New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Regardless of our relationship statuses, we’ve experienced a lot of unusual in 2020. From searching for paper products to seeking election resolution, New Jerseyans have been through the wringer. 

As we round the corner to concluding the year that can’t end soon enough, couples and singles alike need a chance to relax. An after-work happy hour makes for a great date night. New Jersey has many offerings, both tasty and in accordance with CDC safety recommendations. 

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night where you can throw one back in the safest way possible!

Where Excitement is Brewing

Sometimes a cold beer hits the spot, and there’s a spot in Hoboken perfect for your date. Alementary Brewing Company creates some of the finest beers in New Jersey and their outdoor biergarten is a perfect and safe place to imbibe. 

Their assortment of beer includes Low Earth Orbit (an oatmeal stout with roasted dark chocolate malts) and Better Late Than Never (a pandemic-late released brew, receiving an extra four months of aging over a few hundred pounds of apricots).  If something fresh and light is your thing, try Random Placement of Things (a perfect in-between of an IPA and a Pale Ale with bright citrus and tropical notes). 

Be sure to check out their special events, like the beer and yoga experience! Learn more at

Top of the World

Alto in Morristown features a rooftop perfect for a happy hour date night, serving up panoramic views of Manhattan. Located at the MC Hotel, you and your date will enjoy their signature house cocktails including the Wanna Lackawanna (Bone Black Vodka, Montenegro, pineapple ginger shrub and Demerara cucumber) and the Honey Badger (Jim Beam bourbon, St. George Spiced Pear liqueur, Mount Gay rum, lemon, ginger and honey).

If your date is craving a classic, you can’t go wrong with the Hemingway Daiquiri (Bacardi, Maraschino, grapefruit and lime).  Be sure to check out their nibbly bits, including their Alto fries and their house popcorn with truffle oil, parmesan and chives.

For more information about Alto, visit

BeauJerséy est Arrivée!

It’s a challenge to fly to France to enjoy a 2020 Beaujolais on Nov. 19, but there’s simply no need when you can stay in Jersey and visit Old York Cellars.  Located in Ringoes, this vineyard is the winner of the 2020 New Jersey Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Competition and has created three Beaujolais (or in our case, BeauJerséy) ripe for the drinking.

BeauJerséy Nouveau Red is fruit forward and exuberant, made entirely from New Jersey Chambourcin grapes. The BeauJerséy White is a Riesling and the BeauJerséy Rosé is light with hints fresh berries made entirely from New Jersey Pinot Noir and Chambourcin grapes. Only about 80 cases of each wine were bottled so you better schedule that date ASAP.

The fun begins on the 19th and the four-day celebration at the vineyard and their two storefronts (in Bridgewater Commons and Quaker Bridge Mall) includes delicious foods and entertainment.

For more information, visit

One Sip, Three Bites and Repeat

Big Shots in Woodbridge serves up beverages for every craving, from beer to wine to cocktail. Their outdoor space is sporty, welcoming and full of a fun vibe.  Of course your drinks are important, but if you want a happy hour with emphasis on the happy food, this is the place for you! 

Besides their assortment of pizzas, sandwiches and salads, you’ll have tough choices to make with their bar bites.  You might go for the Cajun chicken bites or the pizza florets (hand-made pinwheels rolled with sausage, pepperoni and mozzarella served with marinara). The kung pao cauliflower is an amazing choice (sriracha-battered cauliflower, fried and tossed with house-made Kung Pao sauce). Save some room for dessert because their home-baked cookies are the perfect ending to a great date.

For more information about Big Shots, visit

Not Every Hour is Happy

Taking a break from responsibilities like work and kids are just two reasons why we need to responsibly throw one back at Happy Hour. Enjoying a brief escape with our love can turn a flirty sip-session to a team bonding experience before you can say Goldschläger. Taking a moment for a couple’s break over cocktails not only allows for reconnection and problem-solving but also fosters fun new memories. 

Couples need strong servings of both.

Couples also need to face the reality that in relationships, not all hours are happy. Of course there are moments of bliss, but there are times when you might think to yourself that if aliens kidnapped your other half, your heart goes out to the interplanetary visitor. The important thing to remember is that there are most likely more happy hours than bad in a day and even more in a month. 

Does the bad hour or two negate the good? Only you can judge that, but chances are they don’t. Getting past the bad hour and learning from it is possible when both players want to do so.  If you have doubt, just think of that hottie you sat next to at a happy hour a while back …  you two can conquer anything.

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at


More Date Night Ideas:

New Jersey Date Night: Hey, Pumpkin!

New Jersey Date Night: You’re the Wurst

Butter Them Up with Lobster

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