Home Essex CountyBloomfield 18 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

18 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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June has quickly arrived on this beautiful weekend of weather. It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the news to keep you up to date. Among the highlights: a new Indian spot, Dhamaal, opens in Montclair; another Hoover Avenue deli closes in Bloomfield; and JevRapha Massage Spa opens in West Caldwell. Read on for all the news in Essex County for the week ending June 2nd, 2024.

Have a news story or press release? Email it to [email protected].


Among the Headlines:

  • New Indian Spot, Dhamaal, Opens in Montclair
  • Longtime Chair of Montclair Planning Board Steps Down After 29 Years of Service
  • Another Hoover Avenue Deli Closes in Bloomfield
  • Montclair Student Earns Finalist Spot in Doodle for Google Contest
  • Beloved Montclair Postmaster Retiring After 38 Years
  • $3M Softball Field Renovations at Branch Brook Park Now Complete
  • NJ Food Bank Raises $1M+ in Newark
  • New Robot-Assisted Tech Aids Montclair Hospital
  • JevRapha Massage Spa Opens in West Caldwell
  • Porta Montclair Opens Second-Floor Outdoor Deck

New Indian Spot, Dhamaal, Opens in Montclair

dhamaal

The Ivy at Chatham

While Italian and American food can be stereotypically known as the most popular in the Montclair area, there are plenty of other cuisines that adorn local streets and deserve just as much attention and praise. Take Dhamaal — an Indian restaurant located at 11 South Fullerton Avenue in Montclair that just opened on Friday, May 10th — as a great example of an establishment that takes both its cultural roots and the unfamiliar customer into consideration with its menu, and is already welcoming both kinds of patrons as a result. Click here to learn more about the newest addition to Montclair’s international culinary scene.


Family Launches GoFundMe After Mother of 2 Killed in Car Crash

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched on behalf of Maria Dolores Ganzhi Zhao who was killed in a car crash in Maplewood last month. The funds will be used to help the family cope with funeral expenses and for Maria’s surviving daughters, a 7-year-old and a 9-month-old, per Patch Newark. The crash took place on the 1400-block of Springfield Avenue in Maplewood at 9:10AM on Monday, May 13th. The driver allegedly stopped at the scene and has not been charged with a crime as an investigation continues. Individuals interested in making a donation can learn more online here.


Longtime Chair of Montclair Planning Board Steps Down After 29 Years of Service

 

John Wynn, chair of the Montclair planning board, is stepping down after 29 years of service. According to Patch Montclair, he was sworn in as a member in 1995. John’s last meeting was Monday, May 20th where he received a round of applause. He was also presented with a plaque honoring his “hard work and dedication as chair throughout the years by the board and town administrators. The Montclair Planning Board consists of nine members and two alternate members.


Bloomfield Township Awards $100,000+ Grant for Clean Communities Initiatives

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) and the state Department of Environmental Protection recently awarded Bloomfield Township $111,770 to support the township’s ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable community through various environmental initiatives. Clean Communities grants provide essential funding to local governments, enabling them to organize volunteer cleanups, purchase necessary cleanup equipment, and more to promote a “litter-free NJ.” According to TAPInto Bloomfield, the township looks forward to utilizing the grant to further its commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement. The public is advised to stay tuned for more ways to get involved in the coming months.


Another Hoover Avenue Deli Closes in Bloomfield

 

Benny’s Deli Café, located at 220 Hoover Avenue, has closed up shop after opening earlier this year. The owners announced the closure via social media on Thursday, May 23rd. This is the second business to recently close at the address, per Patch Bloomfield. In 2023, Colmont’s Deli also announced its closure.


Montclair Student Earns Finalist Spot in Doodle for Google Contest

Vivian Modawer, a student at Watchung School in Montclair, was recently declared the New Jersey winner of the 16th annual Doodle for Google art contest. According to Montclair Local, K-12 students from across the country were asked to create Doodles based on the prompt, “My wish for the next 25 years…” Vivian is now qualified to become one of five national finalists deemed the national winner. The winning artist gets a $55,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 tech package for their school, and their art featured on Google.com. The national winner will be decided by public voting, now open online through June 4th.


Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Approved as Montclair Council Allocates $6M

lackawanna station montclair

The new Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan was finally approved with a 4-1 vote by the Montclair town council at its May 23rd meeting. The Clary Anderson Arena (part of Lackawanna Plaza) was awarded $6 million unanimously due to much-needed repair issues, per Montclair Local. This decision was also taken into consideration after concerns about parking and the development’s size being “out of character” with the township were brought up as well as two lawsuits being filed that raised issues of potential flooding.


Latinos of Montclair Hosting Fireside Chat + Book Signing With Luis A. Miranda Jr.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Latinos of Montclair (@latinosofmontclair)

 

Latinos of Montclair is set to host Luis A. Miranda Jr., an advocate of the Latino community and father to songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, at the Montclair Art Museum. The ticketed event will take place this afternoon, June 2nd, from 2PM-4PM, and includes a fireside chat with MSNBC’s Alicia Melendez and a book signing for his new memoir, Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit That Is Transforming America. Attendees are encouraged to buy tickets online in advance as there is limited seating. More information can be found on the organization’s website.


