Lt. Gov. Says Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Could Be Boon For Business

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's visit to a local bar highlights one of Hoboken's biggest challenges post-Sandy.

While towns along the Jersey Shore have several months to get ready for their high tourist season, Hoboken has only six weeks before St. Patrick's Day.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno believes it could give a much-needed boost to businesses in the Mile Square City.

On a visit to Zack's Oak Bar and Restaurant on Willow Ave. Thursday afternoon, Guadagno spoke with bar co-owner Sheila Nisler and Mayor Dawn Zimmer about the challenges facing small businesses post-Sandy.

Guadagno suggested the mobs of green-clad bar hoppers that descend on Hoboken the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day should do their part responsibly.

"They should put away their drinking caps and go shopping and eating," she said, only half in jest.

When asked what she thought of the idea, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she wants visitors to come back to Hoboken.

The city is planning to host it's second annual Irish Cultural Festival on a Wednesday in March to be announced. The annual parade was cancelled last year and replaced with .

Zimmer doesn't regret the changes.

"It's challenging resource-wise," she said. "We cannot afford to pay for all the security."

Right now, the city's bigger challenge is balancing two conflicting messages: telling visitors that Hoboken is "open for business," while advocating for funds to help businesses that are still struggling as they wait for FEMA and insurance payouts.

Sheila Nisler from Zack's is intimately familiar with that challenge.

Less than one week after the storm, Nisler's staff cleaned up the bar well enough to open its doors, serving what was for some Hoboken residents their first hot meal in days.

However, Zack's will have to close again. That is, once their insurance money arrives to complete more extensive repairs to the floors and the restoration of the historic oak bar from the late 1800s. But Nisler is optimistic the work will get done quickly. 

"We've been a lucky one," Nisler said.

Whether it's the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day or the average Thursday night, Nisler said business owners like her are counting on their neighbors to come out and support them.

"Everybody wants Hoboken to thrive. Everybody wants Hoboken to be what it was."

PeoplePlease January 18, 2013 at 01:12 AM
I'm going to stop and breath...then retort.
BruceD January 18, 2013 at 01:59 AM
What a bogus piece of journalism. Why not show pictures of the drunk hordes taking over the streets and random pissing and puking in the street. Headline is gross distortion of lt gov said in article
Laurie Michelson January 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM
This helps the bars. Hoboken is much more than just bars. In fact many businesses that aren't bars would probably close.
Jeff January 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM
If she lived in Hoboken and had to protect her property and family from the drunken morons, and felt imprisoned inside of her home for 24 hours because thousands of loud, puking maniacs had taken over the city, she'd be singing a different tune. What a jerk.
puzzledone January 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM
"They should put away their drinking caps and go shopping and eating," she said, only half in jest. 1. How did patch decide what percentage of the statement was in jest? 2. In this case, if the parade is brought back, I think it is imperative that the Lt. Governor spend the full day in Hoboken and understand what a city wide frat party really means.
XJS January 18, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Oh be fair. The frat party exists mainly between Willow and Washington, with the bulk of it being closer to Washington (except along first). I would like to ride a horse around town that day and trample the stupids.
BruceD January 18, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Seems to me that Claire took great liberties with this story. Sad.
XJS January 18, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Claire has made it clear what her level of "journalistic integrity" is.
PeoplePlease January 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Those I am hearing from say there is a big push by the hospitality industry to reinstate the parade. I am also hearing that this push is coming from below and above the mayor's office, and maybe as high as the White House. Looks like Hoboken is going to be forced to do their part in restoring Jersey post Sandy.
puzzledone January 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
If there are calls to bring back an event marked by drunk and disorderly behavior from the White House, and as a result of the drunk and disorderly behavior, the inevitable happens, and someone drinks themselves to death, falls off a balcony or gets sexually assaulted, that would be some pretty interesting PR. Still, I'm sure your sources are right on.
DaHorsey, SmartyJones of MSV January 18, 2013 at 06:37 PM
When hasn't there been a "big push" by the bars to revel in the green all day as Hoboken is being ransacked that day? Didn't Timmy Occhipinti begin pushing for this on his Facebook even with people decrying the push and voicing strong opposition in the face of the upheaval from Hurricane Sandy? As I recall, he tried to take that "offline" and then went the very next day to push it at the City Council meeting ignoring the people entirely on behalf of the hospitality industry. At the last City Council meeting, Occhipinti again tried to push on behalf of the bars the all day mardi gras vomit fest. Residents aren't so enamored but they should know whose interests Tim Occhipinti cares about. It isn't the people of Hoboken. He like Beth Mason, Michael Russo and Terry Castellano is suing the people of Hoboken to gain more power. Never ends with them.
KeyLimePie January 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Hoboken bars will be packed on the first Saturday in March regardless of whether there's a parade. LepreCon proved that last year, and you can't legislate it away. The hardcore drunks never watched the parade anyway because they had to get into the bars before lines formed. The parade was actually the one wholesome, non-drinking, family-oriented, cultural event of the day. Eliminating the parade kept the locals inside their homes while the town was overrun by young Manhattanites and suburbanites. The vast majority of who, by the way, are very well-behaved. Hoboken St. Pat's is a chance for all to see our charming city and celebrate spring. Of course safety comes first but the sales taxes on the liquor should cover the increased security. Those who want peace and quiet 365 days a year shouldn't reside in Hoboken, one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S..
qbert January 19, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Ask the guy that did the santacon to do St Paddy day here. That worked well for a lot of people and no fight all day.
VinVan January 22, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Still funny that Dimmer goes straight into flip-flop mode when her boy-toy Christie's hump says something about it. If you have a stance, stick with it, even if you're wrong, there's still some honor in that, but mostly it shows that she's not confident that she's right, or maybe just has no idea what's going on at all. Pretty lame.
Outofcontrol January 22, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Santacon was a bust and everyone knows it. The mayor should stop begging for relief when she has the power to generate tons of revenue for local businesses, yet she refuses to allow the parade. Expect the feds to look at this when they decide how much they will be giving to the town.
pdq January 22, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Really? The Federal government will be researching st paddy's day parades in municipalities to determine FEMA aid. Hmmm...who knew. I thought it was based on damage but lo and behold it is based on parade dates.
HudsonStreet January 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Sad that Beth Mason has little choice but to now suround herself with people like Outofcontrol, VinVan and CuriousGirl. Different screen names but the same negativiity.
Journey January 22, 2013 at 04:31 PM
I live back in the 'presidents' and the last parade had my daughter looking out the window saying "Green, Green, Same, Same." She was only two. So the drunken idiots do show up further back.


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