Conveniently located between the Newark’s University Heights and Central Business district, Halsey Street serves as an essential element of the downtown retail corridor. This quaint compact and walkable quarter-mile area with its row of handsome three to four story brick facade townhouses, eclectic array of fashion boutiques, hair salons, tattoo parlors, cafés, restaurants and bars give the street it’s bohemian character and charm. Frequent references to Manhattan’s SoHo area and Williamsburg’s “hipster” neighborhoods are the common comparisons by locals and visitors to describe the aesthetic character of this section in Halsey Street.
The Street’s distinctive character and eclecticism is attributable to its combination of historic buildings and businesses such as the former Hahne&Co department store (established 1850), now a converted 317 loft style unit apartment building and mixed-use complex, McGovern’s Tavern (established 1936) and newer entrants to the neighborhood, such as the Black Swan Espresso café. The City aides in the continued aesthetic and cultural enhancement of the neighborhood through its implementation of form-based zoning requirements, installation of planters, parkettes, outdoor seating, bike-racks and sidewalk widening improvements. Additional contribution to its unique character and cosmopolitanism of the neighborhood is the population of ethnic, racial, gender and culturally diverse mixture of artists, educators, students, business professionals, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, models, musicians, poets, who live, work and socialize in the neighborhood.