During a virtual meeting Thursday night, the board OK-ed an application filed by Village Hoboken, LLC, allowing the proposal to proceed to the next step in the process — Planning Board approval.
At the meeting, only two members of the three-person board were present — Council President Michael Russo and Business Administrator Jason Freeman.
Yilung Huang, the applicant and longtime owner of Pho Nomenon, told the board that the COVID-19 pandemic “really hurt retail businesses” and that he has spent the past two years “struggling mentally and physically.”
Huang also said he owns the building at 516 Washington Street, as well as lives above the commercial space.
In response to the challenges, Huang decided to pursue a “new venture” that he believes will be a “great opportunity” — opening a retail dispensary with Viola Brands, a cannabis company co-founded by former NBA player and Essex County native Al Harrington.