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  • Hudson Hall: Jersey City Smokehouse + Beer Hall Coming Soon

    Don’t let smokehouse and beer hall fool you — if you think you’re going to walk into Hudson Hall in Jersey City and find a beer-heavy drink list, slabs of ribs and BBQ, and pretzels, think again. The team behind local favorites like Pilsener Haus in Hoboken and Wurstbar in JC had something else in mind when they began creating Hudson Hall in January 2016. Slated to open soon in the early weeks of September and located at 364 Marin Boulevard, Hudson Hall’s team took their time in opening the space to make sure the details were precise, the menu was on point, the bourbon aged, and the meat cured. We were lucky enough to pop by for a little preview of the space and a quick conversation with GM Kevin — and let’s just say they had us with their atmosphere, but they won us over with their pickles, their bathrooms, and their fridge {we’ll explain later}. Let’s take a look inside.  

    Previously Powerhouse Lounge, the first thing you’ll notice as you walk up to Hudson Hall is how huge this place is. Below, the darker red facade on the left is the deli area, while the distressed brick section is the hall. The tile work in the deli is truly something to marvel at, so make sure to take a look up when you get in there for small bites, take out, and a more intimate bar. When you enter the hall, you’ll be wowed by the beamed ceilings, custom made bar, two large smokers, and of course… the wall.

    The wall, you say? Yes, the wall. When the Hudson Hall team began demo, the walls were white stucco. But, as they cracked through, they literally stuck gold — urban renovation gold. They found incredible exposed brick that was well over 100 years old and in excellent condition. With a few patches and sealing, the colors and aesthetic for Hudson Hall’s decor began to take shape. {BTW, when we asked how old that wall was, we were told in no uncertain terms, “It is OLD old.” Now, that’s old.} The rest of the hall is reminiscent of the turn of the century immigrants and workers who settled in this area. And unlike other places that try to evoke that old world feel, it is overwhelmingly apparent that the designers and builders took extra care to create this space in the way it may have actually looked back in the day. In fact, they even had a blacksmith come in to do the iron work — and apparently, blacksmiths are quite difficult to come by in 2017.

    Read more: Hamilton Pork: The Place for BBQ {and Tacos} in JC

    ^No, they don’t actually serve pickled tongues or sweetbreads

    And if the wall wasn’t cool enough, you’ve got to check out the tables. They were hand built from the floorboards that were ripped up during demo. The woodwork is stuh-ning, but yes, when you eat, you’ll literally be eating off the floor.

    So now, about the bathrooms. Those mirrors on the stall doors were made by the owners, and the details in the decor make this WC so stinkin’ cute {ok, so maybe not the best choice of words, but just wait until you see it}.

    Read more: The Best Charcuterie and Cheeseboards in Hoboken + Jersey City

    This attention to detail and customization carries over into their bar and food menu as well. General Manager Kevin and the Hudson Hall team knew they wanted more than just great beer for this spot. Sure, the beer selection here will be excellently crafty, and will be made up of 60% European and 40% domestic crafts while featuring some local favorites like Departed Soles, NJ Beer Co., and Carton. However, the cocktail menu will be equally impressive — we’re talking two-week-old barrel aged bourbon for a little twist on a classic Manhattan, and a bourbon smash that sounds like heaven. They will also serve an eclectic selection of wines, ciders, and — Shakespeare nerds get ready — mead. {If you don’t know what mead is, it’s like a fermented honey type of spirit, but if you do know what mead is, you’re probably already waiting in line for Hudson Hall to open.}

    ^GM Kevin and his cocktail lineup

    Now, let us be clear here. There is nothing “gimmicky” about this place. Hudson Hall appeals to the craft beer and cocktail crowd without being pretentious or overtly hip. The cocktail list is made of simple, fresh, ingredients with time and expertise poured into each cocktail, and their old school smoking, fermenting, and pickling follows suit. While we didn’t get to taste anything off their menu, we did get a sampling of their house-made pickles, and truth be told, they were good enough that we’re now in line behind the mead drinkers waiting for the doors to open so we can try their dinner offerings.

    Which brings us to the refrigerator. This may not seem like an important element, but as it was explained to us, they only have one freezer — one — and it’s a regular kitchen sized appliance. The reason being, they don’t really need it except for things that need to be frozen — like, you know, ice. Because all their foods are fresh, everything else goes into their walk-in refrigerator, where they have trays full of meats and fish labeled by days to keep track of the curing process. Also in there, of course, is everything they pickle.

    ^Kevin on the left, the huge fridge in the middle and the tiny freezer on the right.

    They are currently working on a special late night menu, and although they’ll be open seven days/week, they won’t be able to serve lunch right away upon opening since the food takes a few days or weeks to be prepared. Talk about fresh. Down the road, they’ll also be having live music from their small stage. Considering the owners clearly know how to run a successful bar, it’s a safe bet that Hudson Hall is going to be packed. We mean, we’re already in line with the mead drinkers, the pickle eaters, and the foodie craft beer enthusiasts. They may have had to push back the opening, but with cooler weather and our cravings for ales and ciders starting to creep in, now is the perfect time to welcome Hudson Hall to the neighborhood.

     

    We’ll keep you posted on an official opening date but check them out on IG at @hudsonhalljc or on their site. Be sure to share your first visit to Hudson Hall with us on Insta @HobokenGirlBlog or #HobokenGirl!

     

     


    Written by:

    Michele is Hoboken Girl’s Managing Editor. Though she’s been a Jersey girl since her mother danced on a chair at a Bruce Springsteen concert while 8-months pregnant, Michele’s life is anything but basic. When not working in cosmetic design and marketing, Michele can be found eating her way around the Mile Square and JC, so it’s a good thing she's also a marathoner and soccer player. Aside from adding to her already extensive collection of boots and throw pillows, Michele enjoys a good beer, a chai tea latte, and chillin’ with her kitties, Bo and Samson.


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