For many years, the almost barnlike space at 192 Glenridge Avenue in downtown Montclair was a pet supply store. Then it stood vacant for quite awhile.
It has now been transformed into a gastropub called The Crosby, and is off to a fast start, judging by some booming weeknight crowds.
Meanwhile, at 718 Bloomfield Avenue, across the street from Whole Foods, the large corner space that long ago held a Turkish restaurant called Lalezar and then stood vacant for years, has finally come back to life as Jack’s Seafood Shack, an offshoot of the popular Jack’s Lobster Shack in Edgewater.
Unlike Jack’s and most Montclair restaurants, the Crosby has a liquor license, which could explain part of the attraction. The interior still looks barnlike, but now in a deliberate way, with a central bar, open floor plan and wood rafters.
The Crosby is the latest project from Gerry Cerrigone and Robert Gaccione, who also own two popular restaurants just a few doors down the block—Fin, a seafood house, and Salute, an Italian eatery. Cerrigone and Gaccione also own a sister Fin in Summit and the two Salugo Italian bistros in Verona and East Hanover.
The Crosby serves American fare and sports craft cocktails and some 40 beers on tap. It will have an outdoor beer garden in season. 973-509-BEER (2337) thecrosbymontclair.com
Jack’s Seafood Shack:
On its website, the new restaurant, which opened last Wednesday, is inviting people to park in the Montclair Art Museum’s large lot across the side street, St Luke’s Place, after museum hours.
The menu seems very close to the one that has made the Edgewater original click. Steamed Maine Lobsters, lobster rolls served cold (Maine style) or warm (Connecticut style), lobster bisque, seafood steampots, salads, sandwiches.
The menus don’t fully overlap. Montclair has a lobster with potato gnocchi entree and a pan-seared scallop entree with charred corn salsa. Edgewater has a truffle oil lobster mac and cheese entree and a Philly cheesesteak, to cite two examples. 973-893-5283, jacksseafoodshacknj.com
Along with tulips and daffodils, new ethnic restaurants are popping up:
Mana Restaurant is open at 324 Seventh Street in Jersey City for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This low-key BYO focuses on traditional Spanish dishes. 201-356-9151
Gaza Ramen & Sushi has opened at 915 Route 517 in Hackettstown. The BYO’s name says it all: The menu focuses on sushi, sushi rolls and sashimi, plus various kinds of ramen bowls. Lunch and dinner served daily. 908-651-5829
Also in Hackettstown, Maria Bonita Mexican is coming soon to a location that once housed Bar 46 at 94 Route 46. 908-269-8564
House Malaysian has opened at 634 Gorge Road in Cliffside Park. The BYO serves classic Malay fare plus a solid list of hot pots. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner. 201-313-8881 housemalaysian.com
Ismay Caribbean will open later this spring at 408 Central Avenue in East Orange. Expect traditional island fare at the BYO. 862-520-1115
Cava Grill, a national chain serving a variety of Mediterranean specialties, is coming this spring to the Outlets at Bergen Town Center, 1 Bergen Town Center in Paramus. It offers a fast-casual, build-your-own-meal style of food and service. cava.com