archetypus, an enigma

Thinking of places to go and hang out in New Jersey, I remembered a place I used to go in my youth: Cafe Enigma, in Edgewater. Of course, it’s been many years since it was known as Enigma (and I’m sure most folks today who know about the place don’t even know it was once called Enigma), and it’s no longer where it used to be in Edgewater (it’s moved a few buildings down the same street), but the decor has slowly been reconstructed but this time in a much larger space, and with what seems to be a much larger budget.

Today, the place is known as Cafe Archetypus (map, directions), located on 266 River Road in Edgewater, NJ. However, with recent construction (recent being the past 5 years or so), Edgewater has split River Road onto a newly paved road and left the original River Road as Old River Road. Archetypus may be on Old River Road, although even their website doesn’t mention this.

Anyhow, if you’re in New Jersey and are looking for a place to simply hang out with friends, talk and examine some really creative uses for plaster and lighting, definitely give this place a visit. You might just find me there, one night.


  1. Robert Slagle says

    In 1985 (Jan-Sept.), Me and my friends lived on the top floor of the building where the old Enigma Cafe used to be. It was great. But we were so poor we couldn’t afford to buy anything. I remember in the summer time they had poetry readings in the back courtyard. I remember the plywood figures that were in the front. I believe the address was 232 River Road. We used to walk up to Cliffside Park to do our laundry. There was an abandoned factory across the road. Those were the good ole days.

  2. I just saw an ad in my newsfeed for Cafe Archetypus, read the article, and immediately wondered if it was the same place i went to once with a guy from college in the early 90s. So glad I saw this page way down on the Google search results because I would have never remembered the name Enigma, but as soon as I saw it I knew it’s the same place. Went to Montclair State before it became a university and loved making friends with all different people. Theres not a lot of details my now older brain remembers from those days. But that cave booth and subsequently the guy, Marc, are burned in my memory forever, it was so surreal. The item he was so excited to order was the white hot chocolate. And it did not disappoint.

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