Home Essex CountyBloomfield 15 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

15 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Getting back into the swing of things after kicking off the New Year can make every day of the week feel like a Monday. So we’ve done the work of tracking down the latest news in the Montclair and the greater Essex County + North Jersey area, so you can focus on enjoying the weekend without missing a beat on local happenings. Among the headlines: Bloomfield shelter dog unexpectedly dies in emergency hospital; YMCA of Montclair is hosting a toiletry drive; the West Orange Classic Film Festival is back; and so much more. Keep reading for all the North Jersey news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.

First Flights Out of New Terminal at Newark Airport to Begin 1/12

flight attendants protest newark airport

The new terminal at Newark Airport has been open since November 2022 but flights aren’t scheduled to begin until January 12th. The $2.7 billion renovation is the largest design-build project in New Jersey history. Originally slated to begin operations in December 2022, the delay was caused by final safety + security tests. Click here for everything we know about the new terminal.

Owner of Fresco Da Franco is Opening a High-End Cocktail Lounge Next Door

The Ivy at Chatham

(Photo Credit: Rachael Grochowski of RHG Architecture)

Montclair residents can drink like royalty too, with the arrival of a new, exclusive bar, Bar Franco. Owned + operated by Hollywood TV producer Franco Porporino, Bar Franco will sit adjacent to Franco’s other Montclair business, Fresco Da Franco — which, for ten years, has built a sturdy reputation as one of the town’s most beloved Italian restaurants. Bar Franco will boast the same sophistication + elegance as its sister spot, with a door person and velvet rope guarding the bar’s entrance, and a super secret basement speakeasy. Click here for what we know about this new space.

Maplewood Resident Releases Book on Local History

Maplewood resident Dan Kaslow recently published a book on the history of Maplewood, its historic sites, and residents — the first of its kind in over 25 years. According to Patch, Kaslow began volunteering at local historic sites in the 1980s and has been researching ever since. The book, entitled Maplewood Compendium: Notable People, Places & Events 1680-2022, focuses on people who, according to Kaslow, would likely be forgotten.

Meet Me At Madison’s Now Open in Montclair

A new cafe bistro is now open in Watchung Plaza in Montclair. Meet Me At Madison’s officially opened on Thursday, January 5th at 121 Watchung Avenue, per Baristanet. The menu features items like bacon truffled grilled cheese, Red Sea Ceviche with mahi mahi, oat milk panna cotta with berries.

YMCA of Montclair is Hosting Toiletry Drive Through 1/13

The YMCA of Montclair is currently hosting a toiletry drive that will run through Friday, January 13th, Baristanet reported. Items needed include: toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, soap, shampoo + conditioner, deodorant, lotion, combs + brushes, and tissues. Items can be dropped off at Park Street YMCA, located at 25 Park Street in Montclair, or to Geyer Family YMCA, located at 159 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair.

300+ Sign Petition for Scaled Down Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair


By Thursday, January 5th over 315 people had signed a petition calling for a scaled-back version of the proposed redevelopment of Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair. According to Montclair Local, the current plans include five new buildings, 375 residential units, and 75,000 square feet of office space. The concern is that the plan is out of scale considering the historical character of the current downtown.

The West Orange Classic Film Festival is Back for 2023

movies filmed essex county nj

Essex County is full of culture — and that includes various entertainment events that happen throughout the year. The West Orange Classic Film Festival is back for 2023 — and this year the theme is “Fabulous Fables + Magical Myths”. The festival will take place on Sundays from January through March, and will be held at AMC Dine-In Essex Green 9 in West Orange. Click here for more details on the festival.

House of Vanity Boutique Opens at Livingston Mall

A new shop has opened at the Livingston Mall selling apparel, jewelry, beauty + wellness products, and more. According to Patch, House of Vanity Boutique held grand opening events in December 2022 with special offers and gift bags.

Newark Production Studio to Receive Tax Break to Film Movies

paid in full 2 movie filming newark

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced earlier this week it has awarded extra tax breaks to Lionsgate, a new studio in Newark. According to Patch, this will help pay directors, producers, and actors employed by the studio. The property includes 300,000 square feet or stages, offices, support space and features parking for 400 cars and 65 trucks.

Eagles to Play Hotel California Album at 2023 Concert in Newark


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The Eagles are slated to perform a concert at the Prudential Center in Newark on Friday, April 7th in which they will play the entire “Hotel California” album, Patch reported. The concert will be accompanied by an orchestra + choir. Tickets go on sale on Friday, January 13th.

Illuminate x Farm to People Announce Delivery Service to Essex County


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A post shared by Illuminate Food (@illuminate_food)

Illuminate is partnering with Farm to People to bring a farm box delivery service to communities throughout Essex County. According to the press release, clients can choose from predetermined Farm Boxes or shop a la carte to buy specifically what your family needs.

Essex County Executive Sworn in for 6th Term

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On Tuesday, January 3rd, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. was sworn into his sixth term, per Tap Into. He was sworn in by Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman LeRoy Jones in the Essex County Justice Building in Newark.

Non-Profit Organization Montclair Early Music Receives Grant


The Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs recently awarded a grant to a local non-profit, Montclair Early Music (MEM). According to Tap Into, MEM uses music to bring history to life and this grant will allow the organization to keep operating in the community.

Bloomfield Officials Sworn in on Friday

montclair lawsuit

On Friday, January 6th, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and three council members were sworn in at the town council meeting, Patch reported. The three council members include Wartyna Davis, Ted Gamble and Richard Rockwell who were each elected in 2022.

Bloomfield Shelter Dog Unexpectedly Dies in Emergency Hospital

On Tuesday, January 3rd the Bloomfield Animal Shelter shared that one of their pups died unexpectedly in an emergency hospital. Phoenix came to the shelter in September with wounds and signs of abuse but has recently not shown any signs of pain. According to Patch, the post following her passing reads, “Further examination revealed a foreign metal object lodged inside her body – through her thorax and liver, which ultimately contributed to her respiratory issues and demise on this date. We now know that prior to intake, Phoenix was shot with a crossbow arrow. We, along with our vet partners, are still unclear how she lived this long without signs of pain or distress.” The shelter is asking anyone with information to contact the Bloomfield Police Department.

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