Home Essex CountyBloomfield 21 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

21 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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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: Livingston students will have to make up a school day; West Orange explores the possibility of a film studio; and an NJ Transit fundraiser nets $10K for Ricardo the Bull.  Read on for all the news in Essex County for the week ending March 3rd, 2024.

Have a news story or press release? Email it to hello@themontclairgirl.com.

Among the Headlines:

  • Tony Soprano’s Booth Up for Sale at Holsten’s in Bloomfield
  • NJ Transit raises $10k for Ricardo, “The Runaway Bull”
  • South Orange’s First Tattoo Studio Hosts Its Grand Opening
  • West Orange Issues RFP for Film Studio Downtown Redevelopment
  • New Ramen Spot Coming to Former Daikichi Space in Montclair
  • Montclair Film Announces Upcoming Screenings + Events
  • Landlord Registration Needed to Strengthen Montclair Rent Control Ordinance
  • Nutley’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Returning for 2024
  • Caldwell Residents Object to New Police Station Proposal
  • 6 Pickleball Courts to be Added to Monsignor Owens Park in Nutley

Tony Soprano’s Booth Up for Sale at Holsten’s in Bloomfield


Essex County will soon be short one of its iconic landmarks. The famous booth is for sale where the fictional character Tony Soprano, of North Caldwell, had his final meal. The booth is located at Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant, 1063 Broad Street in Bloomfield, a classic Jersey spot that has been in business since 1939. It gained international renown as the site where the final scenes of the popular series The Sopranos were filmed. Click here for more.

The Ivy at Chatham

NJ Transit Raises $10k for Ricardo, “The Runaway Bull”


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Not long after Ricardo the runaway bull infamously ran rampant around Newark Penn Station in December, NJ Transit created a fundraiser for his care at his new home at Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage. A video was published last week from the agency showing Ricardo alongside his plushie receiving a check for $10,000 from NJ Transit’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Corbett. According to NJ.com, the funds from the sales of the plushies can go toward the hospital costs that saved Ricardo’s life-threatening infection he received from a road rash wound.

South Orange’s First Tattoo Studio Hosts Grand Opening


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A post shared by S.O.C.A Tattoo Studio (@socatattoostudio_206)

S.O.C.A. (South Orange Collective Artists) Tattoo Studio, South Orange’s first tattoo studio, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday at 75 South Orange Avenue. Village President, Sheena Collum, and Executive Director of Downtown South Orange, Melissa Hodge, kicked off the event along with supporters, neighboring business owners, and members of S.O.C.A. South Orange resident and police officer, Chris Chery, owns the business and leads a team of talented piercers and artists of different expertise, per TapintoSOMA. The tattoo studio is open Monday through Saturday from 12PM-9PM and is closed on Sundays.

Livingston Public Schools to Make Up Snow Day During Spring Break Due to Error

Due to a miscalculation almost two years ago, Livingston Public Schools will have to cut its spring break short to make up for the fact that one snow day was accidentally built into the 2023-2024 academic calendar. The schools will now be open on Friday, April 5th, for a single, in-person session with no assessments or significant assignments to be given or due. According to TAPintoLivingston, student attendance will count as it would on any other school day and students will not be disciplined for an absence.

Multiple Scams Reported in Nutley Related to Identity Theft + Fraud

According to the Nutley Police Department, several incidents related to identity theft and fraud have occurred in different areas of Nutley recently. On February 17th, 2024, two separate incidents took place resulting in the victims being qualified to apply as an Identity Theft Victim aided by the Federal Trade Commission. The next day, a resident reported an email scam requesting $500 in cryptocurrency, per Patch. On February 20th, 2024, a business owner reported a stolen credit card that had a collective $10,000 in transactions. It is unknown if all of the scams are connected.

