Eat, Drink and Stay Local at New Restaurant
Local bites meet big city sights as Jersey City welcomes its newest waterfront addition with the opening of Lokal Eatery & Bar. Keeping to its namesake, Lokal’s food and cocktail menus spotlight fresh ingredients sourced from the Garden State. The 6,000 square-foot spacious new restaurant also boasts panoramic Manhattan skyline views.
“Our mission at Lokal is to showcase the best the state has to offer and provide a place that reflects the culture of Jersey City,” said Mona Panjwani, owner of Lokal and Jersey City resident for over a decade. “We recognize the changing spirit of the area and are excited to create a hub that makes locals feel welcome. That, coupled with good food and drinks, contemporary design and gorgeous views, we are certain staying local will not disappoint.”
At the helm of the kitchen, Executive Chef Walter Donadio takes his nearly two-decade career of working in Michelin star kitchens around the globe to design a Modern American menu with options for everyone. Utilizing ingredients from the state as much as possible, the fare includes small plates made to be shared tapas-style—including crispy oysters, pan seared scallops, homemade hummus, mushrooms al ajillio and rock shrimp—a flat bread section and more. There are various vegetarian and vegan options.
Behind the beverage program is consultant Tess Sawyer. Taking her experience from creating innovative drinks at renowned NYC cocktail lounges including The Up&Up, Mother’s Ruin, Holiday Cocktail Lounge and The Happiest Hour, Lokal will offer a robust list of craft cocktails, including the signature Elliot Stubb, made with honey from New Jersey, yuzu juice, lemon juice, aquafaba, vermouth, and blueberry, which is the state fruit and the state’s most lucrative crop. Several spices in the other cocktails are locally sourced as well. Lokal will also offer an extensive wine program.
Designed by award-winning Abraham John Architects, the dining area accommodates approximately 200 guests. There is a large bar area, an indoor lounge section, plenty of private dining spaces and an airy outdoor patio which will expect to open by next spring. With floor to ceiling windows, the jaw dropping views of the Manhattan skyline are a stunning backdrop no matter where you stand. The overall design and concept were created and executed by restauranteur Hemant Phul.
Another fun addition, Lokal has a selfie wall in the back lounge area, and another designated wall to showcase accomplished artists from the neighborhood. The first iteration, on display now, was created by Dominika Zajdel.
The timing of Lokal’s opening is fitting—Jersey City has been experiencing a revitalization, becoming a culinary hub drawing in locals and tourists alike.Conveniently located just steps from the Newport PATH station, Lokal gives Manhattan dwellers the perfect excuse to cross the Hudson River and New Jersey residents a new reason to explore the beauty of their own backyard. While Lokal has private dining spaces for special occasions, the restaurant aims to become a neighborhood mainstay where, true to its name, locals feel welcome.