Our Two Cents
When I first moved back to JC, I recall taking a tool around Grove Street near the PATH and City Hall and was totally blown away with what happened to the area. When I lived here in 1999, there was so much promise – Café Brand opened on Jersey, the Grove Station underwent a refurbishment, the crazy liquor store on Coles and Newark was stocking more than just Miller High Life and Roling Rock.
That was a then though, and Café Brand was quick to close, the PATH got re-messy quickly and all that new beer stock fell on deaf tongues as Rogue 6-packs went stale in the liquor store’s refrigerator.
Zoom to 2006 and upon my return I knew that this time things were changing permanently. I was in disbelief when the folk that enjoyed congregating around the PATH were finally ousted as Grove Pointe broke ground (see you on Columbus, Evil Gorton’s Fisherman). As I strolled down Grove, recalled a liquor store being on the corner across from City Hall. Not seeing the red, white and blue awning, I was quite disoriented. I got my bearings are realized that a Weichert office now stood where that liquor mart was. I notice that next to that landmark was a very enchanting, dark structure next door with a beautifully oxidized awning, painted filigree and greenery wisps on the doors and the twinkle of candles from the murky interior. Bingo! I thought… the Lost Boys are drinking in here!
I meandered in and took in the environs. Very much like some of the Anne Ricey spots I’d grown fond of in Boston. Lights were dim, music was mild. People were chatting at respectable volume levels.
I approched the main bar and asked to have a look at their wines. While the barkeep wasn’t over the top interested in me, they were attentive enough to catch my order for glass of shiraz and offer a smile. The pour was modest and the wine was well cared for. No "room" had infilitrated the bottle and the vessel in which it was served was well cleaned.
I’ve been back to Bar Majestic a few times with family and although that first impression is lost to memory, the establishment does satisfy as an excellent arena for conversation, good beer selection, above average wines, and a varied tapas. Prices don’t astound, but they don’t shock either. Service can be unpredictable. Never brusque – just "off."