Opened in 2013, Mills Tavern has gotten lost a bit in the crowded bar scene in Hoboken. In part this is because the place has a low-key vibe, and in part it’s because the place is located a block away from 1-Republik, which like an enormous black hole pulls everyone in towards it. Even on days when most places are half-empty, there’s always a crowd at 1-Republik (for reasons).
Still, Mills Tavern deserves more attention. The place does get crowded on weekend evenings, of course, often with a line stretching out the door. But I’ve also stopped off there during the week or on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and the place can be as charming and relaxed as it can be crowded and noisy.
One thing that’s great about Mills Tavern during the nice weather is the wide-open feel of it, blurring the line between the outside and inside. On a warm day with a breeze it’s an awesome place to set up shop for a few beers and a snack.
The bar’s huge, and they serve a large variety of beers—including my current favorite, Fat Tire (yes, yes, I know I’m late to the Fat Tire party, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable). The space is big enough to be comfortable even when there’s a huge crowd, and on a slow Sunday afternoon it’s the perfect spot to have a conversation instead of a shouting match. They also offer a lot of craft beers from around the country, including several from New Jersey—including Hoboken’s own 902 Brewing (their awesome Black Dynomite IPA).
Mills Tavern doesn’t pretend to be a gastropub; their menu has a focus on traditional bar fare like burgers, nachos, and wings. None of it is fancy, but if you’re having a few drinks and don’t feel like decamping for another spot, it’s certainly going to do the trick. Their wings get rave reviews, and you can get an all-you-can-eat deal on them for $10 on Monday nights, so give that a try next time you’re walking down Washington Street feeling hungry.
All in all, Mills Tavern is solid, bigger than you think based on the street profile, and concentrates on the fundamentals rather than the televisions, gimmicks, and other distractions you’ll find in some other bars. If you’re looking for a comfortable place to have a few interesting beers with interesting people, head to 125 Washington Street and give Mills a chance.