It is often said wistfully that one cannot go home again. That is especially true if there is no building left standing to go home again to see. But even if you do go home again, it can never be as it once was when you knew it before. The immutable laws of change dictate that outcome.
After 81 years of serving the good people of Hoboken at the luncheonette, the Schnackenberg family of Dorothy and Mark Novak have passed on the reins of management to the best possible team to take over the task – Joyce and Eugene Flynn of the celebrated Amanda’s and Elysian Cafe fame. And to what better hands to pass the torch!
When I first saw the article in the Aug. 26 issue of this paper about plans to lease and renovate Schnackenberg’s, I only thought of one person to do the job and when I was eating my lunch at the counter that weekend, I showed the paper to Dorothy and said, “I hope this is who I think it is!” And she smiled knowingly. Through the years I had hoped and prayed that Joyce and Eugene would eventually take over the luncheonette because I knew that while nothing in life goes on forever, they could keep it alive and strong.
On Sept. 15, I went to the final day that Dorothy and Mark were serving the customers. A variety of the people were there who grew up in Hoboken or who moved into town years ago who had made Schnackenberg’s a favorite haunt. It has been my favorite place in town because you could just sit and relax and read the paper at the counter or sit privately in a booth. One was never in a hurry and I loved to hear the conversations that took place in there about Hoboken and its residents. The ambience was something I craved and found a peaceful respite from the fast-paced outside world.
So I say to everyone, don’t worry. Schnackenberg’s will reopen and you will not be disappointed. You will be able to go home again and sit at the counter and take it easy. The Flynns respect the past and will make sure that you will still find a fabulous place to eat lunch, have a cup of coffee or some ice cream, and buy the wonderful homemade chocolate and the bunnies made in the antique molds for Easter.
Many businesses shutter their doors because they have no one to make sure that they survive in the future. I am realistic to say that nothing ever remains exactly the same in life (I wish I were 22 again!), but I am comforted to know that Schnackenberg’s will go on and that I will again be able to sit at the counter on a Saturday afternoon, without a care in the world, eating my BLT and drinking a cherry coke!