Small business owners everywhere have already been deeply impacted by the worldwide pandemic. Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed last month, the restaurant industry has been the most impacted. Many cafés and bars were left with no choice but to close their doors until further notice, potentially leaving themselves and their staff out of a job.
Locally and across the nation, our friends in the restaurant industry have taken matters into their own hands. Chefs and business owners everywhere are finding creative ways to combat the current circumstances—the easiest among these is to offer curbside pick-up and delivery. While this may seem counterintuitive to social distancing, our local venues are taking the utmost precaution and employing practices outlined by the CDC and local government.
It goes without saying, but small businesses and restaurants are the backbones of our respective communities—they have ever been conduits for our thriving local culture. Places to meet and foster ideas. But many, don’t have reserves to live off of.
Earlier this month, we spoke to Isabella Molnar-Megyeri, a local restauranteur and owner of Green Pear Café in Hoboken and Jersey City Heights. For her, Green Pear’s mission is more than just one of providing meals and table service. The former Hungarian opera singer has always been in the business of bringing people together. She opened her two businesses, particularly The Heights location, with a community-oriented mentality—merging ideals of art, dining and design.
“I wanted to open my kitchen to my neighborhood, to create an artist incubator where locals can showcase their talent and where you can have a workshop or a lecture and leave with a smile,” she told us.
While gentrification has its benefits, businesses like Green Pear Café remain a welcoming home for local creatives and entrepreneurs, without inflating the prices of their European, homestyle menu. Molnar-Megyeri has hosted collaborative events where artists can sell their work—the café’s very walls serving as a gallery year-round.
To combat the current circumstances, Green Pear Café has doubled down on up curbside take-out and delivery. The family-run business, like many others, is now listed on all delivery platforms such as GrubHub, UberEATS, DoorDash and Postmates. You can also call either storefront for delivery and pick-up options at (201) 659-0940 in Hoboken and (201) 968-7151 in The Heights. It’s important to support local businesses like Green Pear during these times because, without them, our communities wouldn’t be what they are today.
“People today need places like this. Here, you bring your own bottle so you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you don’t want to,” Molnar-Megyeri explained. “You can have something that’s intimate, where the music isn’t too loud and no one is talking over each other. 22 years ago when my family moved here, if you would’ve told me that this kind of place was going to exist it would’ve been unimaginable.”