Come Crawl With Me
Downtown Hoboken is known for its vibrant bar scene.
Our reporter learns why. By Maryrose Mullen
The NJ Transit train from Bloomfield pulls into Hoboken Terminal at ;:;;. It’s Thursday
afternoon rush hour and commuters are
pouring in from Manhattan. Some hurry
to suburban-bound trains. Others filter
into the Hoboken streets. My companion and I are on a mission of our own: To
explore Hoboken’s vaunted bar scene.
The first stop on our bar crawl is
Cooper’s Union (;;; Hudson Street), a
four-block walk from the terminal. It’s
inviting and dimly lit, with an indus-
trial feel. There are two bars; at this
early hour the rear bar is empty. We
take a seat in the front room where the
laid-back crowd is slowly building—
mostly twenty-something profession-
als grabbing an after-work drink with
friends. Our waiter recommends a
creamsicle: vanilla vodka and orange
juice. I fear its sweetness, but the drink
turns out to be just right, and tempers
the heat of the bu;alo chicken dip.
We walk two blocks to Washington Street, Hoboken’s main drag.
Our destination is the Brass Rail (;;;
Washington Street), a ;;;-year-old
watering hole that has been beautifully
restored, with brass accents, dark pan-
eling and a graceful wooden staircase
to the second-floor dining room. The
patrons here are a little older than at
Cooper’s Union. The bar is packed, so
we take a table along the wall and study
the drinks list. There’s a special on
mojitos; we order a round.
Back out on Washington Street
and the crowd is picking up. The block
between ;nd and ;rd streets is lively.
We duck into Black Bear Bar & Grill
(;;; Washington Street), a two-story
sports bar with a frat-house vibe.
Upstairs it’s loud and crowded, so we
find seats downstairs at the bar. Fifteen
TV screens are clustered overhead; the
bottom six display a single, giant image.
Thursday-night specials include “bomb
shots” for ;;. I consider a Jagerbomb,
but opt for vodka and soda. I don’t want
to peak too early.
It’s just a few doors down to
;-Republik (;;; Washington Street),
the huge—and I mean huge—dance bar
that’s the heart of Hoboken’s weekend
party scene. This place thinks big: the
menu, the beer list, the array of screens
(;;, I’m told). Tonight, the jams are
blaring from the speakers, but there’s
no designated area to dance. Instead,
the young crowd gathers around the
center bar to take advantage of Thursday night’s special: half-price signature
cocktails. It’s time to go all in: I order an
extra dirty martini.
There are plenty of places in Hoboken to continue crawling but my companion and I are ready to wind down.
We walk (in somewhat wobbly fashion)
toward the chilly Hudson River and
our final destination—the Wicked Wolf
Tavern (;;; Sinatra Drive), a bright and
airy spot with tall windows looking out
on the water. It’s pleasantly subdued. I
take a seat and order a Blue Moon. From
the bar, I take in the view of sparkly midtown Manhattan. I make a mental note
to return in warmer weather for a drink
on the sidewalk patio.
We walk back to the terminal and
miss the train to Bloomfield by ;; minutes. Hello Uber? Are you there, Uber?