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Small businesses tackling obstacles beyond COVID in Jersey City Heights neighborhood

Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 19:08:58-04

JERSEY CITY, NJ — The owners of an Eastern European inspired cafe in Jersey City made the best out of a bad situation in recent months, but conditions in the neighborhood, including piling garbage, speeding cars and crime, have made it difficult to thrive in a climate where every penny and customer counts.

Isabella Molnar's Green Pear Heights on Franklin Street was forced to shut down at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. They kept offering takeout and delivery. People came from Staten Island, Bergen County and all over to enjoy the cafe's signature Hungarian dishes, which allowed the business to stay above water.

They now have an outdoor seating area.

"We are here, we are trying our best to build something that is good for the community," she said.

The owner of nearby Salsa Fever On2 Dance Academy, Mario Gonzales, agreed with Molnar that more could be done to improve the quality of life in the community right now.

"We don’t get that white glove service that downtown Jersey City gets and I’m not hating, whatever works, but it would be nice if they could spend a little bit more time focusing a little bit more in the Heights," he said.

For its part, Jersey City has invested in numerous resources to help keep small businesses alive citywide over the past several months. A city spokesperson told PIX11 they are actively working with small business owners to better understand their needs.

In the meantime, Molnar said she'd continue to service her community in the hopes that city officials would do the same.

"Things are happening and changing and that’s beautiful, but we need a little bit more," she said.

Green Pear Heights is located at:

93 Franklin St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307
(201) 968-7151
Days of operations are:
-Thursday and Friday 5.30 pm to 10 pm ​
-Saturday 10 am to 3 pm and 5:30 pm to 10 pm
-Sunday 10 am to 3 pm and 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm


Salsa Fever On 2 Dance Academy is located at:

83 Franklin St
Jersey City NJ 07307
For information on classes, email: sfon2services@gmail.com or call 201-792-1616.