November is here, the weather is getting chillier, and it’s time to start thinking about the holidays here in North Jersey. It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the headlines to get you caught up. Among the highlights: the 2023 Montclair Film Festival winners are announced; Montclair’s Coffee + Cornbread is relocating to Belleville after a scam incident; and a night of 10,000 Sandwiches in Newark supports the community. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending November 5th, 2023.
Montclair’s Coffee + Cornbread Relocating to Belleville After Scam Incident
In 2017, two New Jersey sisters ventured to bring something different to the Montclair food scene: comfort food with a conscience. What arose out of this dream was Coffee + Cornbread, a local breakfast staple serving just that, but with organic ingredients and vegan options. Now, nearly six years later, Monique + Monica are leaving Montclair and headed for Belleville, after an unfortunate scam incident that effectively drained funds the duo had saved for an upcoming renovation. Coffee + Cornbread officially closes its 38 Upper Montclair Plaza location on Sunday, November 5th, but you can continue to support this local business until then (and after it relocates). Read on for what we know about Coffee + Cornbread’s Montclair closure + its relocation to Belleville as a takeout and delivery spot.
Bike Ride Fundraiser to Help Collect Thanksgiving Turkeys Back for 2023
Per Patch, The Montclair Bikery will host its 11th annual ‘Turkey Ride’ in Montclair on Sunday, November 19th to help collect Thanksgiving turkeys for donation to the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair. For more information about the 15-mile bike ride or to make a donation, click here.
Meet Fanny’s + Ladyfingers: Two New Sister Eateries Now Open in Bloomfield
Bloomfield now has two new foodie spots to try out. The team behind The Brookdale, a restaurant + bar, which opened at 1109 Broad Street in Bloomfield in 2020, first announced the opening of two new spots back in June — and now we just got word that both are open for business. The new sister concepts have launched right next door to the original location. Fanny’s Restaurant + Bar is a hybrid restaurant serving cocktails, and Ladyfingers Bakery + Bar is a twist on a modern bakery. Read on to find out what we know about these new Bloomfield eateries.
Montclair Firefighters Train on New Equipment
The Montclair Fire Department recently took some time to train using newly purchased equipment, per Patch. The new equipment, personal escape systems, will allow firefighters to self-rescue from being trapped on a high floor during a fire response. The system allows the firefighter to rappel safely from the building.
2023 Montclair Film Festival Winners Announced
Via a press release, The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) announced the winners of the festival’s 2023 film competitions. This year’s festival featured four competitive categories: Fiction, Documentary, Future/ Now, and New Jersey Filmmaking. Additionally, the Fiction and Documentary juries also awarded films for the festival’s Short Film competitions. The MFF also announced the festival’s 2023 Audience Awards and Junior Jury prizes.
Essex County Community Leaders Honored at Italian-American Heritage Month Celebration
Two community leaders who have ties to Newark were honored at Essex County’s annual Italian-American Heritage Month celebration, per Patch. , Retired assignment judge Sallyanne Floria and retired administrator Ralph Ciallella both received the “Stellas della Contea di Essex” (Stars of Essex County) — which recognizes them for their “commitment to improving the lives of all residents and their community involvement.”
North Jersey Lawn Moving Nonprofit Expands to Montclair, Offers Free Lawn Mowing
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The organization “I Want to Mow Your Lawn” was the product of Wayne resident Brian Schwartz’s imagination after getting laid off during the pandemic. Per Montclair Local, he was inspired to create a network of volunteers to help senior citizens, veterans, and others in need of free lawn care. Now, the organization has popped up in Montclair, organized by resident Yana Robbins. Montclair residents can sign up to volunteer or to receive free lawn care here.
Night of 10,000 Sandwiches in Newark Supports the Community
Two Newark organizations teamed up to offer food, community resources, and fellowship for unhoused residents last weekend. Per Patch, the Night of 10,000 Sandwiches took place on October 28th and was organized by the Rock Place Church and United Community Corporation with the goal of providing a meal and support to the community. Attendees were able to use a mobile laundry facility, get flu shots, receive health screenings and grocery giveaways, and more.
