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Varick Deli

108 Bright Street

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Van Vorst Park Neighborhood & Historic District

The Van Vorst Park area of Jersey City is both a historically preserved district as well as a de facto neighborhood. The historic district is a specialized zoning ordinance designed to protect the look of the brownstone lined streets. These zones throughout the downtown list specific lots that fall within the zoned district. Alterations to the exterior of the buildings are essentially prohibited without first getting approval from the historic commission.

Below, a rough map of the district. The official boundaries are defined by specific lots which are not included on this map.

Van Vorst Park Historic District and Neighborhood Map

However, there is more to the Van Vorst Neighborhood than simply the historic district. The neighborhood is essentially the blocks south and west of the Grove Street Path Station, bounded by Christopher Columbus Drive to the North and Marin Blvd. to the East. The Western border is perhaps best defined as the elevated portion of the Turnpike, though some residents would declare Brunswick Street both the official western most portion of the historic district as well as the end of the neighborhood.

For many years the southern border of the neighborhood was also the edge of the city, bound by Grand Street. However, the Liberty Harbor North project will develop 27 city blocks south of the Van Vorst neighborhood. Grand Street then will be in essence the border between Van Vorst and Liberty Harbor North.

The centerpiece of the historic district is Van Vorst Park, a one square block park located on Montgomery Street and Jersey Avenue. The Victorian era park includes playgrounds, a dog run, and gardens. The summer months also bring "Jersey Fresh" sponsored Farmer's markets, and weekend rummage sellers.

City Hall and the main branch of the Jersey City Library are both located within the district. The Jersey City Museum is also located on the western edge of the neighborhood.

The area of Grove Street that runs through the neighborhood is also a busy shopping district. Cafes and restaurants line this section of Grove Street.

Planned for the neighborhood in 2007 are two new mid sized apartment complexes. The Majestic II is planned for the corner of Grove and Montgomery Streets. The project will redevelop several vacant lots and restore a number of historic brownstones. A second project known as Columbus Corner is planned for the corners of Wayne and Barrow and Barrow and Christopher Columbus Drive. That project will develop a parking lot as well as restore a Victorian era house and older apartment building.

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Frank R. Conwell School

Middle School 4
107 Bright Street

Conwell School

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River Front Cleaners

108 Bright Street

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Varick Deli & Grocery

108 Bright Street

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Wonder Bagel

Not amazing bagels, but certainly passable. The usual sorts of toppings and spreads, large drink selection, small number of tables. Outdoor seating when the whether permits.

517 Jersey Avenue

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Jersey City Museum

Featuring local artists and contemporary art.

350 Montgomery Street

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Norman's Pharmacy

501 Jersey Avenue

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X-Press Cuts

Friendly men's and women's hair salon. Relatively inexpensive men's hair cuts. Usually opened in the evenings but with flexible hours.

291 Grove Street

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A1 Deli

Deli and grocery essentials, open 24 hours a day.

312 Grove Street

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Ria's Cafe

Small cafe. Not well managed. Extensive selection of frittatas for brunch. Don't show up hungry because the food will take a while to show up on the table. Bring your own bottle. Perfectly fine place if you're willing to wait a while.

24 Mercer Street

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Dixon Mills

Formerly a pencil factory. Currently rentals, recently purchased to be convertd to condos.

Built 1847 to 1937
34 individual buildings
158 Wayne Street
Dixon Mills

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Grand Street Gallery

Gallery and custom framing, across the street from Liberty Harbor North.

270 Grand Street

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Antheia Floral Design

High end floral arrangments, good flowers and nice selection. Pretty store, cat hangs out in the window. Apparently made it to an issue of Modern Bride

281 Montgomery Street (Montgomery at Grove)
Antheia Floral Design

Antheia Floral in downtown Jersey City

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Majestic Theater Condominiums

The Majestic Theater was once a grand palace located on Grove Street. After years of vacancy, local developers restored the historic structure as the entranceway to their condominium project along Montgomery Street. A second phase is planned for a plot of land across the street from current units. The new units are designed to blend in within the historic Van Vorst Park neighborhood.

45 Units
6 Stories
Built 1907
Restored 2003
Majestic Theater Condos

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City Hall

City hall is located in the downtown block bordered by Montgomery, Marin, Mercer, and Grove Streets. A small park is located at the base of the building. The building was designed by Lewis Broome, an architect who also designed the Statehouse in Trenton after fire destroyed the original. City Hall was original adorned with cupolas but they were later removed for structural reasons.

