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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Tried dining there early on but vegetarian offerings were pretty slim. Then the progression to liquor license and tasting menu...so dinner, wine dessert for two would have been in the $200 range. Call me old school or whatever but I just couldn't see spending on par with our favorite NYC restaurants, only to be seated in what looked like an ice cream parlor.
Dining out is about the whole experience...and I kinda expect some comfy seating, warm and inviting atmosphere, etc.

In it's wake, I'd love to see a great breakfast / lunch spot. Super simple menu, approachable pricing, etc.

Posted on: 2015/10/8 2:01
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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After reading this second article, I kinda get where Kevin is coming from. Like almost all of us, he became a product of his environment. The industry is super cut-throat, and being a rising star from a prestigious restaurant came with a lot of baggage. I'm sure he felt like there was a lot to prove, to do things that one naturally wouldn't do, just because everyone around you expects you to do them. He wants to escape the shadow, and i think that is natural. It's just unfortunate that JC will loose another unique business that the town could feel proud about.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 21:10
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bodhipooh wrote:
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JPhurst wrote:
Still, when a couple that runs a restaurant decides to completely up and move to the other side of the country, that's a life decision that goes beyond whether a particular menu change or BYOB policy was working or not working.


I get what you are saying, but those of us commenting on the reasons are not doing so in a vacuum. The owners have gone on record (via an Eater article, posted in this thread, or the other one) that they couldn't make a go of it, and that they can trace their failure to the very first day after getting their license and suspending BYOB. I believe the words they used were "the day we stopped being a BYOB was the beginning of the end". Clearly, they made a business decision that backfired and, inexplicably, they didn't seek a way to regain their previous mojo.


In this day and age BYOB doesn't pay the bills. The places that don't have a Liquor license, don't have the money, or figures to hire another person to work the bar.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 20:33
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Darn those pesky customers.... they fell for the over priced food when they could bring their own wine, but we lost them when we started to sell our overpriced wine selections with $75 per seat pairings. They recognized the problems, did nothing to adjust their pretentious attitudes and they are out of business. There are plenty of byob restaurants still in business after many years in JC and Hoboken... sad truth is they lost their heart and desire to keep the business going. Nothing wrong with that, but blaming customer tastes and the cost of labor when you have a culinary school in J Sq seem slightly self serving, if you excuse the pun.


Also, I am sick of these people with there BYOB . You can't survive on BYOB. You don't have a license your F'd for the most part.


It would seem facts are your enemy... Many, many restaurants survive, even thrive, by embracing BYOB. There are at least three places in JC that are still BYOB and doing just fine (Abbondanza continues to get packed, as is the case with Madame Claude) and there are many such places in NYC, including some that have been around for a LONG time. The excellent Tartine comes to mind, well over 20 years, still going strong, with people usually lined up outside for dinner and brunch, and you also have the very good Lucali in BK still getting TONS of foot traffic, with ridiculously long waits on some nights.


When 30 Acres was BYOB, I was happy to pony up the $$ for good food. When it shifted over, and as chunk of my bill was for booze, they lost me as a customer.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 20:21
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I'm not surprised by this.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 18:42
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We were probably there three times for dinner and twice for brunch when it was ala carte. It was always good and a few dishes on the table were always great, but overall it was never fantastic. We appreciated the creative ingredients and combinations, but there was always something over salted or over cooked or bland or just not very tasty.

When they switched to the tasting menu, we weren't about to plunk down the cash for that. We go into the city for special dinners.
i hate to see them go but i have to agree with the comment about the food being bland - at least for me; i like spicy stuff....others i know have liked the place

Posted on: 2015/10/7 18:22
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I lived in Jersey City long enough that I don't have to justify my interest in the city to you.


Can you qualify the "trailer trash" statement at least? Olive Garden? Not sure I see anything about downtown JC that resembles your comment. Seems pretty clear that the town can support more traditional mid-range restaurant options at this point.

Anyway... LOVED the brunch, wish I had done it more (what was that crazy drink? wine and root-beer?). Had some really good food and fun times there when it was BYOB. After the license, I def still enjoyed the food more than others I know, who complained about stagnant menu and uneven quality. For me, there was always at least one appealing dish in each category (app/pasta/main). Eventually, I did begin to see the quality issues, especially when Kevin was not in the kitchen. Stopped going as much at that point, and only found a coupe occasions to hit the tasting.

Was a good run, seems like it died a natural death due to a variety of issues. I do see his point about the nature of restaurants culture, press and consumer trends in the NYC area. It must be difficult as a business owner to deal with it. Definitely taken back a bit by the tone of these interviews, hope the vibe is not carried over to the service while it is still open.


Posted on: 2015/10/7 18:08
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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No wonder you're miserable in the Heights if you're so locked down you can't get yourself to Downtown by bus, jitney, light rail, bike, Uber or by foot.


You forgot dog sled (which it's actually a shame we don't have, since getting home after first class dinner out by dog sled would be much more enjoyable than taking the ghetto jitneys...)

Posted on: 2015/10/7 17:56
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?


Lots of people are trailer trash, which also explains why they don't appreciate high quality food. Maybe an Olive Garden will satisfy them.


The food was uneven, the service was spotty, and the decision to go all tasting was just bizarre. As for bringing wine service in, they needed to provide better value than the fairly flat choices they had on their menu, but were precluded from doing so due to the high markup. For many wines they sold by the glass, their price was the full retail for a whole bottle. At that high a rate, they could only sell second rate wines.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 17:24
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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They came, they saw, they moved.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 17:12
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Notice how this interview is filled with cursing and anger from the owner, but not a word of personal responsibility. Everything is someone else's fault. The media, the "hype," the hypercompetitiveness, the community.

He mentioned that he thought the move from NYC to JC would somehow let him escape the restaurant life and press, but looking back, this attitude was "super naive." I suspect he will be saying the same thing in 5 years about his move to Seattle.


Well said. I had the same sentiment reading this second article.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 17:10
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Notice how this interview is filled with cursing and anger from the owner, but not a word of personal responsibility. Everything is someone else's fault. The media, the "hype," the hypercompetitiveness, the community.

He mentioned that he thought the move from NYC to JC would somehow let him escape the restaurant life and press, but looking back, this attitude was "super naive." I suspect he will be saying the same thing in 5 years about his move to Seattle.


Agreed. This second article/interview is just as bad as the one from Eater. I don't get it at all. Why go out dishing out blame and burning bridges with the community. Better to leave gracefully and looking like a class act. He comes across as arrogant and not having learned a single lesson, despite his claims to the contrary. Alex (the wife) was always sweet and accomodating, and they do have a baby girl, so I do wish them well. But, it is very disappointing to see how much disdain Kevin seems to harbor towards JC and the very people that so enthusiastically welcomed and supported them from the beginning.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 16:50
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JCMan8 wrote:

Query: how would you describe a Brooklyn resident such as yourself who obsesses over a JC message board? I don't think "trailer trash" is an apt description, but I'm sure we can come up with something. Obsessive? Neurotic? Pretentious?


I lived in Jersey City long enough that I don't have to justify my interest in the city to you.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 16:43
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?


Lots of people are trailer trash, wish also explains why they don't appreciate high quality food. Maybe an Olive Garden will satisfy them.


Query: how would you describe a Brooklyn resident such as yourself who obsesses over a JC message board? I don't think "trailer trash" is an apt description, but I'm sure we can come up with something. Obsessive? Neurotic? Pretentious?

Posted on: 2015/10/7 16:42
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?


Lots of people are trailer trash, which also explains why they don't appreciate high quality food. Maybe an Olive Garden will satisfy them.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 16:35
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JPhurst wrote:
Still, when a couple that runs a restaurant decides to completely up and move to the other side of the country, that's a life decision that goes beyond whether a particular menu change or BYOB policy was working or not working.


I get what you are saying, but those of us commenting on the reasons are not doing so in a vacuum. The owners have gone on record (via an Eater article, posted in this thread, or the other one) that they couldn't make a go of it, and that they can trace their failure to the very first day after getting their license and suspending BYOB. I believe the words they used were "the day we stopped being a BYOB was the beginning of the end". Clearly, they made a business decision that backfired and, inexplicably, they didn't seek a way to regain their previous mojo.


Everybody, including the owners, seems to blame the BYOB decision as being the cause for failure. They chose to have a ~400% markup on booze to pay for the very expensive license, had a VERY limited beer selection, horrible glasses and stemware, hard wood chairs that had my skinny ass screaming after an hour, and serving staff that, over the years, ranged from very good to awful. I still maintain that the decision to go only with the tasting menu caused the final demise. If they saw the major drop in business after getting their liquor license did they actually think switching from menu to tasting was going to get their customers back in??

Wonder what's next for the space...

Posted on: 2015/10/7 15:49
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Posted on: 2015/10/7 15:46
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Notice how this interview is filled with cursing and anger from the owner, but not a word of personal responsibility. Everything is someone else's fault. The media, the "hype," the hypercompetitiveness, the community.

He mentioned that he thought the move from NYC to JC would somehow let him escape the restaurant life and press, but looking back, this attitude was "super naive." I suspect he will be saying the same thing in 5 years about his move to Seattle.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 15:43
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Posted on: 2015/10/7 15:15
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Lemme think: Do I wanna live in Jersey City, a dump, or Seattle, where my family lives? Tough Call.



