Newark is a city that has rich history, diverse culture, local tradition, and American made hat making. It sits approximately 18 miles, southeast of Manhattan, New York. It’s not the “Big City of Lights” but, the future is looking bright for Newark–we are honored to be growing with and within it.
We’ve been proudly making hats in the Iron Bound district since the 1950’s alongside local legend, Ruben “Ruby” Spitz. This area has slowly become a healthy piece of our brand’s history and with history comes tradition. There’s not a single trip to Newark, New Jersey that goes by where we don’t take the time to savor the flavors and family feel that is Hobby’s Delicatessen. The culture here is as consistent as the menu is extensive, and there’s something for everyone. They’ve been doing it the right way since, “before you were born.”
We took a moment to sit down and talk with the second generation deli kings, Michael and Marc Brummer, as we enjoyed a few of our personal favorite delicacies. If you’ve never been, take the time. Pull up a seat–there’s plenty to go around:
How long has Hobby’s been serving the community of Newark, New Jersey?
Our father purchased Hobby’s in December of 1962. It’s been a Hobby’s since 1937, but there’s been a delicatessen here since the 1920s. We officially took over the business in the late 1980s. We’re from Newark but we grew up ‘here.’ We’ve been coming here since we were tall enough to look over the countertops.
Why Newark? What has kept you here proudly serving and contributing to the community?
First of all, our mother was born in Newark and it was once a very vibrant community. Our father, a Polish immigrant, came to New York City and shortly after the war, relocated to Newark. Outside of the city, this was the place to be. It was full of performing arts and music, great infrastructure and the first county park system in the country. Unfortunately, like many industrial cities after World War 2, it went into a long decline. We’ve been through some tough times here but as our father always said, “Newark has been good to us.” We have many longtime customers, too many to count, and this is our home. It’s a great community to be a part of, and it’s exciting to see all of the great changes and progress that is happening here. We’re building and people are coming. Get ready.
What do you consider to be the Hobby’s staple? What are you known for?
The staple sandwich is the #5, the corned beef, pastrami, Russian dressing, and slaw. But we have something for everyone. We’re not just about Jewish delicatessen foods. We’re about good food. If we’re not happy with serving it, we don’t.
Would you consider Newark to be a “hat city?”
It doesn’t take a hat shop on every corner to tell you that. There have been hat stores on this street since we’ve been around. Yes. In downtown Newark, everybody wears hats. There’s plenty of expressive people here and a lot of artists. We’re definitely a hat city.
Hobby’s is easily our first stop when returning to Newark and often recommended. As lifetime locals, is there anywhere that you’d like to recommend to our readers as a must visit?
Indeed. The NJPAC, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Hands down, it’s one of our favorites and there’s always something new going on and they are world class. There and the Newark Museum. Our parks are fantastic… we recommend New Jersey.
What does the future hold for Newark, New Jersey?
We’re experiencing a slow, sustainable growth. It’s not just happening downtown but all throughout the neighborhoods. The Ironbound district has been steadily on the rise with new people moving there. The NJPAC has contributed a lot to improve the quality of life in the local community. We look forward to a consistent and healthy growth here as well as doing our part.