Where to Drink Right Now: The Cadillac Lounge

Jun 11, 2015 12:00 AM

Those of us who recall Oddfellows Rest recall it fondly; the Louisiana Bar had a nice vibe and a unique menu and ambiance for Hoboken. While it could get super crowded just like all the other bars nears the PATH, especially on weekends, I actually always liked hitting Oddfellows on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the place would be more or less empty.

Of course, Oddfellows closed about two years ago, and was replaced by The Cadillac Cantina. I had the opportunity to hang out there recently, and it’s a fun place—their motto is “Everyone Dies, but Not Everyone Lives,” which sort of perfectly captures the vibe.

The Basics

The renovation done to the old Oddfellows space is very successful; if you know the old spot you can see how it used to be laid out, and if you recall it was kind of a dark, moody bar (one of the things I liked about it) with a dining room on the other side. The Cadillac has opened up the whole front of the bar with French doors, so on nice days they can have the indoor and outdoor areas as one continuous space. This has transformed the whole feel of the place into a bright, airy spot perfect for meeting friends and hanging out.

The layout has been reversed—the main bar area (there are 3 total) is where the dining room used to be, and vice versa. The bars are big and well-stocked, and their bartenders actually know how to make cocktails. They have a lot of Happy Hour specials, too, so it’s a perfect spot for an after work drink, a weekend revel, or a quiet meet-up with some friends.

The Service

The Cadillac Cantina has a very casual, relaxed vibe. Even on weekend evenings you’re not going to get turned away because of casual clothes, and everyone who works there seems to have been hired for their positive attitude—everyone is super friendly. And the service is top-notch, with orders coming quickly and as specified, with frequent check-ins from the bartender or wait staff. We even spot-tested the bartender with a request that stumps more bartenders than you might think: A simple request for a wine recommendation. Most Hoboken bars like the Cadillac Cantina have a pretty small wine list, which is understandable, so being asked to recommend a wine might seem silly, but it’s a good test of whether a bartender actually knows what they’re doing, and Cadillac’s bartenders did great: They took the request seriously and did their best with the limited offerings.

The food is also excellent. The guacamole ordered at the bar was absolutely delicious and first-rate, and the rest of the menu proved to be equally well-made and delicious. Is it the most authentic Mexican fare you’ll ever have? Likely not. But it’s good food, served up hot, and will definitely cap off an evening with friends very nicely.

All in all, The Cadillac Cantina made me forget all about Oddfellows Rest. What do you think? Have you been there, or will you check it out soon?

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