Northern Soul 2.0

Northern Soul 2.0 {re-born!}

I’m sure many of you know – the beloved downtown neighborhood bar Northern Soul was essentially “kicked out” of their First St. spot earlier this year.

As owner Marc Russell mentioned to us in the past – it was his intention to re-establish the bar and identity somewhere within the borders of Hoboken. And that has happened – over at the luxurious SkyClub building in the most southwestern corner of Hoboken. Coming late October or early November.

The Brassiere de Paris place is closing at the beginning of October. (Hoboken people hate the French?)


Dive bar + upscale digs = what will transpire?

We admire Marc Russell. He has an unwavering passion for what he does. That is unique in today’s day and age. Sure, it’s a “hit or miss” approach, but the sincerity is what sets it apart from other “by the book” entrepreneurs (who also “hit or miss.”)

The transformation from a “hole in the wall” with two apartments above, to an “upscale” retail location with HUNDREDS of equally “upscale” tenants above is a big switch.

Going from a few hundred square rat-infested feet with a pizza oven to over 3,000 square feet with stellar commercial kitchen is a HUUUUGE step (in the Donald J. Trump voice.)

While it seems like a daunting task – it appears that Marc Russell and his team are ready for the challenge.

Cashing in on the trends (new park, kids, etc.)

northern-soul-keep-the-faithMarc is no dummy. He notices the “trends” taking place in this neighborhood.

New buildings, a postage-stamp sized park coming up, and many families staying put even with two kids (unlike years ago when the exodus with kids was standard) – the demographics are changing.

The new bar / restaurant will try their best to be “in tune” with what the constituents want (instead of trying to force-feed Frech Crullers down everyone’s throat).

They will be adapting the menu towards whatever customers they have – which includes families with kids. Kid-friendly menus, operating hours and other features.

Regulars they will have – but will Northern Soul catch on?

Northern Soul had dedicated regulars – and not just from the neighborhood. The character of the bar enabled repeat customers. Good service. Relaxed vibe. You get the picture. Marc ensured us that the “ordinary” aspects of the old bar will not be lost despite the upgrade of the space.

But because of the tremendous expansion of space – they have the ability to cater to more people.

However – and we mentioned this to Marc – that the property has had its share of failures. Part of us wonders if it was because of the extreme location (even though it’s only steps from the previous spot). Another part of us presumes that many restaurant owners are way too optimistic – and get ahead of themselves. Despite their clique of people that “love them.”

It seems that Marc is a bit more focused on doing it right based on their customers – and not just an individual “vision.”

A business in the SkyClub has proven to be a disastrous endeavor. Maybe it’s time for Northern Soul to quash that misnomer once and for all.

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