Our Two Cents
Abbey’s is peculiar. The bar-going intelligentsia of Jersey City all know of this woody Monmouth and 3rd landmark, but not many people are forthcoming with their feelings about the spot. One thing is for sure; there is a certain vibe exuded by Abbey’s that is really otherworldly. Even though Abbey’s is a typical Jersey City hang, try walking in on a wet fall or winter evening. You’ll notice there is an ambiance present that isn’t very Jersey City… or New Jersey… or even United States for that matter. Hit up Abbey’s around 5PM on a weekday evening, it’s the best time to experience this vibe as they’re semi-empty and the after-work crowd has yet to arrive. If you do pop in during this time, take a listen for pins dropping and marvel at how everything is tidied up and orderly. Liquor bottles all faced. Chairs neatly tucked under the table they belong to. A quiet hum of a TV may be perceptible or the lull of the jukebox on demo mode. If you catch the same drift we did, you may feel as though you have walked into the living room of a modestly appointed European home. Velvet and lace draperies, buttoned cushions, and soft lighting just ooze traditional grandma-ness.
Beer selection is not vast by any means, but what is offered is a bit left of typical and it’s presented to you in correct glassware and in good form. A Spaten half-liter came in an elegant, thin walled Spaten flute which was well cleansed. The beer inside was fresh, properly chilled and delicious. Thursday promo prices also impressed with the half liter and a shot totalling $6.00. Wine offerings seemed limited but liqueurs and spirits were quite complete. Anatolian flair is evident from the bar’s offering of a variety of Raki (Turkish anise-flavored liqueur).
Abbey’s enjoys a very mixed crowd. Professionals (interpret that in any way you like), neighborhood tipplers, the young and trendy, roughneck pool hustlers and a host of others regularly choose Abbey’s as their port-of-call. Once things get rolling on any given evening, this assemblage of souls gets very friendly and light hearted conversations start like wildfire. We have yet to check on the scene in the back room where the pool table is, but if what goes on up front is any indication of the overall tone, starting up an 8 ball match should be no problem at all.
Abbey’s also offers a varied and not so run-of-the mill menu and an elaborate hookah option that we did not explore.