Spring is Blooming with Openings

New restaurants in Jersey City, Cape May and Bloomfield.

All parts of New Jersey are home to new restaurants these days, and not all of them are of the traditional sort—what with pop-up-style eateries and newfangled food halls showing up in locales expected and unexpected.

First up, though, something in the classic mode: Mayer’s Bar & Restaurant, Route 109 at Third Avenue in Cape May.

Born of the old Mayer’s Tavern, it is open at this early point of the season for dinner Thursday through Sunday. The space has been top-to-bottom renovated by restaurateur Alex Lauderman. If that name rings a bell, it’s because the Lauderman family owns the legendary Lobster House in Cape May.

Mayer’s is offering lots of seafood options and local produce. Yes, the menu also features a raw bar, burgers and salads, and the cocktail list will be ever-changing. Phone: 609-884-8980.


The Lunch Box, a warm-weather pop-up in Roosevelt Plaza Park (520 Market Street) in downtown Camden, opened this week. Built out of a recycled shipping container and run by the nonprofit Cathedral Kitchen, it’s the work of the Cooper Ferry Partnership.

The Lunch Box houses the CK Cafe, and will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm, and Respond Bakery, which will serve forth the same days of the week, but from 9 am to 2 pm.

The idea is to keep the pop-up open till early fall—weather permitting—and to serve the local community. But early positive reports about the soups, salads and sandwiches, not to mention the bakery’s Camden Cookies, are drawing diners from outside the city’s limits.

Also now open is Luna Restaurant & Bar, at 279 Grove Street in Jersey City.

The so-called sibling to Paisano’s in Rutherford is more like a fourth cousin twice removed: Luna has a very different menu that sports world of styles and flavors, not just Italian. There’s Cajun calamari, empanadas, chorizo risotto cakes and espresso short ribs on the globally influenced menu.

Housed in a refurbished bank building, Luna serves modern cocktails and is open daily, except Sunday, for lunch and dinner. 201-333-0032.


Opening soon elsewhere in Jersey City is OBOX Sushi, which will join other eateries at the Newport Centre dining pavilion, 30 Wall Drive West.

OBOX will serve sushi, rolls, poke, dumplings and other Japanese/Asian specialties. Target opening date is Monday, May 21. Phone: 201-626-6269.


Recently opened:

* Stage Five, 441 Main Street in East Orange. American; BYO. Lunch and dinner. 862-233-7901.

* Casa del Taco, 671 Palisade Avenue in Cliffside Park. Mexican; BYO. Lunch and dinner. 201-941-0888.

* Ironhorse Cafe, 25 Watessing Avenue in Bloomfield. American; BYO, Breakfast, lunch and dinner. 973-577-1979; ironhorsecafe.com.

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