LITM 3/5 (1)

140 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 536-5557

Website

Our Two Cents

Grade:
B+

Paco and I fell into LITM for a quick sip after dinner. We ended up sticking around for two and toyed with the idea of a third.

LITM is a neat spot. During the day, the cavernous interior becomes a black pit and from the street, you can only get a glimpse of a high-top up front, some of their rotated art on the font walls and possibly the edge of the bar. This isn’t to say that the facade doesn’t pique some diurnal interest. On warmer days, I seem to recall the two front doors propped open around 11AM on Sundays, the sounds of acid-jazz or a light, downtempo ostinato wafting out from the entrance. That musical bed accompanied by glasses clinking and light chatter is quite enticing when you’re bumbling about Newark Avenue for Sunday errands. When nighttime comes around, the lure of LITM is markedly stronger. Heavier beats pulse from within and the glare from the glass exterior gives way to an effusion of gorgeous violet, electric blue, deep red and orange hues. Video installations are displayed on the wall from a projector in a relatively low-contrast setting which is fantastic if you want to watch, but also great if you don’t as the projector light isn’t so intense as to be distracting.

The crowd here is different than what you will find in many of the other bars in town. Surely, LITM enjoys regulars, but you’re not going to see Norm or Cliff at the end of the bar. LITM’s patronage seems to be comprised of aesthetes looking for interesting environs in which to quaff and ogle the current art collection, the hip young crowd that likes to see and be seen and those either on their way out to, or on their way back in from NYC.

Loads of signature cocktails are on offer from the angled chalkboards above the bar. These drinks are obviously novel affairs and a good amount of them complement the current season quite well. Now that the colder months are upon us, LITM’s "Alpine Sprite" with its peppermint schnapps sounded quite appealing. Beer selection is admirable from a variety viewpoint. Draught beer was listed on the drink board but I was at a loss to find the actual taps at bar level. I sampled an innocuous Brooklyn Lager and all systems were go. Prime time pricing was $5.50 if I recall. The brew was cold, fresh and served along side a pint glass to use at my discretion. My second choice was one of my favorite seasonals, a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Spoilage for a seasonal like this would only come at the hand of gross neglect as the beer possesses a decent ABV, so I wasn’t very worried about this being funky. Still, I just had to grab one of these as this has all but disappeared from the liquor store shelves for 2009. When I saw the $9.00 price, I was sure they’d be serving a 22oz bomber, but alas, the serving size was a standard 12oz. The price smarted a bit as I picked up a few 4-packs of the Imperial at $10.00 this season.

Food is on offer and while the menu is modest, it is delicate. All the selections appear to have a great pairing in store with wine, beer or cocktails.

Major points go to the owner for not including televisions into the overall design. The lack of sports blaring from all around is a welcome departure.

Rate this bar

  • ChainsawHand

    I just wanted to dispute the claim that you won’t see Norm or Cliff at the end of the bar. I bet if you go to L.I.T.M. right this minute, you will either see Norm Francoeur or one of his light installations on display.

  • Foo

    They have flowers on the bar……….nuff said.

  • Crazy Johannes

    I’ve been to LITM several times. The staff is neither attentive nor friendly. I’d rate them as slow and snobbish – and the turnover rate here is extraordinary.

    If you like overpriced drinks in a sterile atomosphere, LITM has those in spades.

  • moosamus

    Have been known to serve Left Hand Milk Stout… No matter how think the pretense, I’ll always like it there. Great selection, even if the aesthetic is a tad overwrought. Very much needed.

  • 7thstreeter

    Entertaining artwork. Usually pretty good music. Very friendly and attentive service. Varied crowd. Some of the best happy hour deals in town.