The past few years, it's as if the establishment itself courageously refused to jump into the glitzy "21st Century, Hoboken bar scene" complete with flat-screens and flashy lighting. Speaking as a regular of Ted and Jo's, those are the main reasons why people like myself loved and embraced it. It was more than just place to eat or drink; it was our home.Coming out of the cold
I first moved to Hoboken on a snowy day in February of 2003. Once I finished getting everything inside my humble, basement studio apartment on Eighth and Park Avenue, I started walking up the block in the snow, looking for a place to eat dinner. I came upon what seemed like a friendly bar on 11th and Park.
It was crowded, but I was lucky enough to grab a seat at the bar. A dark haired bartender in his mid-thirties asked me what I'd like.
"I'll have a Miller Lite and a cheeseburger, cooked medium-well, please." I told him.
He put my order in and brought me a beer. Even though it was crowded, he took the time to ask if I was new to Hoboken.
"I just moved in about an hour ago, sir."
Sensing my shyness, as I kept shuffling my eyeglasses, he put his hand out and said, "I'm Pat. It's nice to meet you."
A few nights later, I walked by Ted and Jo's and noticed that Pat was working again. I went in and sat at the bar. Without saying a word, a Miller Light appeared in front of me, "Hey, Adam." Pat said smiling, "Do you want another cheeseburger - medium-well, tonight?"
I was pleasantly surprised that he had remembered my name and what I'd ordered just a few nights before. I couldn't help but feel comfortable there, and I immediately knew this was going to be my place to hang.
Pat was my first friend in Hoboken, and within the next few months, he went out of his way to introduce me to Gerry and many of the regulars at the bar, who were from all walks of life, and some of the kindest people I've ever met.
It's no wonder many of them have become my best friends.
Being a standup comedian and performing at shows around Hoboken and in New York City, I can't tell you how many people from the bar, including the bartenders and waitresses, that have shown up to support my dreams. Their encouragement has always been nothing less than overwhelming.
Meet my parents
When my parents came down to visit from New Hampshire last summer, the first place in Hoboken I took them was Ted and Jo's. After meeting some of the staff and regulars, my dad whispered to me, "Wow, no wonder you come here all the time, this place is really amazing." I almost got teary-eyed with pride, because he understood that I was a part of a little community of quality people.
Now the regulars such as myself are left without a place to call their own. I realize all good things come to an end, and there are tragedies in this world far worse than a local bar closing, but I say this with all sincerity: Hoboken as we know it will never be the same.
I just feel extremely fortunate to have walked into Ted and Jo's on that snowy evening a little over five years ago, my life is much richer because of it.