South Hackensack Travel Guide

  • Aldo and Gianni
    Aldo and Gianni
    by cooltrudy
  • Local Customs
    by BuickMackane
  • Route 46 in South Hackensack
    Route 46 in South Hackensack
    by BuickMackane

South Hackensack Hotels

South Hackensack Restaurants

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    Aldo & Gianni ristorante: Try the italian taste in a foreign...

    by cooltrudy Updated Mar 20, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A restaurant that concentrates on an Italian cuisine.
    You can find there plenty of businees men and american-italian people who know the delicious italian taste !

    Favorite Dish: Here you can eat the best pasta of USA !
    Fishes are great too !!
    Don't forget to taste the typical italian cheeses !

    Aldo and Gianni
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

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South Hackensack Nightlife

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    Well, they certainly don't...

    by BuickMackane Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Well, they certainly don't lack for nightlife in South Hackensack, that's for sure. There are two go-go-bars, and the town is finally putting its foot down about having any more of them. Click on the link to read online reviews for the Flamingo on Route 46. The other place to see 'exotic dancers' is called Stats Sports Lounge on Huyler Street near the Hackensack city limits. Stats, oddly enough, is well-known among locals for its Chicken and Veal Parmigiana sandwiches and they are often prepared for takeout! There may also be a third bar called the Pleasure Lounge, but it hasn't been mentioned in the newspaper lately. Its address is on Route 46, but the locals enter the parking lot through a local parallel sidestreet.

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South Hackensack Transportation

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    South Hackensack is adjacent...

    by BuickMackane Written Oct 4, 2002

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    South Hackensack is adjacent to Teterboro Airport (TEB) for smaller aircraft and a quick run down to Newark International Airport (EWR) via Route 46 to the New Jersey Turnpike. Car rentals are available at both Teterboro Airport and nearby Hackensack. There is also NJ Transit service to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal. Commuter rail service is very limited but the NJ Transit Pascack Valley Line does pass through Teterboro.

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South Hackensack Local Customs

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    South Hackensack's...

    by BuickMackane Written Oct 4, 2002

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    South Hackensack's Italian-American community is serious when it comes to food. For many years, the world-famous Buitoni brand of pasta and sauces made its home on Huyler Street. Now on Green Street is the Fratelli Beretta building; this company deals in prosciutto and similar Italian meats. When in South Hackensack, don't leave town without stopping at a local deli. Even non-Italian locals stand in long lines to order combo sandwiches with such tasty ingredients as fresh mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers and prosciutto!

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South Hackensack Warnings and Dangers

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    Where crime pays: Tawdry...

    by BuickMackane Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Where crime pays: Tawdry Route 46 fills police coffers in S. Hackensack

    Thursday, July 11, 2002 (The Record, Hackensack, NJ)


    Staff Writer

    Route 46 is not at its prettiest in South Hackensack. The half-mile stretch has cheap motels, strip joints, fast food -- and a rough reputation.

    Sgt. Rob Kaiser drives his unmarked police car past the neon lights of Route 46. He pulls into a motel parking lot and scans the license plates. Cars from Ontario, California, Texas, Georgia, Maine, and other faraway places occupy the asphalt this hot and sticky evening, sparking the South Hackensack detective's curiosity.

    'You look at this stuff and you wonder, what's the attraction?'' Kaiser said. 'It's not like this is Disneyland here.''

    Still, the 12-year veteran finds strange plates and suspicious activity every night he patrols Route 46.

    With five cheap motels, all a short drive from New York City and a short walk from a couple of strip joints, this stretch of Route 46 lures all kinds of outsiders. Like a polluted river, the highway regularly deposits drug dealers, gun runners, car thieves - even terrorists - in this otherwise peaceful half-square-mile burg of 2,500 people.

    South Hackensack has one of the smallest police departments in Bergen County. But because of Route 46, its 19 officers must combat one of the county's highest crime rates. In 2000, the most recent year for which statistics were available, the township had 50.2 crimes per 1,000 residents, the third-highest rate in the county.

    Even so, the community has a sort of symbiotic relationship with the four-lane road that runs for a half-mile through its borders. Little crime overflows into the quiet residential streets, where only one burglary was reported in the past year. What's more, police make so many major arrests on Route 46 that much of the department's equipment is paid for by money confiscated from crooks.

    In recent years, seized funds have bought four patrol cars worth $84,000, a $30,000 communications system, new handguns for all officers, carbine rifles, gun racks, a gun cleaning machine, and new bikes for the park patrols. One of the department's undercover vehicles is a $40,000 hot rod seized from a car thief.

    'It helps keep taxes down,'' said Police Chief Gene Roman.

    'I think we have it all under control,' Roman said. 'The community doesn't have to be frightened that there is a large amount of crime on Route 46.''

    Nonetheless, the chief acknowledges the dangers his officers face when patrolling the strip.

    'You never know what's going to be out there,'' he said.

    One night last July, Officer David Agar nearly ran into a man plotting the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history.

