Home Essex CountyBloomfield 28 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

28 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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We know this is a busy time of year with Thanksgiving right around the corner + holiday shopping galore — so we’ve saved you the work of tracking down the latest news in the Montclair and the greater Essex County + North Jersey area, so you don’t have to. Among the headlines: Élan Café opens in Newark; West Caldwell to get a new ShopRite;  the Montclair Midtown parking deck is now open; and so much more. Keep reading for all the North Jersey news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.

Best of Montclair Guide 2022: Nominations Open

best of 2022

Our second annual Best of Montclair 2022 Guide is back! Just like last year, it’s time to nominate your favorite local businesses, people, and places in Montclair and the greater Essex County area for an award. Submit as many nominations as you want from now until Wednesday, November 16th. As always, we have lots of categories for the Montclair area — ranging from the ‘Best Gift Shop’ to ‘Best Dog Walker’ to ‘Best Cocktails’ + more. Click here to nominate your local favorites.

The Long-Awaited Village Hall to Open in South Orange


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A post shared by Village Hall (@villagehallnj)

After years of planning and lots of local buzz + debate, a local restaurant moving into a historic building in South Orange has finally set an opening date. The long-awaited Village Hall Restaurant + Beer Garden, which will include a 40-seat bar, fire pits, and even an event space, is aiming to officially open in the third week of November. On Friday, November 18th, the beer garden — located at 101 S Orange Avenue — will open to the public from 5PM to 11PM and will include a variety of beers on tap as well as a food menu curated by the culinary team. Click here for what we know.

New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban Saves 1 Billion Bags in 6 Months

new jersey single use plastic foam products ban 2022

The ban against single-use plastic bags has saved more than one billion plastic bags in the past six months, per Tapinto. According to JoAnn Gemenden, the Executive Director at New Jersey Clean Communities Council, the actual number is much higher because it doesn’t include those removed from convenience stores and restaurants.

Santa Photos for Pets to Benefit Newark Shelter

montclair police santa

Pet parents can bring their fur babies to have a photo op with Santa on Sunday, November 13th. According to Patch, the benefit will take place from 12PM to 4PM at the Associated Humane Societies Newark shelter located at 124 Evergreen Avenue.

West Caldwell to Get a New ShopRite


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On Tuesday, November 1st, the West Caldwell Planning Board approved measures that will permit construction of a new ShopRite across from the Essex Mall on Bloomfield Avenue. According to The Progress, the new grocery store will span 87,650 square feet — significantly larger than the current ShopRite at 540 Passaic Avenue which is about 50,000 square feet. Believe it or not, plans for this new location have been in the works for 15 years.

Montclair Election Results 2022


Election Day has come and gone here in Montclair + the greater Essex County area. Residents all over the state of New Jersey visited the polls today to cast their votes — and now, results are coming in. We’re covering live updates of the Montclair unofficial elections results so you can stay informed. Click here for updated results.

New $4M Island Giants Exhibit Opening at Turtle Back Zoo

A new reptile exhibit called the “Island Giants” is coming to the Turtle Back Zoo. The $4M exhibit will house alligators and Komodo Dragons and enable Turtle Back Zoo to participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program, per Patch.

Essex County Replaces 4 Deteriorating Bridges

construction essex county

Essex County officials have identified four bridges that show “sustainable rust” and are wrapping up efforts to replace them. According to Patch, the four locations include Locust Avenue bridge in Bloomfield, Lakeside Avenue bridge in West Orange, Marion Avenue Culvert in Millburn, and Mitchell Street culvert in Orange.

Buzz Aldrin Middle School Launches ‘No Place for Hate’ Program

Photo credit: Google Maps

Following reports of anti-Semitism bullying at the school, Buzz Aldrin Middle School has adopted the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” anti-bullying program for the 2022-2023 school year, Baristanet reported. This program will create three committees to host three school-wide events over the course of the year that will qualify the school to be recognized as a “No Place for Hate School” by the Anti-Defamation League.

Wave of Officers Sworn In to Bloomfield Division of Public Safety

newark police

More than a dozen officers were sworn in to the Bloomfield Division of Public Safety in a ceremony in late October, per Patch. The event was held at St. Thomas the Apostle School and included the promotion of one lieutenant and four sergeants.

Restoration Plans Revealed for Historic Building in Downtown Newark

montclair warehouse construciton

A historic building located at 756-762 Broad Street in Newark will soon have its facade restored and updated for residential use, per Jersey Digs. Paramount Assets is converting the building to house 75 apartments which will require an additional three stories.

Newark Arts to Award $1,500 Grants for Local Artists


Local artists who live in Newark and create visual art, dance, music, film, and literary art whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by COVID-19 can apply for a Newark Arts Renewal Grant. The needs-based mini-grant can amount up to $1,500 and help to bolster their artistic efforts, Patch reported.

