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

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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.

James Hampson
Director Food and Beverage

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. 

Carlos Perez
General Manager

Carlos joins NICO after 24 years in the hospitality industry. Most recently, he was clubhouse manager at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. He was also clubhouse manager at Montclair Golf Club in addition to the general manager of the former Piano Due, a Manhattan restaurant which featured celebrity (and New Jersey) chef Michael Cetrulo. In his spare time Carlos enjoys sipping a nice glass of Pinot Noir and watching football with family and friends. He also strives to perfect his chess game. He lives in Belleville with his wife Sherine Perez and children Johan, Michael and Pebbles (yes, he’s a fan of The Flintstones).