The Shepherd & The Knucklehead

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead – Hoboken, NJ – 1313 Willow Ave.

No, this isn’t about the “mayor” and her husband. This is about a new proprietor moving into the space formerly occupied by Smokin’ Barrel at 1313 Willow Ave, which doomed itself out of existence with crappy food and service. No one I know is sending out “we miss you” greeting cards, that’s for sure.

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead coming soon Hoboken NJThe Shepherd & The Knucklehead is coming later this year, provided the usual knuckle-headed nincompoops at city hall don’t keep them bogged down with senseless debt-causing delays.

Scoring big points in Haledon, NJ – The Shepherd & The Knucklehead is trying their luck as a craft beer bar & steakhouse restaurant here in Hoboken. I guess with Zylo gone, they feel the “coast is clear?”

New owner Joseph Schiavo said “We’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to bring our brand into Hoboken.” Grateful? Last I checked, we lived in an equal opportunity capitalistic country, so what are you grateful for other than your own bank account?

Anyway, he added: “We’re going to bring in a constantly-rotating draft lineup and a high quality pub-steakhouse menu at an unbelievable value.” (It will only be “unbelievable,” if they offer 12oz. Filet Mignon dinners for 35 cents. Otherwise…)

Well – it sounds like any other bar / restaurant, and we wish them luck once they manage to open their doors. Maybe they have the winning formula (which changes daily in Hoboken, FYI).

However, the consumers will be the ultimate decision-makers on what is or isn’t a value. Luckily for “TheShep,” they have a low bar to meet considering the “Smokin’ Barrel” royally fucked up.

We’ll be on the fence with this one as they get closer to opening. This isn’t the first time a successful operation (in one city) gave Hoboken (another city) a crack. Most recently Clem’s Steaks, which does great “down the shore,” petered out here in the Mile Square. Haledon and Hoboken have different demographics, so we’ll see!

One of the keys to a successful restaurant is quality employees, wouldn’t you agree?

If the new owners here want some tips on how to identify and hire the proper staff – I’d be happy to offer my services and observe while they interview candidates. Hopefully, if they agree – I can get a Family Feud STRIKE BUZZER the minute they’re “not hired.” I’ll void the warranty on that thing in just one afternoon.

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Hoboken NJ replacing Smokin Barrel

Description: Craft Beers and steaks.
Address: 1313 Willow Ave., Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: TBD
Online: .

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The location has def alot to do with it. You have to specifically go here where on washington street you catch alot of walk by traffic.


It is/was one of the few places in the northwest. I used to go often for a quick lunch or dinner. The quality was unpredictable – sometimes the chicken was rare, sometimes overcooked to the point of unchewable, sometimes perfect. And they had weird rules, like of you wanted an order of wings half with one sauce, half with another, they’d up charge you. Nickel and dime stuff. And the drafts could be perfect or as punky as hell. A good restaurant would rather close then serve crappy product, because once you do that, you lose the customer forever. Carpe and the PilsnerHouse are much more consistent and more consistently earn the local Northwest Hoboken beer and grub traffic.


Hi – am I the only one who thought S&B had a great wing offering? This bar would’ve been a massive success (I think) had it been located elsewhere, like where the nightmarish 1Republik currently resides.