This week’s Bokenology takes us to Biggie’s Restaurant, 36-42 Newark St. This family owned and operated eatery has been keeping Hoboken happy for decades with their clams and other boardwalk delights. Now branching out to a more upscale bar and restaurant in the busy downtown area of Hoboken, they plan to give locals a dining experience. The newly renovated restaurant features a bustling bar area and table service that is comfortably chic. And what could be better than a plate of calamari and a nice glass of wine? Although only open for a short while, the service is friendly and prompt. Recently, hMAG met Mike, one of Biggie’s professionals behind the stick. Mike is friendly and personable – reason enough to stay a little longer and maybe try another dish of their famous clams!
DS: How long have you worked here?
Mike: Since it opened on April 10.
DS: How long have you worked in the bar business?
Mike: A couple of years bartending. I worked my way up in this business. The last place I worked was Edward’s in the city. It’s definitely nice to not have to commute far now for work!
DS: What is the best part of your job?
Mike: The people – just getting to be around people all day. I get to talk about movies or books or whatever. It’s fun.
DS: What is a life lesson you’ve learned working behind the bar?
Mike: Patience. And to slow down when it’s really, really busy. Just slow down so you don’t make mistakes when it counts.
DS: What is the most life affirming thing you’ve ever witnessed?
Mike: When I was working in the city in the winter I saw a businessman walking in the snow. He passed by a homeless man who was shivering while he was sleeping. Then the guy turned around, went back and put his overcoat over the sleeping man.
DS: What is the best drink you make?
Mike: I think I make an awesome Manhattan. I make it the way I was taught- with whiskey, sweet vermouth and a little bit of cherry juice.
DS: What do you drink on a night off?
Mike: Dogfish Ale IPA or anything coming from Oregon and anything micro-brewed.
DS: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked?
Mike: When I was working as a bar back at Avalon by the Sea and this person came in and asked, ‘Where can I get a beach badge?’
DS: What advice would you give a 21 year-old going out in Hoboken?
Mike: Don’t snap at your bartender. Make eye contact and he or she will get to you. The more attitude you give, the longer it will take for them to get to you.
Photos by Krista Kelly.