3 Second St.
The first time I visited this scenic outdoor beer garden, it was late spring. The place was new, and customers seemed thrilled to be imbibing al fresco on a warm, almost-summer evening.
When I visited again for this photo shoot it was the penultimate day of August, and fall was in the air. Could Oktoberfest be far behind?
Lutze is everything you would expect in a beer garden. There is no indoor space. It has beautiful, heavy wood tables in an area squared off with hanging lights. Other options include sitting in the shade at tables with bright yellow umbrellas or on your own in colorful Adirondack chairs.
But one thing that Lutze has that no other beer garden in Jersey City or Hoboken has is stunning views of downtown Manhattan. As you sip your cold beer, you can hear the waters of the Hudson lapping against the shore.
And speaking of beer, Lutze offers a moderate selection of draft and canned brew. One thing I liked is that the beer menu isn’t ginormous. Sometimes, too many options can be overwhelming, sort of like standing in the dental floss section of the drug store.
On draft is everything from the very popular Fat Tire Amber Ale to the German Weihenstephaner, Flying Fish Hopfish IPA, Alagash, or the friendly, just-right Radeberger lager, which I ordered. It was cold and smooth, with just a bit of a bite. You could also choose from three wines, red and white sangria, frozen margarita, pina colada, or Lutze lemonade.
The food and drink is self-serve from four stands that line the garden. They look sort of like New England clam shacks or even food trucks.
On offer are crab cakes, raw bar of oysters or peel-and-eat shrimp, pulled pork, sliders, bratwurst, bacon mac and cheese, and sausage. I ordered the perfect accompaniment to a cold beer: a warm, salted pretzel. This one came in four shareable portions. Big jars of mustard were on hand, but I took mine straight up. The pretzel guy said they came all the way from Long Island.
Check the website for Happy Hours, Taco Tuesdays, Wine Down Wednesdays, and Boozy Brunch on weekends. Other events include shows on a big screen as well as various fundraisers, tributes, and parties.
The Lutze is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, and even weather-friendly unless these get too wild.
We visited on a gorgeous Wednesday evening. The Lutze is right in the middle of Newport. Its inviting outdoor space, with everything from weeping willows to gleaming highrises, soon began to fill with nearby workers as well as moms with strollers, and yes, a couple of friendly hounds. Prost!—Kate Rounds.