good times + delicious vibes

Whatever you’re in the mood for… you’re in the mood for NICO! Enjoy our crave-worthy American menu for lunch, dinner, or happy hour, as you indulge in our distinctive indoor dining room, or unwind from the grind at our friendly neighborhood bar. NICO is the perfect place to grab a bite in the middle of the work day, kick back with friends after work, or enjoy a meal before your NJPAC performance! Eat, drink, or grab an easy takeout dinner at Newark’s standout hangout. It’s nothing but good times and delicious vibes here at NICO.

I love developing new dishes and reinventing classic ones. No matter what I’m creating, it’s all about allowing flavors to work and play together. You never know where you might find ideas or inspiration.

Andrew Watterson
Executive Chef

Find your way

We’re located in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the anchor cultural institution for the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey.

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 11:30am – 8pm
Wednesday – 11:30am – 8pm
Thursday – 11:30am – 8pm
Friday – 11:30am – 8pm
Saturday – 3pm – 8pm
Sunday – Closed
*Note hours are subject to change based on performances.

1 Center Street
Newark, NJ 07102 (map it)

Host your event at NICO

health & safety info
Subject to change

• Masks are encouraged but not required.

• Health screening or vaccination cards are not required per current state guidelines for dining at Nico Kitchen and Bar. Catered events must follow current NJPAC covid screening guidelines and policies found here.

Our Team

Andrew Watterson
Executive Chef

For Chef Andrew, food runs in the family. He and his brother learned the business as line cooks at Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale on the Connecticut shoreline (with dad slinging drinks at the bar). He went on to attend the legendary Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he not only received his formal education but also met his talented wife. He continued his practical experience in kitchens across the country, including The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Atlanta and Alize at the Top of The Palms in Las Vegas. Most recently, he was Chef de Cuisine at The Cellar in Red Hook St. Thomas, USVI and The Orange Squirrel in Bloomfield, NJ. He looks forward to flexing his creative muscles at NICO with approachable dishes infused with love.

Brett Mitchell
Director Food and Beverage

Classically trained chef Brett Mitchell was born in NYC and grew up in Scarsdale, He obtained his degree in culinary arts and business from Johnson and Wales in Providence, RI. Brett specializes in Asian and American Fusion cuisine. Over his 20-year hospitality career, with companies such as Hyatt, Kimpton, Ritz Carlton he’s handled presidential inaugurations, United Nations delegations, Smithsonian galas, sporting events, film & TV tapings, hotel & restaurant openings internationally and domestically. He was most recently Director of Food and Beverage for the Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ. He competes in 5ks and half marathons with his wife; enjoys classical music, jazz and techno; and is a self-proclaimed Marvel geek and Captain America fan.

James Hampson
General Manager

Born in the UK, raised in NJ, James Hampson began working in the food industry while a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Starting out as a busser at Bonefish Grill, he rose through the ranks over a decade to become a top performing Manager Partner at the restaurant’s Secaucus location. Since 2019, he’s been part of the NICO revolution, working to create a brand-new culinary experience for our Newark neighbors. In addition to his love for the restaurant industry, he’s also a talented cartoonist and has been known to crack a joke or two.