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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#17
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I’m fairly new to JC (I’ve only been here for two months) so I don’t know anything about the history of the Hamilton Park Ale House or who Maggie is, but I live right across the street from it so I’ve been a few times. Once I went with a group of friends on a weekend and it was crowded (not a problem) but we had a good time. Food was okay though sort of pricey. Another time I went on a weekday, or maybe it was a Sunday, to watch a men’s NCAA playoff game. (I’m not a huge sports guys, but I occasionally like going to a bar to watch a playoff or a final game.) There were only a couple of other people there so it was chill, but those huge HD flat panel tvs they got suck. The image was washed out and the reception was choppy. Considering how much they probably paid for those things I would expect much better. The music also sucked. Someone’s ipod cranking out typical radio-friendly crap. The volume would change for every song so the bartender kept having to turn the volume up and down every time another song came on. Totally annoying. In general the place seems to attract an older crowd so maybe I should start prowling for cougars even though there was a really cute waitress there once that I flirted with and I’ve considered going back for a beer just so I can chat her up again, but otherwise I haven’t felt compelled to go back.

I like the White Star (nearby/good food/good prices) but it can get a little claustrophobic in there since the place is so small. Also, every time I’ve been there the music has been awful. Someone’s ipod (can we PLEASE stop this trend immediately?) filed with every terrible 90s radio-hit.

My goal is to try and find some decent bars to hang at in JC on the weekends because it’s getting to be expensive/tiring to have to go out to Brooklyn every weekend. My tattoo artist told me hit up Lucky 7s on a Wednesday and I’ve been meaning to, but that’s a bad night since it conflicts with Lost. I’ve also been meaning to check out the Lamp Post on Thursdays which is when one of my friend’s roommates deejays. Any other suggestions?

Posted on: 2007/4/17 16:31
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#16
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I heard good things about the Ale House and tried it out about a year ago. Terrible food, mediocre service, odd crowd, and crummy atmosphere. The bars in Paulus Hook are 1,000 times better. Not sure why so many people like (liked) the Ale House. A mystery to me.

Posted on: 2007/4/10 22:06
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#15
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I think the place has made a bit of change for the better. The music is fine (never heard any BJ) and the food pretty good. They always accommodate special requests, the wait staff is friendly and so is the owner - always get taken care of when I go there. In the 5 years I have been going to this place, I count on one hand the times the owner came up to me said hello. Maybe its good that a someone from South Jersey took over the place

Posted on: 2007/4/10 22:06
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#14
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I went to Hamilton Park Ale House for brunch on Saturday, I am not sure if it has anything to do with the new owner or not, but the breakfast was better than when I went 6 months ago.

They still have the same old menus, which is why I suspect nothing much has changed in the kitchen, but the big improvement was ...

*** NO MORE DRY BJ's "50 FOR A DOLLAR JUMBO BAG PASTRIES ***

Instead we received three nice little muffins. Yum, yum.

Robin.

Posted on: 2007/4/1 1:36
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Ale House Blues
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I'll throw in my 2 cents.

My wife and I would go there quite a bit, usually for Guinness and hot wings, but haven't been since the changeover.

Why?

Because my wife told me that she had heard that "some guy from South Jersey took it over," and I thought: "Great, now it'll be Hoboken."

Based on the arrogant Bon Joviness of "blummy," and what seems like the consensus of suckiness from the rest of the comments, I don't think I even want to sit outside at that place (which sucks because I live right up the block, and it was always nice for a summer beer.)

Simple it is! Which is OK, because they have the best baked eggs on earth.

Posted on: 2007/3/31 22:04
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#12
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for what it's worth...


(cue scratchy record spinning sound)

i knew maggie when she was JUST a waitress at the ale house.
she's kewl _ lives in the neighborhood and owns a business in same.

prior to maggie's tenure, the owners were very sports minded... JC jocks, hence the wall of sports photos from the area, and the T.V.s.

i thought the food was pretty good. but if you didn't appreciate the food under maggie's control you REALLY wouldn't have liked it prior.

a few weeks ago she gave me a tour of the new joint. they've done an immense amount of work to get it into shape.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 2:17
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#11
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Whether the blummster is a shill or not, I find overall atmosphere at least as important as food or varieties of available beverages. Now, I don't expect any bar to stay in business that caters to my particular musical interests--won't happen--but the least I can hope for is that whatever they're playing, it's at a volume level low enough to allow conversation without screaming. Yes, I understand that the idea of conversation is old-fashioned, maybe even existentialist, but damn. I'm always amazed at bar owners who fail to grasp the acoustics of their space, automatically hyping the volume levels and having Joan Jett ricocheting around the room until she's amped up to Glenn Branca vicinity. Why does "fun" assume grating loudness and big hair?

The new Maggie's (there's a name out front now written on some cardboard--can't remember it) will happily be divided upstairs and down, the bar on the lower level. That should solve most noise issues. Maybe she'll toss a few copies of "No Answer" or the Paris Review around.

Posted on: 2007/3/28 20:50
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#10
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since you asked: the white star is on the corner of pavonia and brunswick; the merchant is across the street from town hall. as for the food at white star, I think its awesome for the price and they do some great daily specials

Posted on: 2007/3/26 15:32
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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The food sucks. Went there for brunch and it was just diner quality food at higher prices. Not impressed.

