Skopos Hospitality’s Growing NJ Empire
Back in 2013-2014, brother Dean had the opportunity to venture away from costuming to design a few bars that his boss was partnered with. At the same time, Tom was working as a craft brewer and bartender at High Point Brewing company in Butler, NJ, which helped familiarize the brothers with the bar hospitality scene. Their first project was the opening of Cowan’s Public in Nutley, NJ where both of their parents were from and father tended bar at, proving a great homecoming for the siblings. The restaurant has an art-deco vibe with cocktail-centric and craft beer service, making it an ideal blend of both siblings’ specialty backgrounds.
With Dean as the full-time creative director and Tom as CEO of the company, the last seven years have been interesting to say the least. In 2016, The Barrow House, Skopos’ second location and farmhouse event venue, opened up in Clifton, NJ. In August of 2019, The Vanguard and Harrison opened, followed by Franklin Social and poorly-kept secret speakeasy, The Junto Attic Bar in December of 2019. Following the pandemic, the duo began slowly opening these locations back up along with Gus’ Last Word in July of 2021, which was nostalgically named and modeled after their grandfather’s 1950s-esque basement. This past April The Parkside Social, the newest of the Skopos locations, opened in Verona, NJ.
To owner Tom, hospitality is a feeling more than a word. It’s all about creating a comfortable and warm environment that patrons want to keep coming back to. Each venue of Skopos Hospitality embodies a very specific aesthetic and environment in order for visitors to feel immersed in the theme. The Barrow House, which famously hosts a variety of events such as showers, weddings, and large dinners, is a traditional Americana farmhouse that is timeless in nature. On the other side of the spectrum, The Junto Attic Bar resides above Franklin Social housing limited seating, an intimate vibe, and features classic cocktails with creative twists.
Aside from owning and operating their empire, Skopos Hospitality is widely involved in the food and hospitality scene. The group participates in multiple charitable organizations and Tom serves on the board of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association. The group also runs Gus’ Snack Shack in Wood Ridge, NJ, which is an extension of Gus’ Last Word and serves classic stadium food such as burgers and chicken fingers. The brothers just launched a catering organization as well.
The sibling duo of Skopos Hospitality is continually looking to expand, whether it be with replicated brands or unique new themes. For the time being, you can visit all of their locations for delicious food, beer, and cocktails!