Completed 1896

280 Grove Street

The Historic Jersey City City Hall

Jersey City City Clerk

Jersey City Office of the Mayor

Jersey City Municipal Council

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Subia's Market

Subia's Market on Jersey Avenue in downtown Jersey City

High end grocery, specializes in organic foods. Cafe serves coffee, prepared foods.

506 Jersey Avenue
Corner of Wayne and Jersey.

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Bubby's Burritos

Family owned burrito and taco stand. Excellent food, but no tables in the place-- pick up and delivery only. Small selection of southwestern accessories and packaged products.

440 Jersey Avenue
Two blocks south of Van Vorst Park

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Brownstoner Diner

Typical diner food. The staff is rude, the food is greasy, and apparently for a while leaving a tip on a credit card was a problem. Small parking lot fills up quickly, often a line. Best diner in Jersey City.

426 Jersey Avenue

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Barrow Street Bar

Barrow Street Bar and Grill has a billiards table. The sort of place where everyone knows your name. Now serving lunch. The bar once hosted the low budget reality series One Week To Save Your Marriage. Good bar, bad marriage.

292 Barrow Street

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Weichert Realtors Jersey City

Plenty of listsings posted in the windows, sales, rentals, usual broker offerings.

273 Grove Street
Corner of Montgomery and Grove.

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Tia's Place

Tia's Place, a women's boutique in downtown Jersey City

Women's Fashion mostly, though some limited men's selections. Second floor has fancy women's dresses. Antique furniture seems like its for sale too.

227 Grove Street
Tia's Place

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The Merchant

The Merchant is a typical upscale bar serving plenty of beer, but also a decent bistro menu. Some of the appetizers are generous portions-- crab cakes, calmari-- and could serve as a small dinner. Good for parties or large groups and they take reservations. Sometimes the lower dining room is too cold. Outdoor seating in the summer. The Merchant recent began serving brunch from 11 a.m. on weekends.

279 Grove Street
The Merchant
Between Montgomery and Mercer.

The Merchant on Grove Street in downtown Jersey City is an upscale bar

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On The Inside


Home furnishings and home decor. A number of unique items that couldn't be found at chain stores, but you pay for the selection. Some items can be found at chain stores, and those are just over priced. Small, but cute.

213 Montgomery St

On The Inside is a home furnishing boutique in downtown Jersey City

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grocery & bodega

Butcher shop in the back; the guy who works there is always cutting meat. Small selection of packaged grocery items, cold drinks in the back.

271 Grove (?)

Corner of Grove and Montgomery

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Beachwood Cafe

Beachwood Cafe in downtown Jersey City

Beachwood Cafe serves weekend brunch, desserts and coffee. Morning brunch fills up quickly for a mix of southwestern breakfast foods, fresh fruit, and of course, large cups of coffee. By late afternoon as business slows, the staff seems willing to accommodate folks looking to spend a few hours relaxing over a cup of coffee. Good cupcakes.

290 Grove St

Across the street from City Hall

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Bar Majestic

Located in the rehabilitated Majestic Theater, the Bar Majestic has a large selection of wine. There is a lounge atmosphere in the back. Summer months brings out street side cafe tables.

275 Grove Street
Corner of Montgomery and Grove

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Van Vorst Park

Historic Van Vorst Park is bordered by Jersey Avenue, Montgomery Street, Barrow Street, and York Street. The brownstone neighborhood is protected by preservation laws.

Van Vorst Park features a dog run for large and small dogs, two children's playgrounds including swings and a sandbox, a band stand gazebo, gardens and several small lawn areas. During the summer months a "Jersey Fresh" farmers market makes an appearance several times a month.

Friends of Van Vorst Park
Van Vorst Park Association

Van Vorst Park in Jersey City is an oasis of greenery in the heart of the history downtown

A Victorian era fountain spouts water in the western end of Van Vorst Park in downtown Jersey City

Van Vorst Park in Jersey City has benches, flower gardens, walkways and a dog run

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Main Library

The Jersey City library system is an extensive network of branch and local libraries. The main library is located in the downtown neighborhood adjacent to Van Vorst Park.

Main Library
472 Jersey Ave
Jersey City Libraries

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Barrow Mansion

The Barrow Mansion is a historic Greek Revival building in the Van Vorst Park neighborhood of Jersey City.

Barrow Mansion
83 Wayne Street
Between Barrow and Jersey Avenue

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New York's Sixth Directory is a review and listing of services, buildings, restaurants and shops in the de facto borough of New York: Jersey City / Hoboken.

This directory is part of the New York's Sixth network which is owned by

All original photographs and content copyright 2006 to Ian MacAllen, unless otherwise attributed.
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