—Stockton Market in the small-but-charm-packed town of Stockton (just north of Trenton) has been sold. Fans of the market shouldn’t worry too much; the new owner Steven Lau was responsible for bringing The Salt House restaurant to New Hope (Pennsylvania), emphasizing market-fresh, seasonal cuisine. Not that everything will be about preservation: Lau’s nothing if not ambitious (he was in the music industry and opened his own Napa winery prior to attending the Culinary Institute of America). In the very least, Lau will likely seek out new vendors to add the Stockton’s very well-curated roster. Needless to say the late summer/early fall season should be extra exciting (and delicious?) this year. The Stockton Market, 19 Bridge Street, Stockton; 609-608-2824
—After closing the original West Philadelphia location of The Farmacy earlier this year, Ross Scofield and partner Danielle Coulter made the sudden—and surprising—announcement that The Farmacy in Palmyra is now also closings its doors. (Surprising as in our review of the restaurant went up on Tuesday.) Possibly more unexpected is the fact that Scofield essentially offered the restaurant space (and name) up to the best (most community-oriented, fiscally-solid) offer via Facebook on July 7. Per the post, as Scofield cleaned out the restaurant, he realized the place had potential for the right future tenant: “Fully inspected, fire systems tagged, certified for outside seating, new cooking equipment/ refrigeration, POS system, phone/internet, new tables, new flatware, and all.”
Scofield seemed to earnestly desire a new restaurant tenant for the neighborhood and landlords, so much so he was willing to (gratis?) assist a potential new tenant: “I can help write menus and show the new team the ropes.” No word yet on whether that deal was done, though the comments did reveal some of the reasons why both Farmacy locations are now closed. As one saddened regular asked “Why?” Coulter chimed in to explain a two-fold decision: “We had a better opportunity presented to us,” she said, adding, “We have been restaurant owners for [seven] years. We have a 2-year-old. And we want to live a normal life.” That “better opportunity” may refer to another restaurant concept (with a liquor license) the team was reported to be working on in conjunction with Scofield’s parents, also restaurateurs, somewhere in South Jersey. The Farmacy, 307 West Broad Street, Palmyra. 856-543-4411
—Egg Harbor Festhaus & Biergarten has abruptly closed for business. The German restaurant and beer hall made the announcement on July 2 via the restaurant’s Facebook page, saying only “EGG HARBOR FESTHAUS IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. We would like to thank our many customers, friends & employees.” The close seems especially abrupt, as only a few days earlier they’d posted a regular weekend-teaser pretzel/schnitzel/wurst photo array. Not much else is explained, though the closure announcement did end with the promise: “Future news will be posted here.” Egg Harbor Festhaus & Biergarten, 446 St. Louis Avenue, Egg Harbor City; 609-593-6524
—Last week we reported on the midday fire on July 1 that shut down Hobby’s Deli in Newark, but it looks like the iconic restaurant is already—at least partially—getting back to business. In fact, it was only the next day that the delicatessen and restaurant was announcing it would be reopening Wednesday, July 3 with delivery and takeout (the dining room remains closed, pending repairs). Among other small miracles of resilience, a lone bottle of Cutty Sark whiskey survived the blaze (maybe no coincidence, it was a favorite of Hobby’s Deli founder Sam Brummer, whose sons Marc and Michael currently run the show). Stay tuned to their Facebook for developments, or other Scotch-related anomalies. Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant, 2723, 32 Branford Place, Newark; 973-623-0410
In the Works:
—Capital Craft in Green Brook is getting a second location in the former home of the Macaroni Grill in East Hanover. The restaurant—which emphasizes eclectic, creative gastropub food and plenty of craft beer—will seat as many as 300 guests, with two separate bars, 30 craft beer lines, an outdoor space and coal-fired pizza. Considering the scope of the ambition here, and that it’s only the second iteration of a proven successful restaurant concept, the East Hanover location is likely to swing for the hospitality fences (when it does open—likely closer to several week from now—be prepared for a good time). Capital Craft, 138 Route 10, East Hanover; no phone yet.
—Hoboken’s Green Pear Café is expanding; the funky, warm, ultra-neighborhoody restaurant is on the cusp of opening its second location in another neighborhood, nearby Jersey City Heights. The second location will only serve dinner—during the day, the space will be dedicated to Green Pear’s catering company—but considering its location on a booming strip of the Heights neighborhood, it’s likely to start off at full speed when it opens. Dinner menu is still TBD, but you can expect similar mixture of eclectic, seasonal, and hearty (think Suckling Pig Sandwich and Grilled Atlantic Salmon and Vegetables). Green Pear Café, 93 Franklin Street, Jersey City; no phone yet.Click here to leave a comment