Where to Drink Right Now: Antique Bar & Bakery
On Superbowl Sunday this year, Hobokenites lined up for what has been a quiet tradition in this little town: Picking up bread from the Antique Bakery. For years people trooped over to 122 Willow Avenue to pick up bread and other baked goods that just had a mysterious extra something. For me, it’s tradition to pick up some sausage and pepperoni bread from Antique to distribute at Superbowl parties like some sort of strange football- and sausage-related Santa Claus.Last year, of course, everyone went into a bit of a panic when Antique Bakery closed down. But the rumors are true: It’s back, and it’s all-new.
The Jersey City Connection
The new spot has been revised as The Antique Bar and Bakery, and is now a full-service restaurant. Although the old oven is still there (and still in use), the main baking is now taking place in Jersey City, with everything being brought over on a daily basis. Don’t worry, Ivan Rodriguez is still the baker for Antique. And if you’re wondering if the move to Jersey City has removed the special ‛something’ that Antique’s bread always had, don’t worry. Based on my Pepperoni Bread experience, that ‛something’ is still there.The new dinner spot designed by Chef Paul Gerard had a soft opening over the weekend, and is up and open for business as of Monday, February 7, 2017. You can book a reservation using Open Table or by calling 201-683-7029, and check out the brand-new menu created by Gerard, featuring Pumpkin Rice Balls, Bucatini, a Dirty Rib-Eye, and plenty of dishes and sides that take inspiration from—and come straight out of—the old coal oven. The menu is designed to read like a film script, which is both hilariously entertaining (complete with handwritten notes in the margins) and really, really tempting.[caption id="attachment_6107" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
Antique Bar and Bakery New Interior[/caption]
On Superbowl Sunday, while I waited in line to pick up my order, I snapped a few photos and soaked in the atmosphere. The place was crawling with curious folks who were excited to see this extension of Hoboken history.[caption id="attachment_6108" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
The oven/dining area.[/caption]The interior is true to the history of the place, with exposed, coal-stained brick walls and retro-cool furnishings that guarantee no two tables look quite the same, and creative seating arrangements are encouraged. The bar itself is small but tightly-packed and efficient, and the place is bigger than you might imagine—and also more intimate.[caption id="attachment_6109" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
Yes, Virginia, there IS a bar at the Antique Bakery[/caption]Now, I haven’t had the chance to tip a few here, but I’m encouraged by the bar I saw, which seemed to be stocked properly, and the atmosphere I felt. This looks like it’s going to be a fantastic place to enjoy a cocktail, either while you’re waiting for a table for dinner, or just as a stop-in on the way home after work. Personally, I’m looking forward to it.