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Posted on: 2015/10/7 14:33
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JPhurst wrote:
Still, when a couple that runs a restaurant decides to completely up and move to the other side of the country, that's a life decision that goes beyond whether a particular menu change or BYOB policy was working or not working.


I get what you are saying, but those of us commenting on the reasons are not doing so in a vacuum. The owners have gone on record (via an Eater article, posted in this thread, or the other one) that they couldn't make a go of it, and that they can trace their failure to the very first day after getting their license and suspending BYOB. I believe the words they used were "the day we stopped being a BYOB was the beginning of the end". Clearly, they made a business decision that backfired and, inexplicably, they didn't seek a way to regain their previous mojo.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 14:25
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If they feel the community did not support it, so be it. I went the 3rd week when it opened and you can scan through here for my review.

It was packed and buzzing on my first visit. my 2nd visit 5 months later not so much. The food was OK and somethings were good and I did not mind the price(no kids here) but the spot felt out of place down there I always imagined it would do well in L.A. and San Fran.

My 2nd visit It felt less interesting and the staff became pretentious and acted bored with its clientele.

After my 2nd visit I had no interest in supporting it. So they are right, I am part of the community and I did not give this place my all in all.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 14:17
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I am not going to pretend that I can say why the restaurant "failed." Just remember that restaurants, even very good ones, come and go all the time. High rents, low margins, fickle customers, and a business that often requires a very involved personal commitment will do that.

I went there a couple of times before the change to the set menu. It wasn't a place that I could regularly frequent due to price and the fact that our household has two kids.

Still, when a couple that runs a restaurant decides to completely up and move to the other side of the country, that's a life decision that goes beyond whether a particular menu change or BYOB policy was working or not working.

This reminds me a little of when Janam Tea closed. It was a well acclaimed business where the proprietor decided she could make a better go of it relocating to the West Coast. I think it's fair to ask what we can do to be a community that is welcoming to higher end businesses like 30 Acres and Janam. But we also have to realize that these businesses, anywhere, are tough to run.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 13:44
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bodhipooh wrote:
Esperanto's to Thirty Acres to ??

Hopefully, not another bar stuffed with TVs.


It would be a damn shame for it to turn into another white bread hoboken bar.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 13:39
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Esperanto's to Thirty Acres to ??

Hopefully, not another bar stuffed with TVs.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 13:13
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I helped fund the Kickstarter.

Loved their take on the classic Jersey Pork Roll Egg and Cheese

What a great, historically inspired name.

The Menu just never really did it for me so did not visit after my initial brunch...although I did often check to see for updates on the menu

Esperanto's then Thirty Acres was certainly a dramatic upgrade!

Posted on: 2015/10/7 12:40
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?


the fact that it adds like $50-100 to the bill is the reason, not that people wanted 'their own wine', but they didn't care for paying the enormous costs that 30 chose to mark their stuff up to.


Of course, money is the main motivator for most people, but don't forget that some diners (myself included) may be motivated to patronize a BYOB because they want to bring a particularly special bottle to a nice meal. If you buy and collect nice wines, being able to bring your own is definitely a plus. Some places, even upscale ones in Manhattan, will allow you to BYO for a fee. The fee is usually around $25, but some places do go higher (I have seen fees of $50!) but if they use good stemware (say, hand made Riedel ones) then the fee is justified. This was another thing that irked me about my last visit to 30 Acres: they used really crappy stemware. When the place was BYOB, I could understand the subpar stemware, but once you start serving wine, at least make an effort to use nice glasses. Especially if you are going to charge a high markup, or a high corkage fee.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 3:04
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Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?


the fact that it adds like $50-100 to the bill is the reason, not that people wanted 'their own wine', but they didn't care for paying the enormous costs that 30 chose to mark their stuff up to.

Posted on: 2015/10/7 1:59
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BYO allows me to bring exactly what I want to drink and not have to pay a 200% premium. When I go out with friends, booze is usually about 30% of the bill, so it can be considerable.

We gave Thirty Acres a multiple chances - I think the food is good but it seems they're trying too hard. I didn't think the quality of the food justified the price. I can compare it to today's Talde - good, but not excellent. For me, it was the service that made the dining experiences not quite up to the level it should be. The servers made us feel like they're doing us a favor.

I don't mind paying $50-60 per person for a 3 course dinner, but it has to be good.



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Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?

Posted on: 2015/10/7 1:58
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Why is the BYOB thing such a big deal for people? Is the price that much different? Personally I like not having to lug what I want to drink to a restaurant. ...

But anyway, it seems a little weird to me that people would stop going to a restaurant, that they otherwise enjoyed, just because they could no longer bring their own booze. Is there something else I'm missing?

Posted on: 2015/10/7 1:39
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