Every now and again you have to make a change. That’s what life is all about–stepping outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do. A few years ago, I decided that it was time to get up on stage and try my hand at comedy. I couldn’t be happier that I did. I’ve made new friends, found out things about myself that I would have never known and given myself a much needed kick in the butt. Now, I’ve added writing reviews to my list of things that takes me out of my comfort zone. How fitting is it, that the very first review I get assigned, brings me back to the place I used to frequent before I started standup comedy? While so many others are well on their path, I’m still searching for mine.
This is where the new owners of the New Maggie’s Bar and Grill, Chef Steve Clooney and partners Steve and Debbie, come in to play. Steve and Debbie have been together since they were teenagers, raised their three children, and decided it was finally time to follow their life long dream of opening a bar. To understand how awesome this is–I should give you a little history of Maggie’s: a typical Irish Pub owned by a great Irish family for a couple of decades. I spent a good portion of my thirties hanging out in Maggie’s with friends watching football, relaxing after softball games and enjoying Tuesday trivia night. The dimly lit bar, which some say resembled a dungeon, was always filled with locals and regulars. Everyone really did know each other’s names. A few of my friends even found their wives at Maggie’s.
Enter the new owners, with a dream of owning a bar and a vision on how to improve on some old ideas. Steve and Debbie have found a way to upgrade the bar while maintaining Maggie’s “home” feel. I walked in a few minutes before Steve and took a seat at the bar. I immediately noticed the new paint job and new lighting that really took away that old dungeon feeling. The new Maggie’s also features sixteen, brand new, flat screen televisions with the NFL ticket so you can watch every game on Sunday.
Steve and Debbie serve up a feast just for the Giants vs. The Rams game. The menu includes Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers and Mimosas with an all you can eat buffet for just $12.95 starting at 9am and running until noon. An awesome deal and with the kitchen completely renovated and upgraded with top of the line industrial equipment you’re sure to enjoy the game from start to finish.
The thing that impressed me most was as Steve walked in, he went up to every customer said hello, shook their hands and introduced himself. Definitely something you don’t see very often in bars these days. To continue with the family atmosphere Debbie manages the bar, and their grown children help to keep the patrons happy and the bar running smoothly.
The menu is a great mix of some of the older standards and exciting new additions. For instance, there is the Bar Bites menu that runs from Thursday to Saturday to feed hungry patrons until midnight, because the kitchen usually closes at 10pm. If you can get out of work early Wednesday or Friday, come enjoy their Small Plates menu from 3-6pm. For just $5 each, you can choose from tasty dishes like garlic shrimp, vegetable pot stickers and much more.
Are martinis or margaritas your thing? Maggie’s serves specialty drinks and features new selections monthly. Like their food menu, Steve and Debbie also kept some of the standard draft beers on tap and added an assortment of IPAs that change regularly to keep fresh new beers available–so you can try different brews that are growing in popularity across New Jersey.
The new and improved Maggie’s now hosts live bands such as BJ Farley or the Benjamins Trio who will be appearing on November 16th. They’ll be adding a karaoke machine to the Friday night fun, so you and your friends can sing along. The jukebox is still in tact, in case you’re like me, and don’t have the voice for singing but want to hear some great hits. All in all, the entertainment level is on the rise. At this time, all live entertainment is free of charge, so you can come watch live bands or karaoke without breaking the bank. You can also watch major UFC fights at Maggies, including the upcoming return of Ronda Rouse.
The new and improved Maggie’s is definitely worth the trip. The old Maggie’s will always have a special place in my heart but with all the upgrades and improvements–I’m looking forward to spending time at the new Maggie’s. If you’re and old local who used to frequent this establishment, I encourage you to give the new owners a chance to impress you. I guarantee you that you’ll enjoy the new place just as much.Steve and Debbie are great people who make you feel right at home in their family run business. You’ll be greeted with a smile and a handshake and no matter how bad of a day you’re having–the new Maggie’s is just the place to lift your spirits any night of the week.
442 Hackensack Street
Carlstadt, NJ 07072
Phone: (201) 939-9769
By Ed Rufolo