West Orange Issues RFP for Film Studio Downtown Redevelopment

west orange film studio new jersey

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

On February 1st, the Township of West Orange submitted a Request for Proposal (RFP) for downtown redevelopment that included plans for a 12.2-acre film studio complex. According to TAPintoNutley, the due date for the proposal is March 13th, and a selection date is set for April 11th. Read more about the plan here.

New Ramen Spot Coming to Former Daikichi Space in Montclair

ramen omakase montclair new jersey

In September 2023, beloved Montclair sushi spot Daikichi officially closed its doors after 35 years in town. The closure came as a surprise for locals, who favored the eatery for its extensive menu of Japanese cuisine. Since then, members of the team have embarked on new ventures — former Daikichi chef Kenny Mar launched a sushi bar inside Montclair restaurant De Novo — but the 608 Valley Road space has remained virtually unclaimed. As of February 2024, a new ramen and omakase sushi restaurant duo from the chef behind SLA Thai is moving in. Say hello to Minoru Ramen and Jonetsu Omakase, the newest restaurant duo coming to 608 Valley Road in Montclair. Read more here.

Controversy Over Play from Luna Stage at Montclair High School Sparks Debate

A performance of the play, “RIFT or White Lies,” was brought to Montclair High School students from Luna Stage on February 12th and was cut short due to the nature of the material. Per MontclairLocal, Principal Jeffrey Freeman emailed parents and guardians explaining how the play was stopped early since the performance included an “explicit and violent description of sexual assault as well as misogynistic and homophobic language in the text.” Adults and students are both split in opinion about whether the administration and faculty should’ve cut the performance short and if censoring important topics and creative expression is ethical.

Newark’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Returning for 2024

The 89th Annual Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade will officially take place on Friday, March 15th. According to Patch, the parade will begin at 1PM at the corner of Mulberry Street and Raymond Boulevard, continue past NJPAC on Central Avenue, and end on Washington Street. The grand marshal is Ted Giblin.

Montclair Film Announces Upcoming Screenings + Events

things to do montclair the clairidge

In a press release from February 26th, Montclair Film announced its event calendar for the beginning of spring. The slate includes All Things Oscars®: In Conversation with Daniel Battsek on March 4th at Cinema505, a special advanced screening of Frida followed by a Q+A with local director Carla Gutierrez on March 7th, and a one-night-only screening of Fioretta followed by a Q+A with the film’s subject Randy Schoenberg on March 14th. Tickets and more info can be found on the Montclair Film website.

NJSIAA HOF Class of 2024 Includes 2x Olympic Gold Medalist, NFL, + NBA Stars


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The 2024 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Hall of Fame was announced and the lineup includes some of the biggest names in sports. Per NJ.com, five athletes, one coach, one administrator, and several other annual awards will be given out. The athlete inductees include two-time Olympic track and field gold medalist and 2017 Union Catholic grad Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, FOX NFL analyst and Wayne Hills grad Greg Olsen, two-time Olympic triple jumper and Mount Olive grad Keturah Orji, 16-year MLB veteran and Bergen Catholic grad Mark DeRosa, and longtime NBA veteran and Hudson Catholic grad Mike O’Koren. The ceremony will take place on March 24th at the Westin Princeton.

Altercation at The Wellmont Theater

An individual reported an assault while attending a concert at The Wellmont Theater on February 17th. According to TapintoMontclair, the altercation stemmed from an argument with another female concert-goer over “alleged shoe-stepping.” The suspect reportedly poured a drink on the victim, pulled her hair, scratched her neck, and possibly bit her finger before pushing her to the ground. The victim received medical treatment at Mountainside Hospital for her injuries.

Landlord Registration Needed to Strengthen Montclair Rent Control Ordinance

The town of Montclair is encouraging its landlords to register with the Rent Control Board by April 1st to avoid a fine. Per MontclairLocal, getting landlords to register helps strengthen the rent control ordinance. Board chair Alex Morgan and vice chair Toni Martin want to increase the fine and recommend raising it from $20 to $200 per dwelling unit for late filing registrations to ensure compliance. Click here for more info.

