DLV Lounge, located at 300 Bloomfield Avenue, has been a staple in Montclair for fifty years. The family-owned establishment is one of the top spots in the area for live entertainment and nightlife. Though it may not have the flashiest exterior, regulars have come to know and love the unique charm DLV has to offer. Now, after over 50 years of business, DLV Lounge has officially closed as of December 1st, 2022. Back in June, we had a chance to learn more about this local favorite from owner, George Marabel, who shared everything about his family’s business. Read on to learn more about DLV Lounge’s rich history and what we will miss about this beloved Montclair spot.
(Photo credit: DLV Lounge Facebook)
DLV Lounge closed its doors on Thursday, December 1st, announcing the news via a Facebook post, saying:
“Good Evening Everyone. Just in: As of this afternoon, Thurs., Dec. 1st, the DLV Lounge is closed. We truly Thank You for your past patronage… 50 1/2 years! We wish you all the best!”
The sale of the bar’s liquor license went to Sayola Restaurant, which is located at 38 Valley Road in Montclair, per NorthJersey.com.
DLV Lounge’s Roots
DLV Lounge was a family-owned business that was purchased in 1972 by George’s parents, Dutch and Louise. Dutch and Louise are the “D” and “L” of the business name with the “V” standing for Valerie, their granddaughter — and George’s daughter. The business was known for its live music.
(Photo credit: @montclaircenter)
“Over the years, DLV has provided a venue for a variety of genres — jazz, blues, folk, karaoke, etc,” shared George. While guests can enjoy a range of music at this spot, George continued, “In recent years, DLV is best known for live jazz music.” On the business’s Facebook page, guests have long described the establishment as warm, friendly, and welcoming.
The Music + The Vibes
DLV always had a schedule packed with live music for guests to enjoy throughout much of the week. Performers like Richard Pierson Life Story Band, soul vocalist Jacqueline Harmon Johnson, Bruce Tyler, and more have played there. Throughout its fifty-year history, DLV has become a highly sought-after venue for jazz musicians. Guests can feel that through the décor — gold records and memorabilia line the walls and tell a rich history of who has stopped in to perform over the years.
In addition to the regular performers, George shared that DLV often had young, up-and-coming talents to showcase. “A host of young performers from Montclair State University and William Patterson University have performed at the DLV,” said George.
Being in business for fifty years has allowed George and his family to understand what guests want when coming to DLV. “Customers enjoy the live jazz music, relaxed atmosphere, friendly vibe, reasonably priced drinks, and complimentary snacks,” shared George.
(Photo credit: @montclaircenter)
Many guests consider DLV to be a ‘no-frills’ location — but also note, on various online feedback platforms, many say it’s the exact charm they look for in a local bar. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, George and his team decided to close the kitchen. It remained closed until its closure, but complimentary lounge snacks were offered to guests to enjoy with cocktails. The drinks are also what kept the guests coming back. George shared, “Our mixologists prepare a variety of drinks. Some of the popular drinks include Jamaica Me Crazy, Blue Envy, Wild Goose Chase, Patron Paradise, and Classic Margarita.
Fifty years of DLV Lounge in Montclair have allowed for jazz and music to grow in the community. “We try to maintain an establishment that is welcoming, friendly, entertaining, relaxing, and respectful,” shared George. He and his family have done just that and continue to bring guests old and new together.