New Mexican joint hits Weehawken! (Well, Union City to be technically correct, but you know all the Weehawken peeps will be flocking to this joint.) We have all seen the artwork from outside like this colorful butterfly. Here is a sneak peek inside.
Located at 3417 Park Avenue and 35th Street, just up from the Walgreens on Park Ave. Being from the design world previously working with Poltrona Frau in luxury furniture, I was curious to see the insides of this now vibrant hot spot. You know I am always a sucker for local artists. Raise your hand if you remember the previous post on Weehawken artist Maximilian Pelzmann the contemporary sculpture artist! If you missed it, please read here. Well Max has since moved back to his homeland in Spain just a couple months ago, but for the rest of us still living in Hudson County, the art continues. Being of Mexican heritage myself (Jalisco region specifically), I can’t help but feel a personal connection to this spot.
I had the AWESOME experience to meet with restaurant designer Cid Mendez. Cid showed me every nook and cranny that is poppin’ with local artwork. This restaurant showcases 11 artists whom are mostly living in the NJ area. Artists like Jay Mack, Tony Ortiz, Sue Works, and Frank Machado, just to name a few. Cid is a Hoboken resident who owns Life is Beautiful Art Gallery located at 1317 Willow Ave. Cid is an all around artist from designing to fabrications in custom furnishings, as well as paintings, murals, cabinetry, utilizing any and all materials one can think of. Cid’s work is FULL of life like himself. The colorful and inviting vibe you get when you walk into this unique spot is truly trans-formative. When you walk through these restaurant doors you have officially been transported into Mexico. From the custom handmade tiles from Mexico that line the staircase of the interior, to the authentic lighting throughout, you feel so alive and ready to dine. (Also drink! May I suggest Tequila?)
Zona Libre will offer fun street foods authentic to Mexican cuisine, family friendly, with affordable prices. What makes Zona Libre a true warrior? Diversity. Here at Zona Libre, diversity is loved and accepted. This restaurant space has 3 full floors plus an amazing rooftop deck overlooking NYC and neighboring communities such as Union City and Hoboken. COLOR, LIFE, GOOD VIBES ALL AROUND.
Grateful the owner chose to pack this place with local artists, instead of store bought prints from a big box retailer. (No offense retailers, you know I love you.) Cid stated “all communities are born from the art within the community.” And really he is right. Think about it. Art is the heartbeat, the extension of the communities themselves. Zona Libre is the perfect example of that. The vibe of this restaurant is an extension of the artists themselves whom all live in this NJ community. Gotta love it!
One of my favs- Mayahuel- the Aztec Goddess of Maguey—I am a lover of agave (cactus) too! Twinsies!
The Aztec mural on the outside is what really drew my attention. Still a work in progress but almost complete. If this amazing mural doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. Sue Works (aka “Styles Under Evolution”) is a local WNY resident who has also done work in Jersey City and Newark Nj. Check out his Instagram account below.
The soft opening is this Thursday July 25th at 5pm. No reservations required for this week.
Address: 3417 Park Ave. Union City Nj 07087
PH: (917) 257-5772
For Instagram profiles on artists:
Cid Mendez Designer: IG: @CidMendez
SUE WORKS: IG: @SUEWORKS
Jay Mask: IG: @JayMackMuzik
Tony Ortiz: IG: @TonyOrtizDesign
Frank Machado: IG: @Franko_24mc
Article written by Rose Benshoshan, your local Weehawken content provider.