Newark Students Picked to Display Artwork in Essex County Government Complex

A total of 48 students ranging from elementary- to high school-aged were recently chosen to display their artwork at the Essex County Government Complex. Sixteen of those students hailed from Newark’s Abington Avenue Elementary School, East Ward Elementary School, Link Community Charter School, and Newark Vocational High School. According to Patch Newark, the first-floor lobby of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building was transformed into a student art gallery throughout March and April. It’s the 17th year that the county has partnered with the Art Educators of New Jersey to highlight student artwork at the complex.


Beloved Montclair Postmaster Retiring After 38 Years

Alan Meyers, a postmaster at Montclair’s Watchung Avenue post office, has retired as of the end of May after 38 years on the job. Alan started his career working with the United States Postal Service at Montclair’s main post office on Glenridge Avenue. After the post office permanently closed due to a deadly shooting in March 1995, he applied to move to a new post office on Watchung Avenue, per Montclair Local. Alan was the one who unlocked the doors on February 26th, 1996. He’s worked in the post office alone for the last 20 years; in that time, he only took sick leave once for three months when he fell off a ladder. Alan has a mission to visit all the national parks in his retirement as he’s an avid traveler.


More Trees to Replace Asphalt at Several Bloomfield Schools

black cherry

Facility work to plant trees and replace asphalt through the Bloomfield Public School District will occur in the coming weeks. According to Patch Bloomfield, Superintendent Salvatore Goncalves said that the trees will be allotted at the Early Childhood Center, Berkeley, Brookdale, Cartaret, Demarest, Fairview, Franklin, Oakview, and Watsessing schools. This comes in an effort to provide kids with a shadier place to play and to create “a more vibrant community.”


$3M Softball Field Renovations at Branch Brook Park Now Complete

A renovation project at Branch Brook Park’s baseball and softball fields has been completed as of Tuesday, May 28th. The area behind the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center, known as the “Three Diamonds,” includes a full-size baseball field and two Little League/softball fields that underwent some new improvements. The renovations included new fencing, landscaping, covered dugouts, and more. The upgrades won’t disturb the historic elements of the park, per Patch Newark.


NJ Food Bank Raises $1M+ in Newark

 

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey recently raised more than $1.36 million at its annual Blue Jean Ball 2024 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. According to Patch Newark, the funds raised equals roughly four million meals and will be used to “tackle the ‘root causes’ of hunger in the Garden State.” The food bank was first headquartered in Newark after its incorporation in 1982.


Outdated Traffic Signals to be Replaced at Dangerous Montclair Intersection

traffic light

The traffic signals at the intersection that sits at Bellevue Avenue and Park Street are getting rebuilt after the town council passed a resolution in April. It could be up to 10 months before the lights are put in place, per Montclair Local. The intersection lacks the mast arm and gantry configuration that positions traffic lights over the center of the road in order to increase visibility. Instead, there are four 12-foot poles with traffic lights at each corner so it can be hard for drivers to see the lights until they are almost at the intersection. There have been a total of 28 collisions in six years at this intersection.


New Robot-Assisted Tech Aids Montclair Hospital

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mountainside Medical Center (@mtnsidemedctr)

 

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center successfully completed its first bronchoscopy procedure using a new robot-assisted piece of medical technology on April 30th. According to Patch Montclair, the procedure utilized the Ion Endoluminal System, which is described as “cutting-edge robotic-assisted technology designed for minimally invasive lung biopsies.” The hospital states that early detection and treatment, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths, is critical in combating lung cancer.


JevRapha Massage Spa Opens in West Caldwell

JevRapha Massage Spa, located in the Exquisite Classic Salon Suites at 750 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell, hosted its grand opening on Saturday, June 1st. Its mission is to provide customers with the “ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation experience,” according to its latest press release. The spa’s services include massages infused with Happy Hand and Happy Feet treatments and hot stones.


Porta Montclair Opens Second-Floor Outdoor Deck

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by NJ Hipsturbia Collective (@njhipsturbia)

 

In July 2023, it was announced that Porta Montclair, located at 499 Bloomfield Avenue, received the green light on a new project — a second-floor outdoor deck for outdoor dining. The new outdoor space is now open for Montclair locals, just in time for summer. Click here for more about what MG knows about the new rooftop space at this MTC locale, and what we love about Porta.


Montclair History Center Donates to Hungarian Museum Dedicated to Artist Munkácsy Mihály

The Montclair History Center (MHC) recently donated to the Munkácsy Mihály Museum in Békéscsaba, Hungary several programs from the artist’s U.S. exhibits in 1886 and 1887. The programs include professional opinions about the paintings and are important references for contemporary art historians in the industry. These programs and many items have been permanently archived by MHC and researched by MHC staff, interns, and volunteers. According to a press release from MHC, a press conference hosted by the Hungarian museum celebrated the donation and produced multiple articles in the local press, including, “The world’s largest Munkácsy collection has been enriched with American treasures.” Before deaccessioning the Shultz home, all items in the house were carefully reviewed by MHC for their relevance to the Shultz family, the period of significance of the home, and/or the history of Montclair.


Milk N’ Cookies to Open in Montclair

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Milk N Cookies ®️ (@milkncookies)

 

Milk N Cookies, a cookie cafe and cereal bar, is officially slated to open on June 7th at 1PM, located at 43 Church Street. It serves up a decadent menu of stuffed cookies, milkshakes, ice cream, and other dessert vehicles for cereal. Click here for what we know about Milk N Cookies, the latest sweet shop to arrive in Montclair.


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