Saying Goodbye to Maxwell’s

by Christopher Paul on June 3, 2013

It’s funny how people get attached to things. I was IM’ing my wife about something rather trivial when she said our favorite restaurant – one that has been feeding us since we moved in together years before we got married – was closing. The restaurant is Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ; it’s closing at the end of July after being renown for its live music scene for nearly 35 years.

It’s really hard to describe how upset I am. I love that place. Not only have I seen my friend’s band play there, it’s where my wife and I enjoyed our first months of a couple living together. And it’s also a place where my son loves to go too… we know the waiters there by first name and they know ours. Carlos, Robert, and Jessica (among others) know what my three year old son and I order – him grilled cheese, fries, and pickles (he always says all three when ordering) – and me the chicken nachos. Lately, they’ve known what beer I’ve been enjoying.

It wasn’t an issue of skyrocketing rent increases that many Hoboken establishments have suffered from. They say it wasn’t even the parking (which is also a horrible problem). The owners say it was "just time" to move on. Which, if there is any way to go… it’s on your own terms.

But I don’t know how to tell my son that Maxwell’s won’t be around anymore. It’s almost like talking about death to someone so young; they won’t understand. It’ll be even harder when he asks to go there. I can hear his sweet voice now begging, "Can we go to Maxwell’s? …Please?"

And I think that’s the part that hurts the most. He’s only three, yet he loves to eat there more than any other place. He has fun in the lounge area. He loves to pick at my food while he eats from his own dish. He knows the people we know… and they have watched our family grow; the other day, Carlos commented on how big our son was getting. Having to see the people you’ve come to know losing their jobs is heartbreaking.

The food and atmosphere can’t be replaced but those are small things. It’s the people, the memories, and the lost chances at more memories with my son that I’m sad about. If I had lotto money, I’d pay to keep the place open. I’m already hoping someone swoops in and keeps it running for years.

And for me, Maxwell’s was one of the things I enjoyed most about Hoboken. In fact, I was thinking the other day that it was the only thing I enjoyed about it. That, of course, isn’t true – my wife and I have made so many friends here – but I don’t know if Hoboken will ever be the same without Maxwell’s and I’m sad to see it go.

I feel like I’ve lost a friend and it’s hard to say goodbye.

Previous post:

Next post: