Home Essex CountyBloomfield 20 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

20 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s Hallo-weekend! We can’t wait to see our social media feeds filled with pictures of cute kids and pets in costume. It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the headlines to get you caught up. Among the highlights: a Bloomfield martial arts studio is honored; Montclair residents call for safer streets; and a Newark school makes two new science labs in an old gymnasium. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending October 29th, 2023.

Varitage Brew Works Opens in Bloomfield

varitage beer company bloomfield

A new brewery, Varitage Brew Works, has opened in Bloomfield and is located at 58 Washington Street. The brewery’s name is derived from the words “variety” and “heritage,” which illustrates what the owners want the new business to represent — the American Dream. The microbrewery was aiming to open in 2022 and that ended up getting pushed back, but we got word earlier this week that Bloomfield’s first microbrewery would be opening on the weekend of October 28th and 29th, 2023. Read on to learn more about Varitage Brew Works in Bloomfield, NJ.

The Ivy at Chatham

Call for Thanksgiving Donations for Montclair Food Pantry


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A post shared by Human Needs Food Pantry (@humanneedsfoodpantry)

The Human Needs Food Pantry, located at 9 Label Street in Montclair, has put the call out for Thanksgiving donations. According to Patch, the goal this year is to get 1,000 turkeys to share with the community. Neighbors can visit the Pantry’s website for more information.

Bloomfield Martial Arts Studio Honored


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A post shared by UniversalMartialArts (@universalmartialartsbloomfield)

A Bloomfield Tae Kwan Do studio has been honored by the Essex County Board of Commissioners for a series of successful tournaments. Per Patch, a team from the Universal Martial Arts studio has won several tournaments in the Northeast in 2023. Universal Martial Arts is located at 48 Washington Street in Bloomfield.

Academic Agreement Between Montclair State University + Bergen Community College


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A post shared by Montclair State University (@montclairstateu)

According to a press release from Montclair State University, the University has signed an agreement with Bergen Community College to allow Bergen students to transfer credits to MSU for a degree. The agreement takes effect now, meaning students in good academic standing can begin the transfer process now. Students must meet other transfer student requirements.

Santa Photo Fundraiser for Newark Animal Shelter


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A post shared by Associated Humane Soc.-Newark (@ahsnewark)

Santa Claus will come to town early to take pictures with pets for a fundraiser for the Associated Humane Societies-Newark. According to Patch, all pets are welcome and the $20 registration fee will go to the shelter’s operations. The event will be on November 4th from 12PM to 4PM, and registration is open now.

New Mexican Restaurant ‘Playa Taqueria’ Coming to Montclair

mexican restaurant playa taqueria montclair

A new addition to Montclair’s dining scene is on the horizon in the form of a new Mexican restaurant, Playa Taqueria, located at 206 Bellevue Avenue. This eatery, led by David Feit, John Paul Valenti, Charlie Diehl, and chef Ricardo Camacho, will emphasize authentic Mexican corn tortillas. Playa Taqueria aims to deliver a true taste of Mexico by blending traditional flavors with some creative twists in its tacos, bowls, and burritos, to introduce authentic Mexican cuisine to the neighborhood. Read on for details about Playa Taqueria, a new Mexican restaurant coming to Bellevue Avenue in Montclair, NJ.

Newark School Has Two New Labs


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A post shared by Saint Vincent Academy (@saintvincentacademy)

One Newark school has gotten creative in using its existing space to make it more useful for its current needs. According to Patch, St. Vincent’s Academy in Newark recently unveiled two new science labs that were built in the school’s unused gymnasium. The labs were named in honor of influential members of the school’s community at a celebration where the facilities were also blessed by clergy.

Montclair Film Announces Partnership with Shine Global to Launch Student Filmmaking Prize


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A post shared by Shine Global Inc. (@shine.global)

Via a press release, Montclair Film and Shine Global announced a new partnership to launch new student filmmaking prizes in tandem with Montclair Film’s Emerging Filmmaker Competition and Shine Global’s 2024 Children’s Resilience in Film Awards.  The partnership establishes two awards out of Montclair Film’s annual Emerging Filmmaker Competition. An award of $500 will be granted to the winning film in a new filmmaking category focused on resilience, and another cash prize of $500 will be awarded to the EFC’s Grand Prize-winning film. The Grand Prize and Resilience category winners will be invited to participate in Shine Global’s 2024 Children’s Resilience in Film Award events.

Montclair Residents Call for Safer Streets

Concerned Montclair residents have started an online petition after an increase in traffic safety incidents. Per Montclair Local, eight incidents have occurred in October 2023 alone. Residents say that despite years of promises, pressure, and budgetary commitments, the city has not done enough to minimize risk to pedestrians at certain intersections.