Maplewood Holds Town Hall Following String of Armed Robberies

Maplewood Town Hall

The community of Maplewood gathered at a Town Hall meeting to discuss the response plan local police have put into place following a string of armed robberies, per Patch. The meeting was held at the DeHart Community Center, located at 120 Burnett Avenue in Maplewood on Thursday, November 10th.

Montclair Playwright Debuts Work at New York Theatre Festival

Coming to the New York Theatre Festival this week, Dust of Egypt tells the story of Sojourner Truth — a mother born into slavery who became the first Black woman to win a court case against a white man. According to Montclair Local, Montclair resident Karin Abarbanel has spent the last 10 years working to perfect the play which will be performed on Tuesday, November 15th, Friday, November 18th, and Saturday, November 19th.

‘In the Fire’ Solo Performance Highlights Reality of Firefighting

movie theater

A new dance/aerial show called “In the Fire” takes viewers through the harrowing reality of firefighters and the experience many face of dealing with PTSD, reported Baristanet. Holly Treddenick, the sole performer, used her father’s lived experiences as a firefighter for inspiration for the show. You can catch the show at the Alexander Kasser Theater on the Montclair State University campus.

Montclair Votes in Favor of $187M Investment in Schools

montclair news schools

Montclair residents voted to approve a $187M investment to local schools on Tuesday, November 8th, per Montclair Local. According to unofficial results, 84% of votes support the investment which will go to upgrades for schools which have otherwise relied on small fixes to maintain aging infrastructure.

Maplewood Hosts 19th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

usa flag

Maplewood hosted its 19th Annual Veterans Day ceremony on Friday, November 11th at the Maplewood Municipal Building, Patch reported. The public was invited to attend the event in which lunch and dessert were served following a memorial program.

Holiday Lights Returns to Turtle Back Zoo this Week

On Friday, November 18th, the ever-popular holiday lights show will return to the Turtle Back Zoo, per Patch. The light show, featuring over one million lights in the shape of animals and holiday-themed figures, will be on display through Saturday, December 31st.

Montclair Midtown Parking Deck Now Open

montclair parking deck

A new parking deck, located on Glenridge Avenue between Forest and North Willow Streets, is officially open. According to Baristanet, the new Midtown Parking Deck houses more than 300 parking spaces, including 10 handicapped spots. To learn more about this and other places to park in Montclair, click here.

French Bakery Paris Baguette Opens in Livingston


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An outpost of the French bakery chain Paris Baguette has officially opened in Livingston, Patch reported. The shop sells breads, sandwiches, a variety of cakes, and hot drinks.

FBI Charges Teen with Making Threats Against Local Synagogues

bloomfield arrest man

The FBI has charged 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul with making threats to attack a New Jersey synagogue, according to Tap Into. He is charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. U.S. Attorney Phillip Sellinger stated, “No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship.”

Yeshi’s Juice + Mart Opens in West Orange

A new juice shop has opened in West Orange, Patch reported. On Thursday, November 10th, Yeshi’s Juice + Mart, located at 96 Washington Street, opened with a welcome from the Downtown West Orange Alliance. The menu features smoothies, juices, salads, and acai bowls.

Montclair Fundraiser ‘Keep Our Neighbors Warm’ to Benefit Local Non-profit

comfortable socks

Montclair Emergency Services for Hope (MESH) is hosting a fundraiser on Wednesday, November 16th, at Just Jake’s, located at 30 Park Street in Montclair. According to Patch, the Keep Our Neighbors Warm fundraiser will support MESH’s meal + emergency shelter services.

Élan Café Opens in Downtown Newark

The high-end French bakery Élane Café held grand opening events this week at its new location on Halsey Street in Newark, Patch reported. The menu features freshly-baked pastries and organic coffee. The shop is located at 87 Halsey Street.

NJ Travel + Tourism Awards $144K to Montclair Center BID

FAM Fund Money

The New Jersey Office of Travel and Tourism has awarded a DMO Marketing Grant to Montclair in the amount of $144,000. According to Baristanet, Montclair joins 16 other state funded organizations with the designation, which is reviewed on an annual basis to continue with funding.

Montclair Food Pantry Calls for Thanksgiving Donations

thanksgiving catering montclair bloomfield

The Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair announced it plans to serve more people than ever before this Thanksgiving, which means donations are needed. According to Patch, the food pantry is in need of turkeys, stuffing, potatoes gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, pie filling, and crusts. Donations will be accepted every Tuesday and Thursday morning and during select hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday leading up to the holiday.

Montclair Brewery to Host Fundraiser for Howe House in Montclair


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Montclair Brewery is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, November 17th in support of Friends of the Howe House, which is hoping to purchase the home at 369 Claremont Avenue in Montclair. According to Baristanet, the one-bed, one-bath home is currently listed for $379K. The house belonged to the first African American homeowner and has been rented out in recent years.

Number of Freelancers Increase, Coworking Spaces Lag Behind


Despite the nation-wide increase in self-employed workers, most cities across the nation average just three flexible workspaces per 1,000 freelancers. According to Coworking Cafe, the number of freelancers has grown by more than 50% in Newark. More than six million freelancers operate nationwide.

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