Every week, we gather the highlights you missed in the news this week in Montclair + Bloomfield. Among the local headlines: NJ ranked #8 for working moms; upcoming plant sales to encourage native plant growth in Montclair; local restaurant 7 Doors Down opens this month; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Essex County + beyond.
Montclair Kimberley Academy Breaks Ground on Athletic Field Redesign
This week, Montclair Kimberley Academy began construction on the middle school athletic fields, per Baristanet. Located at Brunswick Road and Central Avenue in Montclair, the field is undergoing a complete redesign. The plan was approved in February 2022.
Hundreds Gather for 2nd Annual Montclair Disabilities Pride Parade
Hundreds of people gathered for the 2nd Annual Montclair Disabilities Pride Parade, per Montclair Local. The festivities started at Heningburg Field and ended in Rand Park. A support group called the Montclair Friday Group started 12 years ago, with a focus on celebrating and supporting those with disabilities. The group now has 350 members.
Healthy + Sustainable Restaurant Opens in Montclair
The sustainable + healthy restaurant, WorldFlats soft-opened to the public this week and on Friday, May 20th will hold an official grand opening event at 6PM. The shop is located at 58 Church Street in Montclair. During the grand opening weekend, WorldFlats is featuring a special BOGO deal through Sunday, May 22nd.
New Salon + Boutique to Open this Week in Montclair
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On May 9th, Haus of Hilights — a new salon and boutique — will open its doors at 212 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair, in the historic Madison Building. The salon is the sister of Hilights Salon in Lyndhurst and will be a Kérastase and Redken-based product salon. It will also be a boutique, selling women’s clothing and accessories. Click here to read about the new salon and boutique in Montclair.
Montclair Bread Company Rebrands as Rabble Rise Doughnuts
Montclair Bread Company is undergoing a major makeover. Starting May 4th, the Montclair-born company will be saying goodbye to bread and turning instead to doughnuts. This shift includes a new name — Rabble Rise Doughnuts — as well as a new brand identity, website, store makeover, and redefined business strategy. Click here for what we know about Montclair Bread Company’s transformation into Rabble Rise Doughnuts, which has locations in both Montclair, NJ and New Paltz, NY.
The Montclair Girl Launched a Real Estate Directory
Looking for a place to call home in the Montclair and the greater North Jersey area is no easy feat – even if you know it won’t be your home forever. Meet our new Real Estate Directory, a curated (and ever-growing) list of real estate buildings in the greater North Jersey area. Click here to discover these local real estate properties, compare and connect for tours, and keep checking back in for new listings.
Pastry Chef Jaleesa Mason Wins Food Network Show
Bloomfield resident and pastry chef Jaleesa Mason has won Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship and the $25,000 prize that comes with it. Jaleesa’s win, which was the culmination of a 10-week competition and aired on May 2nd, was secured with her creation of a spring wedding cake. Locals know Jaleesa as the co-owner and pastry chef of Mo & Jay Pastry at 44 Main Street in Little Falls, which she runs with her husband, Mohamad. Click here to read about Jaleesa, her exciting Food Network win, and all that she has accomplished thus far in Essex County and beyond.
Ban on Single-Use Carryout Bags in NJ Went Into Effect on 5/4
The latest measures of New Jersey’s ban on plastic begin on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022. New Jersey law will prohibit all stores from selling or providing customers with single-use plastic carryout bags; instead, stores can provide or sell only reusable carryout bags. Also going into effect on the same day is a ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products. Click here for what we know.
Envy By Melissa Gorga Closes Montclair Store, Relocates to Ridgewood
Earlier this year, Envy by Melissa Gorga opened its second location in Ridgewood. The expansion came after founder and Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga celebrated her namesake store’s sixth anniversary in Montclair. While the Ridgewood location was initially believed to be a second location for Envy, it has now been confirmed that the fashion boutique is relocating to the Bergen County town instead. Click here to read more about Envy by Melissa Gorga.
150 Displaced in Orange Apartment Complex
Nearly 150 people were displaced in a large fire at an apartment complex in Orange, but no injuries were reported, per NJ.com. The fire broke out before 1AM on Tuesday morning. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated, and it is still unclear just how many apartments were damaged by the fire.
Senator Gill Introduces New New Jersey-Ireland Trade Commission
Senator Nia H. Gill has introduced a bill that is designed to advance bilateral trade and investment between New Jersey and Ireland, reported Tap Into. The bill was introduced on March 31, 2022 and it would form a New Jersey-Ireland Trade Commission that would work to advance bilateral trade and investment between the state and country. Gill says she looks forward to the formation of the committee to help continue to grow and support strong ties between Ireland and New Jersey.
7 Doors Down Ramen Co. to Open Early May
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Local restaurant 7 Doors Down is slated to open in early May, per Tap Into. The ramen and ceviche concept restaurant is located in a small storefront on Glenwood Avenue. This restaurant comes from the minds that were behind Blue Steel Pizza Company.
Montclair Public Library to Celebrate AAPI Month
The Montclair Public Library will be celebrating Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month on Tuesday, May 24th, per Baristanet. The library will be doing this with a free hybrid author program that is intended for both adults and teens. In the article linked, you will find the link to register to attend the event. There are both in-person and Zoom options available.
