A Closer Look At McGinley Square

The Center of McGinley Square,
Photo taken by John Cermak

By: John Cermak, Class of 2022

Known as “The Heart of Jersey City,” McGinley Square is home to several well-known establishments including McGinley Square Pub, Our Hero, Crema and of course, our very own Saint Peter’s University.

But while some of these places have been at the forefront of all the attention this area gets, what about all of the lesser known spots that only regulars know about? And how has this area changed over the last couple of years?

New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the country, and its immediate proximity to New York plays a big part in not only the size of the population, but also the type of people who live here. People who work in The Big Apple often call NJ their home to avoid the cost of living in NY, one of the most expensive states in the country, and as such, the area is generally expensive to live in, and plenty of newer buildings are being constructed to keep up with the modern population.

Certain restaurants like Rinconcito Copaneco and Panda House have managed to survive the changes brought about from the pandemic, including increased health guidelines, a larger focus on online shopping and delivery, and a changing demographic that comes with newer residencies and establishments.

Saint Peter’s University continues to thrive as well, and is currently in the middle of having a new residence hall being constructed next to the Mac Mahon Student Center. Throughout McGinley Square, banners can be seen congratulating the Peacocks on their efforts in the most recent NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Other places like the old Burger King and eventually The Clearport have been left with no choice but to move on and make room for other businesses, such as The Medusa, which will be replacing The Clearport and serving as a Cannabis Lounge.

Regardless of what may have changed, the community at large remains mostly the same, and the Heart of Jersey City as it is known is gradually building itself up to be a more modernized and hopefully inclusive version of what it is now.