In mid-November, the Red Rooster chef will open Marcus B & P in Newark, New Jersey

Maria Yagoda
October 30, 2017

If "exciting place to eat" doesn't come to mind when you hear the word "Newark," you haven't been paying very close attention.

The New Jersey city that, for many, is just the place where their planes land has developed a beautifully rich restaurant scene over the past few years, albeit one devoid of big names—until now. Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson will be opening a restaurant in downtown Newark in mid-November, the New York Post reports. Called Marcus B and P, the restaurant draws inspiration from the city's history and immigrant identities.

"We are addressing Newark’s current need and preparing for what is coming,” Samuelsson told the Post. "We will mirror the culture and history here, that is similar to Harlem, and we have a chance to be more ‘farm to table’ here than we can be in Manhattan. We are 15 minutes away from the source of our incredible hazelnuts and honey, for example.”

Samuelsson opened his iconic Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster, in 2010, in large part centering the neighborhood as a hot place to eat. We imagine the chef's new spot will help bolster Newark's food scene, as well, drawing even more big New York names to start projects across the river. 

"I am inspired by the Atlantic history and diverse culture of Newark. It’s a port town, and I come from a port town as well,” Samuelsson said, adding that the new restaurant will feature handmade pizzas and pastas.

Newark is already worth the PATH commuter rail ride from Manhattan, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you're feeling casual but also inordinately hungry, Tops Diner in East Newark (dubbed one of the "most famous" restaurants in New Jersey)  draws hour-long lines for a reason: their Monte Cristo French toast, ribs, benedicts and extensive menu of somewhat reimagined diner fare are immaculately executed. Alternatively, stroll Newark's four-square-mile Ironbound district for a slew of old-school Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian eateries. (Iberia Peninsula, an institution since 1924, serves spectacular Spanish and Portuguese dishes, heavy on seafood and barbecued meats. Fernandes Steakhouse is the place for Brazilian. Krug's Tavern is the only dive bar that serves hamburgers we dream about.) Not irrelevant: In March of this year, Newark's first Whole Foods opened.

Marcus B and P, which will also have a bar serving (you guessed it) craft cocktails, is set to open in mid-November at 56 Halsey St.