Newark Alumni Hope to Inspire Others

Three notable alumni of University High School in Newark returned to campus in hopes of inspiring current students, according to Patch. The Three Doctors, as Sampson Davis, MD, Rameck Hunt, MD, and George Jenkins, DMD are known, took part in Mentor Day, where they interacted with students and talked about their educational and career paths. The event was attended by middle and high schoolers with the goal of learning more about different opportunities outside of school.

Bloomfield Teens Fundraise for Swim Lessons for Children


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A post shared by Essex County Commissioners (@essexcountycommissioners)

Teens Tyna and Tyler Davis of Bloomfield were recognized by the Essex County Board of Commissioners earlier this fall for a summer program on water safety organized by the twins. According to a press release from the Board of Commissioners, the siblings hosted a fundraiser totaling $5,500 which they then used to fund swim lessons for 22 underprivileged Bloomfield children. Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for children worldwide.

Rate Increase Approved for New Jersey Turnpike + Garden State Parkway

Starting January 1st, 2024, toll rates will increase on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. According to NJ.com, Turnpike Authority commissioners approved the rate hike as a way to make the budget keep up with rising costs and inflation. The rates will be increased 3%.

NJ Mom + NJ Baby Expo Coming to Hoboken

NJMOM.com, the premier New Jersey website for finding the best family-friendly businesses around New Jersey, is hosting its annual NJ Baby Expo on November 12th, 2023 from 9:30AM to 1:30PM at the W Hoboken, located at 225 River Street. Per a press release, the expo will connect parents-to-be and new parents with over 50 premium baby and toddler exhibitors including best-in-class baby gear and accessories, clothing, skincare, local childcare providers, pediatricians, cord blood banking, and more. Throughout the event, parents can test products and take advantage of one-day-only discounts, check out educational demos led by industry-leading experts, enjoy pampering treatments, enter to win thousands of dollars in raffle prizes, including strollers and car seats, and take home VIP swag bags.

Community Photo Exhibit at Montclair Public Library

In honor of November being National Caregiver’s Month, the Montclair Public Library will host a community-submitted photography exhibit called Photo Voice—Moments in Time. According to Montclair Local, the exhibit will be on display from November 2nd through 28th and feature photographs submitted by community members who were inspired by their own experiences with aging. The exhibit is also supported by the Mental Health Association and Aging in Montclair.

Change to Halloween Celebrations in South Orange-Maplewood Schools

According to NJ.com, the South Orange-Maplewood school district will not permit any Halloween-related activities during school hours. The decision was made to respect the diversity of students’ cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. While some are in support of the decision, others say that it goes too far.

Benefit Concert for Montclair’s Toni’s Kitchen

The concert, called The Band’s Last Waltz, will take place at Porta in Montclair, located at 499 Bloomfield Avenue on Friday, November 10th. According to Patch, several Montclair musicians will reenact the last performance of the classic rock band The Band, which is known as The Last Waltz. In addition to over 40 musicians taking part in the performance, contests for best costume and best waltz will also be held. Funds raised will benefit Toni’s Kitchen, a Montclair-based food pantry and community resource group.

Newark Police Hand Out Wheel Locks to Reduce Car Thefts

With car thefts up, Newark Police are helping residents keep their property safe by handing out wheel locks. According to Patch, the anti-theft devices are available for Kia and Hyundai car owners, two of the most-targeted types of cars. With proof of ownership, residents can visit a precinct office to get a lock.

Murphy to Veto Toll Increases

While the New Jersey Turnpike Authority passed a budget that included a 3% increase in tolls, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has vowed to veto it. According to Patch, the toll increase would be the fourth since 2020. The Governor said he was not satisfied with the justifications provided by the Turnpike Authority.

Newark Dispensary Gets Closer to Opening


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A post shared by Hashstoria (@hashstoria)

Hashstoria, a Newark dispensary co-owned by rapper Raekwon, is getting closer to opening after receiving approval from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Per Patch, the Oregon-based company hopes to open its Newark facility in early 2024. Montclair-based architect Rachael Grochowski of RHG Architecture + Design is involved with the project.

Chip City Officially Opens in Montclair

chip city montclair new jersey

There’s a new cookie in town. Montclair Center BID confirmed in August that the NYC-based cookie chain Chip City is making its way to Montclair, and now it’s officially open for business at 2 Church Street. With locations popping up around New Jersey and New York, Chip City has garnered attention for its diverse menu of oversized cookies. How oversized, you ask? Each cookie from Chip City weighs in at about 6 oz. each, with flavors spanning from chocolate chip to rainbow and s’mores. Keep reading to learn more about Chip City and its new Montclair location.

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