70+ Authors to Participate in Montclair Literary Festival
More than 70 authors will participate in the Sixth Annual Montclair Literary Festival, per Baristanet. The event includes local, national, and international authors from Thursday, May 5th to Monday, May 9th. You can find all the details on the festival here, and the majority of the festival events are free.
Montclair High School to Have Masks Until May 10th
Montclair High School has brought masks back for the next 10 days, per Baristanet. This is due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases at the high school. The masking requirements started on Wednesday, May 4th, and they will go through Friday, May 13th. This means all students and staff members at the high school will need to wear masks during the school day.
Historic Train Car to Return to Montclair’s Lackawanna Plaza
A historic train – Car 2628 – will be coming to Montclair’s Lackawanna Plaza for good, per Baristanet. This train once served passengers at the former historic Lackawanna Station- now plaza. This is all part of a community-oriented redevelopment project going on in Montclair.
$4.2 Million Set Aside for Municipal Improvements
Montclair officials are expected to set aside $4.2 million for improvements to be made to the municipal building, per Montclair Local. The list of the planned improvements has not been made yet, even though the first reading of the ordinance was voted on by the council on April 5th. The second reading has not been scheduled yet.
Montclair Doctoral Student Invited to IODP
A Montclair doctoral student has been selected by the International Ocean Discovery Program to sail on a deep-sea drilling vessel. According to a press release from the school, Victoria Hojnacki is one of 52 international scientists selected for this expedition. Hojnacki is a sedimentologist and a doctoral student in the Environmental Science and Management program at Montclair State University.
Lawsuit Temporarily Paused by Montclair Historic Preservation Commission
A lawsuit filed by the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission may have to be put on pause, reported Montclair Local. Commission member Gerald Sweeney said now might not be the time to do it with an ongoing litigation challenging a 2021 demolition rejection. Commission members will continue to look over the proposed changes and then their comments are due at the next meeting on May 12th.
Upcoming Plant Sales to Promote Native Plants in Montclair
Montclair is quickly becoming the first municipality in New Jersey that will require mostly native plants to be used on Township property, per Montclair Local. Gardener and native habitat advocate Jose German-Gomez is also encouraging residents to use native plants in their own backyards as well. There will be upcoming plant sales for members of the community to purchase plants native to the area.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in Essex County This Weekend
A “Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day” will be open to the Essex County public this weekend, per Patch. It will take place from 8:30AM to 4PM on Saturday, May 7th at the Essex County Public Works Department. This event is sponsored by Essex County and the Essex County Utilities Authority. For a list of accepted items, you can check the article linked.
Soccer Dome In Montclair Updated for the First Time in 20+ Years
The soccer dome in Montclair is being updated after 20+ years of use, per Baristanet. Owner and local developer Steven Plofker says they will be installing new turf and a new and technology improved dome after the turf installation. He also thanked the community for their continued support of the soccer dome.
The Kingsley, A New Luxury Rental Community in Fairfield, Grand Opens for Leasing
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The Kingsley is now open for leasing, according to a press release from developer BNE Real Estate Group. The Kingsley is a brand-new luxury rental community in Fairfield. Renters are able to choose between a variety of one- and two-bedroom residents. You can find more about these apartments here.
Rent Control Goes Into Effect in Montclair 5/9
Rent control is slated to go into effect in Montclair on May 9th, per Montclair Local. This is all part of a deal that will be allowing landlords to increase the rent legally for the first time in two years. A separate rent increase freeze will no longer be in effect in Montclair. For more information on what that will look like, you can read the article linked.
The Montclair Township Council Gives a Resolution to Support Ascend
The Montclair Township Council has given a resolution to support Ascend, a medical marijuana dispensary, in expanding into recreational sales, per Montclair Local. The council voted on this resolution on Tuesday, May 3rd, but the business still has to file an application for local approval after it receives the state license. The council also introduced an ordinance to amend existing marijuana license law.
“Ban Off Our Bodies Rally” Held on Tuesday
In response to the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, pro-choice advocates held a “Ban Off Our Bodies Rally” on Tuesday, May 3rd at the Planned Parenthood in Montclair. The event was sponsored by several different organizations in New Jersey. There were also several elected officials and community leaders present at the event including New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller. Click here to find out more about the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade as well as what we know about this local rally.
Out Montclair to Hold Montclair’s First-Ever Pride Festival
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Out Montclair will be holding Montclair’s first-ever Pride festival on Saturday, June 11, on Bloomfield Avenue. Out Montclair is a non-profit group that started in 2021. There will also be many stars in attendance for the talent line-up including the recent cast of ‘Jagged Little Pill’ on Broadway and Black Trans activist Miss Peppermint.
New Jersey is the 8th Best State for Working Moms in 2022
A recent study conducted by Wallethub identified the best states for working moms, and our home state made the top 10 list. New Jersey was ranked #8 in a nationwide survey of states measured against different metrics that contribute to an environment of success for working mothers. Click here to read about the study and why New Jersey was ranked one of the best states for working moms.