Posted on: 2007/3/26 15:32
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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Well Ms. or Mr. (?) Pinkowitz my connection to the Ale House is this...nothing. (To paraphrase Michael Correlone)

I originally thought I was just joing a local message board. Since I had seen nothing about this place I found (the Ale House) that had these big high-def TV's and good food...I thought, why not write that?

Who knew I had - unwittingly - wandered into a firestorm?

I guess bars are just like anything else. Everyone knows what they like...has their favorites...and it's never going to change.

BTW...I was only there the one time...but I didn't hear any Bon Jovi. But, what's wrong with Bon Jovi anyway? It's cool and they're from NJ. Everywhere else I've been so far has got hip hop music blaring through their speakers!

Posted on: 2007/3/26 14:36
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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So, we went to the Ale House last night because we hadn't been there since New Year's (which was right after they took the restaurant over from Maggie, and thus the service was horrible...)

Okay, first I had to laugh because someone had posted here about big screen tvs and Bon Jovi and as soon as we sat down, "Wanted Dead or Alive" came on!

Anyway, it definitely has a different vibe than when Maggie owned it. The crowd was different. It wasn't as busy and the crowd was considerably younger. I noticed that drink prices had gone up. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and it was $1 more and they are using a glass that's half the size it used to be. The sangria prices have gone wayyyy up too. The portion of fries was considerably smaller. My gf ordered minestrone soup and while she liked what they gave her, it was definitely not minestrone soup!

All in all - we'll stick with Simple. They have better food, better service, and it's a more pleasant dining experience.

Posted on: 2007/3/24 16:18
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#6
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Quote:

blummy wrote:
Tried this place on Saturday to watch the basketball games. Food was great...good crowd...no jerks.

The best thing? The place has got two huge fully High Def TV's on the walls. The bartender said they were 58 inches each. It was unreal.

Love this place!



So "blummy" what's the connection between you and the Ale house

Posted on: 2007/3/23 22:01
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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I've been to the Ale House twice post-Maggie. The food was about the same, maybe not quite as good but close.

For the record, the old Ale House had excellent food most days, but sometimes they had an "off" day, probably someone's day off in the kitchen. In the past year or two, the off days wern't -quite- as off. It was always more likely that you would get an amazing special than a disappointing one.

The environment going downhill has significantly turned me off. The extremely poor handwriting on the specials chalkboard outside makes me feel that they don't care whether you come in for the specials.

I couldn't believe how bad the music was.

I swore I wouldn't come back until the tables come back outside. But do we really have reason to believe that the new owner is going around insulting Maggie anonymously on the net? That would be an even further turnoff, preventing me from coming back until the next change of ownership.

By the way, the "not very expansive" menu of the Ale House was made up for with excellent specials. The specials bring in the locals who have had everything else on the menu 5 times.

Posted on: 2007/3/23 21:53
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#4
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I miss the old Ale House. I've only been to the new one twice, but I really didn't like it. The crowd was different -- younger and more fratty. It used to have a kind of "Cheers" feel to it; it wasn't cliquish to me, just comfortable; I go to bars to drink with my pals, not meet new people. Of course, it wasn't like Lucky 7s used to be, where you were best friends with the whole crowd within ten mintues of walking the door.

I found the TVs (I don't care how big they are) and the music distracting from my actual intent -- drinking with my friends. Had I gone there to watch real sports (ESPN the first night) or fake ones (Pro rassling the second), I might feel different.

Finally, the new owner and bartender struck me as kind of annoying. I never knew Maggie by name, and I never shared more than a few pleasant words with the rest of the staff, but they were always amiable and polite. The new guy shook my hand and introduced himself, but felt sort of pushy at the same time; I guess he was just trying to build his regulars.

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon. But what I want out of a bar is somewhere I can drink, with friends or alone, without having to yell, and ideally without a TV anywhere in sight. Does that make me sound like a mean old man?

Probably.

Posted on: 2007/3/23 21:23
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
#3
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We've gone two or three times since Maggie left and, while the food is pretty much the same (I happen to like it), the atmosphere's gone downhill in a Hoboken bar kind of way. Overworked (thereby inattentive) wait-staff and worst, blaring 80s rock of the Bon Jovi ilk making conversation impossible and keeping food down difficult.

Might go back in nicer weather when we can sit outside, but not until then. Waiting patiently for Maggie's place to open.

Posted on: 2007/3/23 21:14
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Re: Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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The food in the Ale House always used to be terrible and expensive.

Have the new owners have taken over recently? If so I will give it another try.

I second the White Star recommendation, the food there is nicer and cheaper than the Ale House was under the old owners.

Robin.

Posted on: 2007/3/23 20:47
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Hamilton Park Ale House jersey Ave.
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Tried this place on Saturday to watch the basketball games. Food was great...good crowd...no jerks.

The best thing? The place has got two huge fully High Def TV's on the walls. The bartender said they were 58 inches each. It was unreal.

Love this place!

Posted on: 2007/3/23 19:06
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