Home Events + News 18 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

18 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

by Ainsley Layland
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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines: Montclair locals celebrate one year of LA-based deli; the Pilgrim Diner is scheduled to reopen in Cedar Grove; Bloomfield fireworks have been moved to October, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County:

To stay up-to-date on the launch, things to do, and weekly in the Montclair + greater Essex County area, follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and sign up for our Montclair email list here. Email news tips to hello@themontclairgirl.com!

Montclair Native Named First Pro Black Female Triathlete in US


The Ivy at Chatham
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On May 2nd, Montclair native Sika Henry was named the first Black woman in the United States to achieve pro status, per Team USA. This recognition earns her the USA Triathlon Elite license as well. The first African-American male triathlete to go pro was Max Fennell in 2014.

Bellevue Library Branch Now Open

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world, the Montclair Public Library’s Bellevue branch has reopened. The Instagram post said, “Starting Tuesday, June 8th, the Bellevue Avenue Branch will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM to 2PM! Additional hours will be added in the coming weeks.”

NOM Mexican Kitchen Coming to Morristown


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Slated to open in late August, NOM Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar will feature 160 different tequilas, with the food to back it up. The Instagram post said, “This is a bit different from other 40 North restaurant concepts because it’s more alcohol focused, but will have the food to back it up. NOM will feature 160 different tequilas and will also have educated staff that can talk about them.

Jersey Locals Celebrate First Anniversary of LA Deli


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One year ago, three Montclair-raised locals opened a deli in L.A. called Ggiata, per the Los Angeles Magazine. Noah Holton-Raphael, Max Bahramipour, and Jack Biebel all grew up in Montclair but traded in the East Coast for the West Coast, partnering in the creation of their Italian-inspired deli. In addition to meat-heavy sandwiches, signs touting the importance of mutz and family, the counter displays are filled with sweets by pastry chef Cristy Erickson.

Avra: A New Gyro Restaurant is Opening in Montclair


At the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Park Street, Avra is opening its doors to serve fresh, authentic Greek gyro to Montclair. The restaurant, formerly occupied by Paper Moon Pure Food which closed permanently during the pandemic, is set to officially open June 17, 2021, with its soft opening taking place this weekend. Click here to read more about Avra located at 521 Bloomfield Avenue, new to Montclair’s bustling restaurant scene.

Van Hook Cheese Expands to Montclair

Van Hook Cheese & Grocery, a family-owned Jersey City favorite, is bringing its offerings to Essex County. The cheese shop will expand to Montclair this summer, bringing the same type of offerings, including dips, cheese wheels, produce, fresh mutz, and more. Click here to read more about Van Hook Choose expanding to 111 Grove Street, Montclair.

Montclair Officially Makes Juneteenth a Public Holiday


Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday celebrated on June 19th and commemorates the date slaves were officially freed. On Thursday, June 3rd, Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller announced that Montclair will be observing Friday, June 18th as a public holiday in order to commemorate Juneteenth. Click here to read more about Juneteenth and what Mayor Spiller had to say.

deVINE Plantery to Open Late June in Montclair


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deVINE Plantery, a black-and women-owned business, which began exclusively as an online store last spring and later made its mark in Maplewood, will be opening its first-ever location at 28 South Fullerton Avenue on June 26th in Montclair. Leading up to this grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Montclair Girl was able to go behind the scenes with founders Kelly and Maya to learn about the origin of the brand, future plans, and more. Click here to read more about deVINE Plantery, new to Montclair.

Pilgrim Diner in Cedar Grove to Reopen This Summer


Locals will be thrilled to know that Cedar Grove’s only diner, the Pilgrim Diner, is set to reopen in July, after being closed since the late spring/early summer of 2019. Click here to read more about the Pilgrim Diner’s long-awaited reopening in Cedar Grove.

Montclair State Names Next University President

Jonathan G.S. Koppell was selected as Montclair State University’s ninth president, per Patch. He will step into this new role on Monday, August 2nd. Koppell is a nationally regarded scholar of policy, organization, and management. 

Montclair Teachers Union Demands Answers

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The Montclair Public School District will cut 36 staff members from its payroll, and the teachers union is demanding to know why, per Patch. The Montclair Education Association released a statement on Tuesday, June 8th, saying the district has only offered “budget deficits” as the reasoning behind the cuts. The statement says the Montclair Public Schools are not in a financial deficit, which is confusing to the teachers union.

Bloomfield’s Annual Fireworks Celebration Moved to October 2


On June 2nd, the Township of Bloomfield hosted a Third-Ward Community meeting, per Tap Into. This meeting was hosted by Mayor Michael Venezia and Councilwoman Sarah Cruz. At the meeting, it was announced that the annual Summer Fireworks Celebration will be postponed from July 4th to October 16th, because of missed deadlines for booking. 

Montclair Beyond Policing Talks Social Change

montclair police

Montclair Beyond Policing held an online town hall on June 6 and talked about the issue of cutting the police budget and finding ways to help the community, per Tap Into. The group talked about Montclair’s 2021 budget but focused on how to respond to community needs. The host was the Reverend Anya Sammer-Michael of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Montclair. 

Newark Plans Improvements for Pedestrians

The “Newark Walks” initiative promotes traveling around on foot, but walkers traveling north along the east side of Broad Street have some difficulties, per Jersey Digs. There is currently no crosswalk connecting the corner with the other sides of Broad Street or Park Place, but things may soon change. The City of Newark issued a request for proposals in May for companies interested in conducting a concept development study.

Auctioned Museum Painting nets nearly $1M

A painting the Newark Museum of Art auctioned off to help with pandemic losses will soon be displayed in Philadelphia, per NJ.com. The painting, titled “The Arch of Nero,” by Thomas Cole, will be displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art after it was purchased for $988,000. It will be on display starting on July 2nd.

Representative Pushes for Improvement Projects for NJ-11


In a recent hearing, U.S. Rep Mikie Sherrill said the programs that are most important right now are suicide prevention services, affordable housing, water main replacement, and flood mitigation, per Patch. On June 9th, Sherrill testified in front of the House Committee on Appropriations, highlighting the community projects she submitted on behalf of NJ-11. 

Bloomfield Center Alliance to Lead Food Tour

On June 26th, the Bloomfield Center Alliance will organize a Food Tour, per Tap Into. The tour will run from 2PM to 4:30PM and tickets are $30. Tickets will give the purchaser access to a food-filled guided tour featuring long-time favorites and brand new spots.

Newark Chef Offers Free Meals Amid Pandemic

Walter “Willie” Green is the owner of the takeout restaurant Uncle Willie’s Wings, which launched in 2019, per Patch. Uncle Willie’s Wings is bringing back the popular “Willie’s Day,” which historically provided free meals to the community. The event this year will also include health and COVID-19 screenings, support resources, and fun activities for kids. 

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