As part of its new Cap Hospitality platform, Capodagli Property Co. plans to launch its Cap Diner and Cap O’ Joe café concepts in Hackensack this year, before ultimately expanding them to its other properties. — Courtesy: Capodagli Property Co.
By Joshua Burd
In crafting the design of the new Cap Diner, Nicolas Geeraerts said he wanted to “bring a little bit” of New York and Brooklyn, while also staying true to New Jersey. He also aims to create a younger, millennial vibe that is also going to attract families.
The overall objective is to create a place “that is approachable, pricewise, for everybody (and) … where a community can get together without one person being better than the next,” said Geeraerts, who oversaw the development of a high-end food hall above New York Penn Station.
“I want it to be open for everybody,” he added. “You want to create community. I want to bring that social dining to life, as those neighborhoods evolve as they get a little bit younger.”
Being able to launch the concept in Hackensack is also appealing to Geeraerts, who was drawn to the story of Capodagli’s Meridia Metro project in the city. The 222-unit complex was the first to break ground and open after local officials overhauled the zoning about six years ago, in a bid to invite redevelopment in the depressed downtown.
At the time, Hackensack was anything but a proven market, but that has certainly changed.
“Five years later, you’re looking at 3,000 apartments and eight or nine different developers that are within a block or two blocks’ range from one another,” Geeraerts said. “So for me, that pioneering thinking is something that I relate to. I did it with Vornado in Penn Station and I really feel like it was a great fit for me to take the next step that way.”