Sometimes you just end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Last weekend, my friends and I had one of those moments when simply trying to get some late night fried chicken.
(WARNING: strong language in video)
After living in Northern New Jersey / New York City area for all these years, one thing that I’ve come to learn is that each town, city, and suburb has their own iconic fried chicken joint. Many of these places are open until the wee hours of the morning and Hollywood Fried Chicken on Newark Avenue in downtown Jersey City is no different.
Hollywood Fried Chicken on Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ
The fried chicken is super cheap, super tasty, and probably not the best for you. The breading is not too spicy, but is crisp while the chicken inside remains moist. Their menu consists of fried chicken and all the sides, plus burgers and gyros. There are three locations in New Jersey and this restaurant has been a neighborhood staple for decades. Just say the name – and most locals know all about it!
And by cheap, I mean you can purchase a 15 piece chicken box with 2 sides and biscuits that will feed the entire family for $13! While there are dozens of door buster meal deals, an individual chicken wing starts at the rock bottom price of 75 cents!
The restaurant opens at 10am and doesn’t close until 4am. Those late night hours often make the place a last stop for those who’ve had a little too much to drink bar hopping all night.
We’re not sure what started the brawl. As we turned the corner from Jersey Avenue, you could hear lots of commotion and arguing going on inside the restaurant. Next thing you know it, one group is pushing the other and within a minute, people spill out the front door onto the street.
No one was seriously hurt and we left right after I stopped recording. We had a conversation with two other customers who were inside when everything happened. As one of them told us:
“It was stupid. One girl bumped into the other and things got out of hand.”
The Jersey City police heading toward the scene.
Within about 10 minutes after everything broke up and being called, the Jersey City police finally arrived on the scene.
The sad thing is in this day and age with all the lawsuits and cameras, a simple misunderstanding like this can really blow up into big trouble. While some of it was fueled by alcohol (and you could clearly see at least one girl, barely able to walk) too many people are looking to sue. Just watch daytime TV with all the injury lawyer commercials!
Hollywood Fried Chicken has a 3½ star rating on Yelp with reviews mixed from really good to really bad. Many of the reviews note the rowdy customers and late night drunks, but thank Hollywood for saving them from a massive hangover.
But, like it or hate it, the restaurant has a profitable business model. The place is always busy no matter what time of day and they turn out lots of chicken during business hours. They may want to add some more late night security, however.
Does your neighborhood have a late night chicken place like this?
What: Hollywood Fried Chicken
Where: Jersey City, New Jersey
Date of incident: after midnight, January 20, 2014
JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:
The Hollywood Fried Chicken banana pudding.
The neighborhood along the Jersey City waterfront across the river from New York City continues to gentrify. What were once railroads and warehouses are now expensive rentals and high rise condos. Hollywood Fried Chicken has certainly seen the changes in the neighborhood over the decades.
The food is really good; sadly the crowd sometimes is not. I eat there on a regular basis; I just scope it out, first. If it looks packed and rowdy inside – I pass.
But, you’ve got to try their banana pudding! It’s absolutely succulent and quite the little hidden bonus item on their menu!
Image credit – Paul Lowry