18 Taps, a Great Whiskey Selection and Upscale Comfort Food
By Sally Deering
Jean and Charles Stewart first met at a bar; she was serving drinks at an establishment in the East Village and he was a member of the Coast Guard stationed in Bayonne out for a night on the town. The two fell in love, married and started a family and now they’re raising a son and building a new career as restaurateurs and owners of Lot 13 in Bayonne.
Lot 13 opened in 2011 and both husband and wife share all the responsibilities of running a restaurant and busy bar.
“We do everything,” Jean says, taking a break after cooking dinner for five hungry patrons. “We manage the restaurant, we bartend and cook. We have 18 taps and a great whiskey collection – whiskey and craft beer we were originally going for. The kitchen is getting rolling and we’re getting more business. It’s all baby steps.”
Jean describes the menu as upscale comfort food.
“My husband is from Georgia, so we have a secret recipe for the rub for the pulled pork,” Jean says. “We have a smoker, too. We have fish and chips. Everything we do is fresh, not frozen or pre-prepared.”
Indeed, the reviews from patrons have been great. Nicole O. who lives on the waterfront posted this review on Yelp.com: “AWESOME place. I had the Lot 13 burger and it was the best burger ever. The beer list is great, something for everyone. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a good beer and burger.”
Tom W. of Bayonne also wrote on Yelp.com: “I glanced at the tap options, not noticing the chalk board beer menu to the left of bar, with somewhere between 10 and 14 draft selections, 6-10 can selections, and 15-20 bottle selections. I ordered a beer from the tap closest to me, a Goose Island IPA. The tap consisted of two Goose Islands, Allagash White, Dogfish Head 60, and another one or two decent crafts. Guinness, Stella, and Miller High Life rounded out the choices. The can and bottle options did include Budweiser and Coors Light, several Weyerbachers, some seasonal imports (Hofbrau Oktoberfest among them), and other flavorful favorites among beerheads.”
Sang B. of Jersey City posted: “I have only been here once but so far so good. I came here a Saturday afternoon – just passing by and hoping that it was not closed. I was really glad to see the open sign. Initially I was drawn to this bar because of the tap list. I had the Winter Solace on draft which was very good. My husband picked a few others and he said they were very good as well. Their menu was pretty good as well. I tried the wings, grass-fed burger, chicken nuggets (special) and lots and lots of fries. Wings were on the larger side, grass-fed burger was very moist, and everything had enough salt to allow the beer to taste extra refreshing. We saw some people try the chicken cutlet sandwich also, which looked delicious.”
“We have our neighborhood regulars, which is the backbone of our business and we have some bands and shows we put on that attract people further out,” Jean says. “Jersey City is close and the Light Rail is close to us. We’re on the corner of 18th and “E” and the Light Rail stops at 22nd, just a few blocks away.”
Building a business while raising a new family can be tough and there are still details that need to be taken care of like a website for the business and business cards, too. In the meantime, Jean and Charles – everybody knows him as Chuck – are planning to add a brunch on weekends and their growing hops for beer in their outdoor garden.
“We could look into a brewer’s license, but we can also sell the hops,” Jean says.
She could sell them to the NJ Beer Company, a local brewer whose beer flows from one of the Lot 13 taps.
“We try to do a lot of New Jersey local stuff,” Jean says. “Our beef comes from a New Jersey farm.”
And even though Chuck is from Georgia and Jean is from Natick, MA, she says they made the right move opening their business and starting a family in Bayonne.
“We love it,” Jean says. “It’s nice to run your own show. It’s rewarding and challenging. I like the cooking end of it. I like to see people enjoying it. Chuck and I are both petty outward and social.”
If you go:
169 Ave “E”
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 4 pm-2 am
Fri, Sat, 11am – 3 am
Sun, 11 am – 2 am
Kitchen serves food until closing