time tosses with headliners that include “Greek Out,” “Eat Cobb” and “Stay Classy Caesar.” 908-203-5252;

Also new in the downtown district is Fresh Tiki Bar, a cafe and juice bar specializing in smoothy bowls, fresh-fruit drinks and other juices at 15C Division Street Plaza. Fresh Tiki originally opened with walk-up service and outdoor dining, but recently expanded and now sports an indoor cafe.  Find it on Facebook as Fresh Tiki Bar.

Coming this spring are the Village Brewing Company, Somerset County’s first brewpub, which will serve its own microbrews alongside modern American fare at 34 West Main Street.

Grumpy Bobas, a bubble tea cafe featuring custom fruit and milk teas, will lean organic and be headquartered at 72 West Main Street.Says Grumpy Bobas owner Yanshu Liu: “We’re…excited to bring our one-of-a-kind bubble teas to Somerville. (It’s) such an eclectic downtown with so many small, independent businesses offering unique products and experiences. We think we’ll fit right in.” and Grumpy Bobas is on Facebook.

What’s happening elsewhere?
If you’re a fan of the ages-old Antique Bar & Bakery on Willow Street in Hoboken, which rebooted in late 2016 with a menu that quickly became locally loved, get ready for more, more, more AB&B in the city. The folks behind the scenes here, including owner Joseph Costello, are working on another Antique Bar & Bakery, this one slated for the old Penthouse M space in the Riverside Historical Plaza Building on Newark Street. We hear it will offer a members-only club.

PR & Inces, an Asian restaurant, has opened at 80 Wayne Street in Jersey City. BYO. 201-737-4911.

Wahoo’s Tacos & More, a chain that focuses on Mexican-inspired seafood preparations, is looking to open in the Marketplace in Middletown, a shopping center at 1157 Route 35 in Middletown. It would serve both lunch and dinner, sport a bar and be the first location for the national chain in the Garden State.

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