|Photo from Rita & Joe's|
This week, long-standing Italian restaurant Rita & Joe's announced they would be closing.
After opening in 1985 at 142 Broadway, Rita & Joe's quickly became known as one of the best classic, old-school red sauce Italian restaurants in the area and has remained a constant favorite over the years with many families returning year after year for special occasions. It has a storied history with scenes from The Sopranos filmed there and the restaurant was notably included on Eater's list of 10 Old-Fashioned Italian-American Restaurants in New York and Jersey City as one of the five best.
It was opened by Rita and Joe Pane and stayed a family business with their son Michael and his wife, Isabel, stepping in to help. After Michael and Joe both passed away in 2007, Isabel took over the majority of the operation but Rita remained a constant presence at the restaurant, greeting new and returning customers who she considered family and overseeing the food until her death in 2016. Her passing is part of what has prompted the decision to close as Isabel Pane, her daughter-in-law, has decided it would be better for her to take time to focus on her children. You can read the full statement here.
While no definite closing date has been given, Rita & Joe's will likely close by the end of January and all gift certificates will be honored through 1/28. Stop by in the next few weeks to get a final taste of Jersey City history and say goodbye.