What if you owned this downtown restaurant space in Hoboken?

This spot at 5 Marine View Plaza has been home to at least three eateries over the past few years. SaladWorks, Zebu Forno and Brooklyn Bread. All of those operations didn’t make it long enough. Some construction work is going on now, and the windows have been papered up.

Is there any kind of food service business that would make a killing here, no matter what the rent? Would it be fast food (like a Taco Bell), or something a bit more fancy? Or is this area just not high-trafficked enough?

Brooklyn Bread now empty in Hoboken

12/6/2010 Update:

If you read the earlier Hoboken411 update about Brooklyn Bread from January 2010 – I said I wouldn’t be surprised if the place didn’t make it through the end of 2010.

Guess I was right.

1/7/2010 Update:

This location of Real Estate in Hoboken (110 River Street) has been boring me quite a bit over the past year or so. Something about it is un-inspiring and un-inviting. Not sure if it’s the bland design, or what. With that being said, here’s your equally bland Hoboken411 business update for this hour…

Brooklyn Bread is a new name, but same place?

Frankly, I shot these photos as a “walk by” in my quest to find a reliable shipping depot in Hoboken this week (more on that at a later time). I’ll tell you this – the last I knew about this Zebu Forno franchise (FYI – the name just didn’t have a good sound to it, which is part of the reason it failed & changed..) was that they “broke” their franchise agreement to “go off on their own.”

While I enjoyed the pizza at this place at some point in the past – the looks of the congealed room-temperature slices in the window the other day disrupted my desire to go inside and find out what the deal was. Other residents told me about the negative changes at this place, and I sort of lost interest. Many others who work nearby said the value didn’t have a “sweet spot” (i.e. “expensive” was the most used word) and the number of folks who frequent the Subway next door is an order of magnitude higher. Whatever, not my investment, so I don’t care.

Lastly – I recall at one point in the past 20 years, the NYC tri-state area sort of became “giggly” when the name “Brooklyn” was used in any kind of business entity – like it stood for some kind of quality or uniqueness (beer, bread, pizza, etc.) – however, it’s my belief that the choice to change the name to “Brooklyn Bread” is a day late and a dollar short.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this spot goes out of business in 2010. Good effort, though!

9/15/2009 Update:

De-Franchised

Some folks were wondering what happened to the sign at the Zebu Forno cafe (110 River St.) – and wondered if it will ever make the Doomed category here on Hoboken411.

I asked the owner what the deal was – and he simply said they’ve disassociated themselves with the franchise, and will be remodeling. Haven’t had much time to swing by while they’ve been open.

Anyone else still eat there regularly?

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4/3/2008:

A few days late of making in within “Q1 2008,” Zebu Forno is now open! Check it out at 110 River Street.

Hoboken Zebu Forno opens

Zebu Forno, the European-style bakery and cafe, has opened its third New Jersey location in Hoboken.

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The Hoboken Zebu Forno opens each day at 7:00 a.m., and closes at 10:00 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Zebu Forno’s menu includes fresh-baked breads, muffins, bagels, and pastries; breakfast sandwiches; omelets; homemade soups; handmade thin-crust and Focaccia pizzas; Panini sandwiches, wraps and other hot and cold sandwiches served on home-baked breads; fresh salads; quiche; gelato; fresh fruit cups; espresso drinks; a variety of coffees and teas; and a soft drink selection that includes Boylan’s soda on tap. All menu items and baked goods are available for takeout, augmented by a selection of pastas, sauces, olive oils, other grocery items, and Zebu mugs and accessories that are merchandised throughout the store. Catering services are also available.

With its oven and baking preparation area situated at the front of the store to allow patrons and passersby to view the baking process first-hand, the new cafe incorporates the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere that Zebu Forno has become known for. Seating for 56 patrons is offered at conventional tables, stool-height tables and at groupings of Indonesian roll back leather easy chairs.

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Walls are adorned with original murals by New Jersey artist Gregg Hinlicky, including a major piece celebrating great artists of the past, all with ties to New Jersey or New York. The work features the likenesses of Aaron Douglas, Mark Rothko, Alfred Stieglitz, John Sloan, Alex Raymond, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Krasner, Winslow Homer, Frederick Church, and Tamara de Lempicka. Numbered guides to the artists depicted on the murals are provided on colorful bookmarks available at the counter.

The eclectic atmosphere is rounded out by such features as rustic wood plank floors, a ceiling design that is two-thirds exposed, low voltage track lighting, exposed brick walls, flat screen TVs, satellite music, and free Wi-Fi.

While Jeff Gallucci and other family members will take an active role in all aspects of the Hoboken Zebu, the cafe’s day-to-day operations will be directed by general manager Danielle Kapner, formerly a pastry sous chef for four years at the Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City. She will lead a team of 15 to 20 full- and part-time employees.

“We are excited to introduce Zebu’s great food, drink and relaxed atmosphere to Hoboken,” said Jeff Gallucci. “Residents of this vibrant city and daytime workers will find Zebu a perfect place to gather for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or unwind for mid-afternoon or late-night snacks. And for those heading to the PATH, ferry or any of the nearby office buildings, we also offer the ability to grab a quick cup of coffee, bagel, muffin or pastry to-go. We look forward to greeting our new neighbors in the weeks ahead.”

3/3/2008 Update:

Zebu Forno is slowly progressing. They have four weeks left to meet their Q1 2008 deadline for opening.

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Thanks to “cwebs” for today’s biz pic updates!

11/6/2007:

Replacing the defunct Saladworks that couldn’t last despite being smack dab in front of a giant office building, is Zebu Forno. The Marineview Plaza trio of storefronts will once again be complete, as they join Citibank and Subway along the strip that faces the J. Wiley headquarters. Expect them to be open by Spring 2008.

Hoboken marks their third location, on top of the original in Red Bank, and another in Holmdel. It’s owned and operated by Gallucci Associates, who’s previous work includes Balducci’s and Dean & Deluca.

Zebu Forno’s bakery and cafe offers “fresh-baked breads, muffins, bagels, and pastries; breakfast sandwiches; omelets; homemade soups; Panini sandwiches, wraps and other hot and cold sandwiches served on home-baked breads; handmade thin-crust pizzas; fresh salads; quiche; gelato; fresh fruit cups; espresso drinks; a variety of coffees and teas; and a soft drink selection that includes Boylan’s soda on tap. All menu items are available for takeout, augmented by a selection of fresh-baked goods, Zebu travel mugs and other branded items merchandised throughout the stores.”

See the Zebu Forno website for more information.

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