Nutley’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Returns for 2024

Nutley’s 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicked off this Saturday, March 2nd. According to Patch, the parade started at 1PM on Harrison Avenue and Evergreen Street, then headed north up Franklin Avenue. It ended on Chestnut Street, with the review stand in front of John Walker Middle School around 3PM. The parade was hosted by the Nutley Irish American Association with retired Nutley Detective Captain Robert Irwin as the grand marshal among several other dignitaries.

NFL Coach + Irvington Native Raheem Morris Honored in Essex County


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Raheem Morris was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award at Essex County’s African American History Month Celebration on February 22nd. Raheem has an extensive and impressive history in football per Patch. He was a safety on the Hofstra University football team and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1997 as well as held coaching positions with his alma mater, the New York Jets, Washington Redskins (now the Commanders), Kansas State University, and Cornell University. Raheem also received keys to the county and the cities of Irvington and Newark. A football field in Essex County Vailsburg Park in Newark has been named the “Essex County Raheem Morris Football Field.”

Caldwell Residents Object to New Police Station Proposal

Major negative backlash against a proposed site for a new police headquarters in Caldwell occurred at the most recent Borough Council meeting. According to TapintoWestEssex, a borough-owned property on Westville Avenue close to the First Presbyterian Church is being considered for the Police Department’s new headquarters. Concerns for the possible new building were raised regarding the impact on safety for the children who attend the First Presbyterian nursery school, traffic issues, quality of life for the neighboring homes, and concerns about police vehicles exiting nearby intersections.

6 Pickleball Courts to be Added to Monsignor Owens Park in Nutley

pickleball courts

The Board of Commissioners public meeting on February 6th awarded a contract to install six new pickleball courts and upgrade two tennis courts to Monsignor Owens Park. Per TapintoNutley, a contract with ATT Sports Inc. in Berlin for $245,945 will upgrade the park.

Violent Incident at Montclair Parking Deck

A verbal dispute between two civilians led to one of them striking the other in the head with a chair on February 24th. Per Patch, the argument occurred on the lower level of the Bay Street Parking Deck on Pine Street. The Montclair Police Department reported that the victim was treated at Mountainside Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

6 Black Community Leaders from NJ-10 Honored by Rep. Donald Payne Jr.


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A post shared by Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (@repdonaldpaynejr)

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey honored six community leaders from the state’s 10th Congressional District in honor of Black History Month on February 26th. According to Patch, the six honorees were praised for their impactful work in parts of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. The community members included Jersey City Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Union County Commissioner Michele Delisfort, William Brown III for his work as the former president of the American Institute of Architects, Jimmy Small for his work in East Orange and being a former Navy veteran, Rev. Daryl Griffin as pastor at Monumental Baptist Church in Jersey City, and Brandon Givens as the senior advisor for community development and equitable investments at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Montclair Votes to Hire GSG to Resolve $1M PSE&G Bill

Montclair’s town council voted 5-1 on February 27th to pass a resolution awarding a professional services agreement without bidding to Government Strategies Group (GSG) to figure out what Montclair truly owes the utility company. Hundreds of unpaid bills totaling almost one million dollars have been piling up, per MontclairLocal, and even one council member knew nothing of the issue. The township voted to pay GSG $32,900 to audit the outstanding PSE&G balance of $972,144.20.

Volunteers Needed for Court Advocate Program in Essex County

The domestic violence division of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS), Rachel Coalition, is looking for volunteers for its Court Advocate Program. According to Patch, the program requires 40-hour hands-on training educating volunteers to assist domestic violence victims with emotional and administrative support as they await their restraining order hearings in Essex Family Court in Newark. Volunteers who have already taken a 40-hour domestic violence training class in the last five years may qualify for an abbreviated training. No formal legal experience or education is required and participants will have an opportunity to observe Family Court proceedings. Training sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 6PM to 9PM beginning March 13th.

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