Quick Bite

Cowan’s Public

After John Cowan closed his venerable Nutley Pub in 2014 brothers Tom and Dean Maroulakos resurrected it and named it for its founder.

Cuban sandwich on a pretzel roll.
Cuban sandwich on a pretzel roll.
Photo by Ken Schlager

Cowan’s Public
Nutley
229 Centre Street
973-542-8151

Open: Dinner, nightly; brunch, Sat-Sun

Price: $$

Style: Speakeasy-inspired two-room tavern with artfully distressed surfaces, reclaimed oak flooring, and an old-fashioned, marble-topped bar.

The Scoop: After John Cowan closed his venerable Nutley Pub in 2014, brothers Tom and Dean Maroulakos resurrected it in 2015 and named it for Cowan, who still owns the building. Tom Maroulakos, a former brewer at High Point Brewing in Butler, personally selects the rotating 15 craft beers on tap. The brothers also operate Barrow House, a new restaurant in Clifton.

The Menu: There are 12 seasonal cocktails (including one barrel aged). Standout apps (all generous) include seared brussels sprouts with mustard, shallots and apple-cider vinegar; and tacos, including pulled pork with frizzled onions and hot sauce from Hank Sauce in Sea Isle City. Mains are well-stuffed sandwiches, from a tasty Cuban sandwich on pretzel roll (pictured) to a cheeseburger on brioche. The Harvest Salad, on grilled romaine, includes barley, pumpkin seeds, beets, maple goat cheese and pickled red onion in cayenne-citrus vinaigrette.

Heads Up: Reservations only for parties of six or more. The 10 dining room tables can fill quickly. On-street parking is plentiful and free.—Ken Schlager

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What's a Quick Bite? Short takes on casual, affordable dining.

Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
    American
  • Ambience:
    Speakeasy-inspired two-room tavern with artfully distressed surfaces, reclaimed oak flooring, and an old-fashioned, marble-topped bar.

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