Around the World At Oliva on Newark Ave.
Oliva just opened at 138 Newark Ave. on the Pedestrian Plaza, in the space that formerly housed Tendershoot Farms. A gourmet market with decidedly non-gourmet prices, Oliva stocks both everyday staples and specialty items from across the Globe. Like many of our neighbors, we have been highly anticipating Oliva’s launch as it fills a real niche downtown, and it does not disappoint!
On the first floor, you’ll find the bakery, an expertly-packed selection of produce, dairy and drinks, and an excellent selection of domestic and imported cheeses. The hot and cold Deli Bar is a major score for the downtown worker/lunch crowd. Offerings include gyros, salads, quinoa bowls, a variety of smoked fishes, falafel, Italian and American style cold cuts, and a Mexican menu with burritos and burrito bowls, quesadillas, tostadas and tamales. Late night revelers are also in luck – while Oliva is currently open from 7:00 am – 10:30 pm, they will begin staying open until 2:00 am or 3:00 am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate this crowd.
The second floor of Oliva is full of delightful surprises. For one, the seating space. Against the picture window, a high-top bar with seating overlooks the Pedestrian Plaza. There are 10 mosaic tile tables, meticulously designed by a team of 14 craftsmen from Turkey who worked on the designs for 10 months. Note: the second-floor seating area will be officially open by November 5, at the latest. Fun fact: each table’s surface is a replica of a famous painting. Oliva will have outdoor seating as well, weather permitting. Back inside, mosaic artworks hang on the rustic brick walls, and an exotic lounge music soundtrack plays in the background. We especially enjoyed the extensive selection of olive oils and vinegars from across the Globe. There are also bountiful international selections of honey, coffees and teas, as well as savory and sweet snacks. Be sure not to miss the section of exotically shaped pastas imported from Italy, tucked neatly away at the back of the second floor.
In short, Oliva is yet another wonderful example of small businesses in Jersey City that thoughtfully service the needs and wants of our diverse community. That was the goal, a store worker explained to me while helping me select a beautiful bottle of Turkish olive oil to bring home, along with my Italian cheeses, pasta and adorable glass pots of Nutella (Note: now that we’ve tried Italian-made Nutella vs. the Americanized version we have been eating all these years, we will never go back!) “We worked with Rachel Seig of the Downtown SID [Special Improvement District] on this venture and she was so helpful and gave us so many resources along the way. She deserves our thanks for all that she did for us.” A big thanks from us to the team at Oliva for creating such a sweet shopping experience in JC.