We don’t need a 23andMe: As far as we’re concerned, all of Bergen County has got the luck of the Irish on its side following the announcement that The Craftsman—a go-to for craft coffee and cocktails in NYC’s Harlem neighborhood since 2017—opened a New Jersey outpost, in Fair Lawn, on April 12.
Owners (and NJ residents) Dave & Phil have been business partners for the past 20 years since coming to the U.S. from Ireland, and not even a pandemic could hold them back from reaching their vision of sharing craft cocktails and phenomenal food with the world. While that means replicating some of the same magic that makes the NYC location such a success (the amazing coffee; the warm, vintage decor featuring oil-rubbed-bronze fixtures, reclaimed wooden beams, and rich-brown-leather seating), it also means adding a few new things to make it extra special. That means an abundance of all-night food and drink specials on Thursdays, Instagram-worthy weekend brunch will eventually become a neighborhood staple, and The Craftsman’s spacious outdoor patio will become the go-to spot, whether it’s date night or fight night.
Also unique to this location is how The Craftsman plans to break up its ample bar and dining space. Plans call for three distinct areas: First is “The Parlor,” a traditional gastropub where guests can watch the big game, listen to live music, enjoy a pint of Guinness (and plenty of other beers, wines, and specialty cocktails), and nibble on a selection of small plates showcasing Irish-American pub favorites.
Then there the main restaurant, lovingly named “The Rosewood,” where guests can enjoy a casual lunch, date night, or bring the whole family to dine on contemporary American dishes in an unpretentious environment. The menu (more on that below) is designed to entice a range of tastes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients mixed with some Irish soul.
Finally, there’s The Craftsman’s hidden gem, “The Dunbrody,” a fully customizable event space named after the famous Irish Coffin ship from the famine era. Its luxurious ambiance is perfect for birthday celebration, baby showers, bar/bat mitzvahs, and more.
Now, back to that menu we mentioned earlier. While a full menu is still a few weeks away, executive chef Ramon Perez promises plenty of opening day dishes we can’t wait to try, starting with their signature crab cakes. Grab a fork and go to town on these crispy, made-to-order patties served with a mango slaw and spicy remoulade. Then there’s Osso Bucco, a 12-ounce veal shank braised with carrots, celery, onions, tomato, red wine, and spices. It’s slow-cooked for three hours until it’s fork-tender and served with a silky sauce over a bed of mashed potatoes and garnished with basil leaves. Of course, no gastropub would be complete without a solid breakfast offering, and The Craftsman’s got a traditional Irish-style one (complete with eggs, toast, bacon, baked beans, and sausage) that’ll have more than just Irish eyes smiling bright.
The Craftsman 6-18 Maple Avenue, Fair Lawn (201) 773-8985