    Like all South Hackensack officers, Agar routinely checks license plates on vehicles parked in the motel lots. The inquiries, run through a national database of stolen cars and wanted criminals, often prove fruitful. During a single week last year, Agar made three stolen car arrests, including that of a couple who allegedly took a BMW at knifepoint from a Morris County car dealer.

    At 8:40 p.m. on July 7, 2001, Agar submitted the California license plate number of a 1988 Toyota parked outside the Jade East motel. He discovered the car's owner was a man named Nawaf Alhazmi. The computer found no outstanding warrants for Alhazmi, and the car wasn't reported stolen, so Agar continued on his patrol.

    No one in the department had a second thought about the 1988 Toyota until the FBI called in October. Agents had unearthed the July 7 check from a database that logs all license plate searches.

    Alhazmi, it turns out, was one of the terrorists who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

    A subsequent search of local motel logs found that Abdulaziz Alomari had registered for a room at the Jade East from July 6-13, 2001, and that Khalid Almihdhar had stayed that week at the nearby Congress Inn. Almihdhar also was on Flight 77, and Alomari was on American Flight 11, which hit the World Trade Center's north tower.

    'You wonder what would have happened if the check had turned up something on Alhazmi,'' Kaiser said. 'We certainly would have brought him in for questioning.''

    Perhaps the most extreme example of the dangers of patrolling Route 46 came in December 1993, when two South Hackensack officers responded to a report of a domestic dispute at the Jade East.

    The man inside refused to open his motel room door, so the officers pushed it in, only to be met by a hail of gunfire. The officers, uninjured, took cover, and a 16-hour standoff followed, during which several more shots were fired.

    The man, Wayne Coles, was holding his girlfriend and two children hostage. He was convicted and sentenced to 123 years in prison. Investigators later learned that he was distraught over not having enough money to buy Christmas presents for his loved ones.

    Despite the more dangerous encounters, the majority of police work on Route 46 is less violent for the officers - and more lucrative for the community.

    'If [a criminal] is out there, you have to go out and hit him where it hurts by taking his money and his toys,'' Kaiser said. 'If he just does some time, he'll think, 'No big deal.' ''

    Last year, police seized $5,400 and a 9mm handgun from an alleged cocaine dealer they found in a highway motel room. Three months ago, at another motel, police nailed two men who they said had 8,000 yellow and purple Ecstasy pills, decorated with smiley faces and worth $300,000 on the street. The bust, which South Hackensack officers executed with Wallington and Elmwood Park police and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Narcotics Task Force, was one of the largest ever in Bergen County involving the popular club drug.

    In recent months, the South Hackensack force also has made two separate arrests of suspects, each accused of carrying $35,000 worth of marijuana.

    Such busts have expanded the township's municipal escrow account, which holds forfeiture funds. The Prosecutor's Office oversees the accounts for all municipalities in the county, to ensure the money pays only for police equipment and training. Municipalities are forbidden to spend it on police salaries or non-police-related items.

    South Hackensack has spent $21,592 from its account this year and still has a balance of $4,195.

    'They have a lot for a small town,'' said Bergen County Executive Assistant Prosecutor Frank Puccio.

    By comparison, Ridgewood, which has 25,000 residents, 50 police officers, and a fairly low crime rate, has $630 in its account and hasn't withdrawn a cent this year.

    'Compared to the size of the Police Department, they [South Hackensack] have a pretty active little strip,'' said another assistant prosecutor, James Addis, who oversees the office's Narcotics Task Force. 'Normally, they harvest the information [about drug activity] and we assist.''

    Over the years, township leaders have made several efforts to clean up Route 46. In 1996, a committee that described Route 46 as a crime-ridden honky-tonk proposed a $100 million redevelopment plan. But the proposal, like earlier proposals, faded due to lack of support.

    Mary Grabianowski, who has lived in South Hackensack for 41 years, said crime along the highway doesn't bother her much.

    'You do have a few things happen once in a while that are disturbing,'' said Grabianowski, a member of the South Hackensack Seniors. 'But they aren't coming into the neighborhoods. It's really a pretty safe place to live, where everybody knows everybody.''

    Some also consider the Route 46 strip a good place to do business because of the constant traffic to and from New York.

    'I feel safe,'' said the manager of the Plaza 46 Diner, who gave his name only as Kevin. 'We do pretty well, and there are a lot of businesses around here doing pretty well. We've never had a serious problem.''

    Even the police admit they kind of like the action.

    Knowing anything can happen keeps a cop alert and energized, said Officer Lance Kelly, who led the department in arrests last year.

    But he and his colleagues are still astounded by what they find in their tiny corner of the state.

    'There's one thing I hear all the time,'' Kelly said. 'And that's, How do these people end up in South Hackensack, New Jersey?''

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South Hackensack Off The Beaten Path

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    Unless you get off the highway...

    by BuickMackane Updated Sep 16, 2003

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    Unless you get off the highway and search, you won't see what makes people settle down in South Hackensack. The neighborhood demographics are surprisingly good!

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