Restaurant Openings to Look Forward To

The pandemic isn't keeping these spots in Jersey City, Lakewood, Piscataway and Mount Laurel from eyeing future opening dates.

The old Talde space in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of GRID Real Estate

Hudson Hound is bringing its refreshingly modern take on the Irish pub experience to Jersey City this fall (think local ingredients, craft beer). The restaurant/bar will be taking over the space formerly occupied by Talde, which closed last August. There’s no telling at the moment how much (if any) local Jersey beer they’ll feature on the draft list, but we’re guessing some Garden State suds make it into the taps. The food menu is as extensive as the drinks, with some nice Irish influence, e.g. you can get your Butternut Squash Soup fix this fall with their Housemade Soda Bread with Kerrygold Butter (or opt for the Smokies, which is actually Smoked Haddock with Crème Fraiche, Dubliner Cheddar, and a Cheddar Cheese Scone, because my, it’s been a long year). No word yet on exact opening date but stay tuned to Hudson Hound’s social media for updates. Hudson Hound, 8 Erie Street, Jersey City; no phone yet.

—You might know Fabio Viviani as the unflappable smiling face on season 5 of “Top Chef.” What you may not know is he’s the chef behind a new regional chain, Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken, a southern-style fried chicken sandwich fast food concept meant to rival recent Popeye’s and Chik-fil-A success. The restaurant had previously been branded “Dixie’s Southern Kissed” but job listings look like they’ve swapped over to Colbie’s. They’re planning locations in Delaware as well as Mount Laurel, though they’re still a ways out from opening their doors. Viviani had previously helped restaurant group behind Colbie’s develop Chuck Lager’s in Wilmington. Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken, Mount Laurel; no phone yet.

—If Jersey stays on a healthy kick, it has one more spot to fill up on the good stuff: after some delay, popular salad chain Sweetgreen is opening soon in Jersey City, it’s first New Jersey location. Not only are they stepping up to Covid-19 times with in-house measures (assuring guests they’ll be “strictly following all state-mandated risk and safety guidelines”) but they’re actually actively donating meals to hospital workers through the Sweetgreen Impact Outpost Fund (so far they’ve donated 100,000 meals). Sweetgreen, 90 Hudson Street, Jersey City; no phone yet.

Char’Q, a new fine dining restaurant concept, is coming to Lakewood. They’re still in the hiring process, but veteran Louis Abramson will be helming the operation as chef, with an emphasis on classic charcuterie with modern execution and Kosher preparation practices. 2 Augusta Boulevard, Lakewood; no phone yet.

The Food Architects Catering in Piscataway is hiring staff for a new retail space to open in September. They recently posted a picture of the facade on Instagram. Run by Kurt Harmon and Anthony Reis, both of them graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, Food Architects has won New Jersey Middlesex County “Best of the Best” in catering in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The retail space will feature abundant to-go food items (like a greatest-hits of their catering menu), as well as a full-blown “pizza concept” with fun takes on gourmet pizza like Southern Style Pulled Pork Pizza with Crispy Fried Onions. There’s no exact date yet but keep an eye on their fairly active social media for news. The Food Architects, Piscataway; no phone yet.

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