Mumbai Maskaa Opens in Montclair
In a town where every corner tells a story, a new Indian restaurant has graced the scene on 150 Valley Road to capture the heart of Mumbai. Taking the place of the former Mediterranean eatery, Zachy on the Go, Mumbai Maskaa’s menu serves a journey through Mumbai’s diverse culinary landscape with dishes ranging from the traditional Indian vada pav and naans to international flavors including Thai delicacy and Chinese dishes. With roots in the city of Mumbai, the owner and chef Simpson Rodrigues brings the taste of its flavors straight to Montclair. The restaurant officially opened for takeout on Monday, October 2nd, and welcomed indoor dining on Wednesday, October 18th. Read on to learn more about Mumbai Maskaa, the new Indian restaurant open now in Montclair.
Montclair Police Supports Efforts for Opioid Addiction Awareness
The Montclair Police Department was out in force to show its support of raising awareness for opioid addiction. Per Montclair Local, members of the department participated in the Opioid Awareness Walk, part of a series of events making up DEA National Prescription Take Back Day. On October 28th, police officers joined neighbors and other supporters for a walk through Montclair, stopping at police headquarters for remarks from Chief Todd Conforti and others, and ended with a drug take-back event where residents could drop off expired drugs.
New Restaurant ‘Cornbread’ Opening in Montclair
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A new farm-to-table soul food restaurant called ‘Cornbread’ will be celebrating its grand opening and ribbon cutting in Montclair on Wednesday, November 8th at 11AM. The Montclair location marks the local chain’s fourth location, with others in Newark, Maplewood, and Brooklyn. Learn more about Cornbread from MG’s talk with co-owner Adenah Bayoh from 2022 in our article here.
Fire at Historic Newark Mansion
Newark firefighters responded to reports of smoke and flames at the Kastner Mansion, located at 176 Clinton Avenue on Saturday, October 28th, according to Patch. The historic mansion was once home to Franz Kastner, one of Newark’s most prosperous beer brewers and notable residents. The 1892 building has fallen into disrepair and has been identified as an endangered historic site. Another fire at the building took place in 2019.
Flight Attendants Strike at Newark Airport
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Newark Airport has been chosen as the site of several protest actions by airline employees who are a part of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, according to Patch. Newark was selected because it is the corporate headquarters of United Airlines. The union is in negotiations for higher pay based on several factors, including United’s record-setting profits.
Community Coat Drive in Montclair
According to a press release, the Montclair Fire Department and the Episcopal Church of Saint James will hold their annual coat drive, which began on October 31st. Collected coats will be distributed throughout the community to those in need. There are three drop off spots: Fire Headquarters, 1 Pine Street; Station # 2, 588 Valley Road; and the Episcopal Church of Saint James 581 Valley Road just outside the preschool entrance.
Newark Celebrates Re-Entry Program Graduates
Thirty graduates of a program designed to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society were celebrated last week, according to Patch. The Start Up U program is a collaboration between Newark and the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Participants receive job training, certifications, mentorship, and more. They also worked for the city of Newark and finally pitched their business ideas to possible investors.
Vigil For Hostages Being Held by Hamas Happening in Montclair
Per a press release, a peaceful community vigil called ‘Bring Them Home’ will be held in Montclair to pray for the release of the international hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas on Sunday, November 5th. The vigil will occur from 12PM-3PM on Walnut Street between North Willow Street and Forest Street in Montclair.
Montclair Indoor Golf Club Opens
Montclair Indoor Golf Club, an indoor golf simulator facility, has opened in Montclair located at 369 Bloomfield Avenue. Members can access the facility 24/7 using secure keycards. Read more about the concept in MG’s piece here.
Montclair Athletic Field Updates on Time
Montclair school administrators shared an update with the community about the renovations taking place at the Aubrey Lewis Athletic Complex. Per Patch, the work is expected to be completed in time for baseball and track-and-field season. Some of the improvements include adding retractable netting and planting 94 new trees.
United Airlines Now Boarding Window Seats First
Per Patch, United Airlines has changed its boarding process to the WILMA system. Economy passengers will now be boarded in the following order: window, middle, aisle. For passengers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, active military members, people flying with children 2 years old or younger, as well as premier access and priority boarding passengers, the process will not change.
Essex County Cops Demand Raises + Better Staffing Ratios
Essex County police officers, corrections officers, and other law enforcement workers showed up at the November 1st commissioner’s meeting to demand raises and better staffing ratios, per Patch. According to a joint statement from several labor unions, more than 1,000 law enforcement workers in Essex County have not gotten a raise in nearly seven years. Additionally, the union leaders claimed that a chronic lack of staff and rising violence at the Essex County Correctional Facility continues to jeopardize their safety at work. Watch the full meeting here.