By Sally Deering
No Jersey City club had a better name than The Dopeness, a little restaurant and performance venue on Second Street off Newark Ave that served kitschy food and entertainment that ran the gamut from stand-up comedy to jams and slams. Then, suddenly The Dopeness sign came down and a new sign went up for The Citizen. Run by the same team – Anthony Gude and Stephen Schlat – (minus one original partner) The Citizen has what The Dopeness never had: a liquor license.
Now, visitors who stop by The Citizen can order a Colt 45 and a shot of “Jaimo”, 16-year old Single Malt Scotch, or The Grateful Dead and Moscow Mule – drinks that get squirted into the glass by way of nitro fusion. After one of those you may forget all about The Dopeness and welcome The Citizen with open arms.
“The liquor license was officially granted on Oct. 22nd and now we have a full bar,” co-owner Gude says, “We have a nice selection of top-shelf drinks and late-night deals that are synonymous with the dive bars in the Village. We’re classy but we serve it all in plastic cups for safety.”
Entertainment-wise, co-owners Gude and Schlat are broadening The Citizen’s horizons. The bands Melting Pot and Japanda just played there; and for its Holiday Happy Hour Toy Drive starting at 5 pm on Thurs, Dec. 17, singer GISELLE BELLAS gives a special performance at 8 pm. (Bring a toy to be donated to the Children’s Specialized Hospital.) On Fri, Dec. 18,
at 9 pm, THE NAKED CITIZEN, an evening featuring the artistry of burlesque takes the stage.
“Our biggest thing before the end of this year is the burlesque show.” Gude says. “We have a film festival potentially coming in and a lot more planned for 2016.”
The burlesque show is a Christmas Cabaret run by The Love Show and NYC Stilts. Performing as a guest star is Satine S’Allumer who is originally from Australia and has toured nationally. There has been a revival of Burlesque since the early 1990’s, S’Allumer says, and although the art of the striptease is part of her performance, she nor any of the other dancers that will be performing will go the full Monty There are pasties and G-strings and other adornments that keep the show R-not-X-rated.
.“Burlesque is a fantastic venue for self-expression,” S’Allumer says. “It celebrates all genders, all body types, and all sizes. It’s body positivity.”
Along with the new shows and liquor license, The Citizen boasts new décor, too, sort of a nautical theme like a Retro 1950s-60s pro-citizenship thing, Gude says.
“We’re trying to be Renaissance guys,” Gude says. “We have something really good here.”
332 Second St, JC
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 5 pm-Midnight
Fri: 5 pm-2 am; Sat: 5 pm-3 am
For more info visit The Citizen on Facebook.