As warmer weather arrives, so do a few new businesses around town. Several highly anticipated stores have had signs up saying “Opening this spring” – but spring is here, and they’re putting on the finishing touches.
The once DVD-stocked shelves of the former Washington and Fourth streets Blockbuster are now being stocked with trendy women’s apparel for the opening of international chain Anthroloplogie. But construction workers at the store’s location said last week that unforeseen electrical issues have delayed the opening by at least a month. They anticipate a mid-May opening.
Only a couple of blocks away, a Baby Gap boasts a “coming soon” promise, adding another chain store downtown. Calls to Gap’s headquarters in San Francisco were not returned.
Giannone Wine & Liquor Co., a wine and spirit shop that has been operating on River Road in West New York, is expanding into Hoboken this weekend. The new 305 River St. shop will offer fine wines, craft and microbrew beers and a large selection of premium spirits. Giannone has been involved in Hoboken events and no-profits since the inception of its West New York store. It is a family business run by two brothers who have over 25 years of experience combined.
“We are very excited, the town has grown tremendously over the last 15 years and we are looking forward to expanding the selection of premium fine wine and spirits shops,” said Owner John Giannone.
Schnackenberg’s renovations are pushed back potentially as far as September.
“Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Chris and Albie Manzo, who live on the Hoboken waterfront, are on track to open their “Little Town New Jersey” restaurant later in April. Manager Kevin Haynes said they are aiming for April 17.
The eatery at 310 Sinatra Drive promises to include local ingredients, and is affiliated with the Little Town New York restaurant run by Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr.
Some openings slated for spring 2013 have now been substantially delayed, like the newly renovated uptown luncheonette Schnackenberg’s.
Schnackenberg’s, more than 80 years old, closed for renovations at the end of last summer. The historic eatery was set to reopen this spring after the changing of hands and a long renovation. Due to Hurricane Sandy, contractors became much harder to secure and the project is now pushed back as far as September.
More about Schnackenberg’s
Last year, local husband and wife restaurateurs Eugene and Joyce Flinn signed a long-term lease last year from Mark Novak and his family who own Schnackenberg’s. This is the third big restaurant project for the Flinns, who also own who own Amanda’s and Elysian Café.
Schnackenberg’s opened over Labor Day weekend in 1931. Dorothy Novak inherited the restaurant from her parents and passed it on to Mark Novak to follow tradition. Schnackenberg’s is the second oldest store in Hoboken, behind United Decorating Company on lower Washington Street.
Flinn said last week that the project could now be pushed back as far out as September due to the scarcity of local contractors with free schedules.
“It is taking us a lot longer than we expected,” said Flinn. “There were a lot of kitchen issues and when we started looking for contractors, everyone was so committed with Sandy repairs.”
Flinn said he doesn’t feel the need to complain, though.
“We knew the contractors were much busier with much more important things,” he said.
Flinn’s most important criterion in the bidding process for a contractor was to keep it local.
“I think it is really important to help each other as much as possible,” said Flinn. “One of the ways to do that is by keeping it local. The more we keep hiring local, the stronger we will be.”
Flinn was finally able to sign a contract with a local company on Tuesday and said they can finally get started.
Flinn said in October that most of the changes would be operational and behind the scenes, but that there will be slight changes to the menu, which generally consisted of low-cost sandwiches, burgers, milkshakes, and egg creams.
What about Mickey D’s?
The McDonald’s located at 234 Washington St. has shut down temporarily for renovations. An employee of the restaurant said Thursday that they are in the process of remodeling.
“The store really needed a facelift, so we are remodeling the restaurant,” he said. “We are trying to finish this project and are looking to do it as soon as possible, as soon as we can get it inspected.”
The manager could not be reached for comment. McDonald’s stores are individually franchised.
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.