written by Peter Candia

A hidden gem lies tucked away in the heart of Jersey City, NJ, waiting to enthuse those who venture to find it. At 143 Newark Avenue lies one of NJ’s flagship Bareburger locations, but what awaits beneath (literally) is a truly captivating cocktail experience. If you know where to look, you’ll step foot into a world of mind-bending cocktails, tasty small bites, wine, beer and even an impressive selection of mocktails. All of these factors add up to what is unequivocally New Jersey’s best new bar. This is 143 Social

Getting to 143 Social

Entering the storefront, you might be tempted to take a seat at the Bareburger bar for a drink and a Wagyu burger, but at 143 Newark Ave, it’s important to keep focused. As you venture to the back of the restaurant—to the right—you’ll find a hidden stairway. And as you descend, you’ll find exactly what you came searching for.

Designed by Vanessa Deleon, entering 143 Social, you’ll find a dimly lit room with a wood-top bar at the forefront. Behind it, a low-key, candlelit lounge with tan-backed leather seats, granite tabletops and velvet-padded, c-shaped booths lures you in. The floor is a mix of dark wood and art deco tile. Depending on the evening, you might even find a DJ spinning a custom-mixed track list of genre-spanning tunes.

NJ’s Best New Cocktail Bar Is Hidden in Plain Sight

143 Social is the brainchild of Gabriel Rieben—perhaps NJ’s most storied bartender. Originally from Paris, France, Rieben’s impressive resume includes spearheading the cocktail menu at Jersey City’s Dullboy and Madame, bringing inventive and playful cocktails to the heart of the city. Previously, Rieben flexed his bartending prowess at Low Fidelity Bar and Cellar 335—two of the city’s other cocktail powerhouses.