A Hackensack Short -Remembering What Used to Be There – 744 Main Street
Journeys into Hackensack
The news has been out here since June, but we only became aware of the change the other day when we drove by.
The restaurant/corner bar establishment at the intersection of Main Street, Spring Valley and Voorhis Place is turning a page.
Cheers has closed permanently, and is being replaced by Viva Margarita, which is described as a Tequilaria and Mexican Grill.
Cheers may or may not sound familiar to you. The place did not have that name for all that long. Before and for a number of years, it was known as Poitin Still. It was that name that the place had managed to build a loyal following, offering up a neighborhood feel while also hosting various activities that appealed to folks beyond the neighborhood.
In fact, in a 2010 New York Times article on best bars and pubs in the area, the place was described (all be it by a bartender) as the “best Irish atmosphere and hospitality in Bergen County”. It was known to make “a mean soda bread” and it hosted Irish Dancers for St. Patrick’s Day as recently as 2017 (according to an online publicity blurb).
Cheers continued to promote special events – of course, St Patrick’s Day but also for Halloween, New Year’s Eve and for many sports events.
I always found myself rooting for the place to succeed, but one could not help but notice that the once crisp, new and clean Irish flags that adorned the place in its opening had become faded. But I allowed that for neighborhood grit. After all, they offered a presence when many others were not present locally. They were survivors.
However, grit alone could not get it through COVID. It seems that Cheers (Poitin Still) was yet another casualty of the pandemic.
The new place is going to be a local address for an eatery with pre-existing outposts in Edgewater, Cliffside Park and Wallington. One hopes the place fairs well. Their timing is good. There seems to be an optimism to the city. Moreover, between the Hackensack Brewing Company, the Alementary Brewing Company and some complementary eateries not too far away (i.e. Lido, Presto’s, Fairmont Eats, Late Nite Hackensack Pizza & Steak ---- and now Viva Margarita) there seem to be a number of foundational building blocks in place that can help propel the neighborhood forward – even as the buzz may be a few blocks to the south on a new and improved Main Street.
It all has us thinking about continuity and change in town – especially along Main Street and in its neighborhoods.
My Dad, who passed away almost 25 years ago, used to love to go to Corky’s Corner when it inhabited that corner (I think he enjoyed a Shepherd’s Pie or Open Face Turkey Sandwich with a beer for a lunch). That was in the 1980’s I believe. But for decades before that the location was home to a number of other watering holes/eateries. But with the passing of time their names mostly elude me (except for Waterloo Sue’s). Do you remember those places?
Perhaps you can help fill in the blanks (Pointin Still, Cheers, Corky’s Corner, Waterloo Sue’s - what else ?) of the businesses that called that corner their home as we say thanks to the folks at Cheers (Pointin Still) for a good run, and now welcome Viva Margarita to the neighborhood.