Mayor Fulop Partners With Jersey City Restaurant Assoc. To Reinvigorate City’s Restaurant Industry

Outdoor dining restarts as reopening begins after covid-19 on June 15, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Brown

Jersey City’s second annual, Restaurant Week kicks off today.  This afternoon Mayor Steven Fulop announced a partnership with the city’s Restaurant Association to reinvigorate the industry following a two-year, pandemic lull:

Mayor Fulop Announces Latest Effort To Reinvigorate Local Restaurant Industry Post Pandemic Through Partnership With Jersey City Restaurant Association 

Jersey City’s Restaurant Week 2022 to Boost Business through Special Promotions Citywide March 7 – 20

 

JERSEY CITYMayor Steven M. Fulop joins local restaurant owners and the Jersey City Restaurant Association to launch the City’s Second Annual Restaurant Week, creating a platform showcasing eateries citywide to help stimulate business in a post-pandemic environment and ultimately encourage a broader return to normalcy.  This year’s event will take place March 7-20 to attract residents and visitors to experience Jersey City’s uniquely diverse cuisine with in-person dining promotions as well as takeout and contactless delivery.

“It’s encouraging to see so many of our great restaurants from all corners of the City participating in this year’s Restaurant Week as there has never been a more critical time to support our small businesses,” said Mayor Fulop. “Before and during this pandemic, we have continuously worked closely with our restaurant owners to provide the necessary resources to help them survive and thrive. I’m grateful for the Jersey City Restaurant Association’s efforts to provide our restaurants with this platform to not only support our small businesses, but also to help facilitate our community’s safe return to normalcy, whether that includes dining out or picking up takeout on the way home from work.”

“The restaurant industry was hit hard during the pandemic with many businesses forced to close or operate at significantly reduced capacities. In Jersey City, we continued to support our restaurants with the help of the City of Jersey City, Mayor Fulop, JCEDC, Special Improvements Districts, particularly Rachel Sieg, and now with the help of the MiT Communications we are bouncing back. We have some of the best restaurants in Jersey City, and we welcome all to join us on March 7-20 for Jersey City Restaurant Week,” Carmen Mendiola, President of the Jersey City Restaurant Association

In an effort to provide additional support to our local eateries and communities, Jersey City’s parklet program, which launched well before the pandemic, has been a great success in expanding businesses’ capacity and creating sought-after outdoor dining.  In light of the many restaurants that have benefitted from this non-traditional use of public space, the administration’s goal is to encourage more parklets to further open the door of possibilities for how space in the public right of way can be used to benefit the community.

Israel Jiles is the owner of Ani Ramen.  He adds, “Jersey City provided us the opportunity to have external parklet dining outdoors when many of our guests weren’t comfortable indoors.  It allowed us to extend our dining room to have a more ventilated and comfortable environment. It is an extension of Ani Ramen now and our guests love it. We are excited to offer lunch specials at our District Kitchen location during Restaurant Week, as well as 3-course dinners for dine-in guests at our Newark Ave location.”

In addition to expanding capacity, the Fulop Administration also provided financial support to small businesses most in need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In September 2020, Mayor Fulop distributed grants worth upwards of $20,000 each to 600 small business and restaurant owners throughout Jersey City.  Additional grant opportunities followed in November 2021, when the Fulop Administration allocated $1.5 million in COVID-19 Small Business Microenterprise Grants focusing on brick and mortar and mobile businesses with five employees or less.

“Cherry’s Lounge has been a part of the Greenville community for over 40 years. Taking it over after my grandfather has been very fulfilling, and being a staple in my community is something I treasure. The Jersey City Restaurant week is a great way to highlight all of the restaurants that help add to the culture of the City,” said Anthony Sharperson, Owner of Cherry’s Lounge.

Unlike other restaurant weeks, Jersey City’s goal expands beyond showcasing our unparalleled restaurants to also help support the various types of diverse dining options available citywide – many of which have struggled to survive this pandemic – including food trucks, bakeries, taquerias, coffee shops, pizzerias, breweries, ice cream and smoothie shops, light bites, and so many more. Every one of these food businesses require a tremendous amount of dedication and support to be successful.

“We are excited to be participating in restaurant week in Jersey City, a city both my husband and I grew up in. To see how much Jersey City has changed and grown as a city is a blessing,” said Christopher and Mary Stokes, Owners of Poor Man Vegan. “We look forward to growing with Jersey City and look forward to meeting some hungry vegans!”

“Jersey City restaurant week is a great way to try new food and to support local restaurants. Please come out and support the local restaurants especially the restaurants in the HDSID,” Rachel Sieg, Executive Director, Historic District Special Improvement District (HDSID).

From Grove Street to Greenville, the 2022 event has grown from its inaugural year to feature offers from nearly 70 restaurants throughout Jersey City.  With more restaurants participating this year and more options to choose from, the Restaurant Association has established a new interactive website to list all participants as well as special promotions and protocols: jcrestaurantweek.com.  This year, diners can discover the expansive array of cuisine available in the nation’s most diverse city, with online search options by neighborhood, cuisine style, etc. QR codes will also be available to connect customers to offers and opportunities to dine locally.

“Opening up a shop in Jersey City has been such an experience. People here are a close-knit community and I’m lucky to be a part of it. Seeing my business grow here and the faces of the people of the community when they come in and get excited for something healthy makes me so humbled and honored,” said  Christina Galanos, owner of Cali Shakes.  “I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like this summer, because I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome!”

Special thanks to the Jersey City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New Jersey Department of Tourism, the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District, and the Central Avenue Special Improvement District. 

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About Jersey City Restaurant Week

Jersey City Restaurant Week is born of the passion of Carmen Mendiola, founder of the Jersey City Restaurant Association and a fierce advocate for JC and it’s restaurant owners, Rachel Sieg, Director of the HDSID and a dedicated architect of Downtown JC’s vibrant event scene with the goal of driving business and new visitors and residents to Jersey City. Melanie Rudin of MiT Communications for website creation and marketing communications for the event.