Home Essex County 25 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

25 News Stories You Missed This Week from 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 headlines to get you caught up. Among the highlights: the Bloomfield Library will undergo major renovations; AAPI Montclair launches a ‘Love Your Lunch’ campaign; and two Montclair community leaders were awarded for their efforts.

Read on for more news you missed in the Montclair area + beyond. 

New Jersey Hall of Fame Announces Nominees

The New Jersey Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating noteworthy New Jerseyians, has announced the nominees for the class of 2023. Per NJ.com, there are five categories of nominees. Readers are encouraged to vote for their top two choices in each of the five categories: arts and entertainment, sports, enterprise, arts and letters, and public service. Some of this year’s nominees include author Janet Evanovich, actor Paul Rudd, actor and author Anthony Bourdain, and former NFL player Tiki Barber.

Restaurant Week Coming to the Caldwells

Restaurant Week is coming to the Caldwells. Per Patch, from April 23rd through April 30th participating restaurants will offer special menus in North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Caldwell. Organizers say that the event is a way for the community to try new restaurants and dishes.

Montclair ‘Library of Things’ Coming Soon

The Montclair Public Library, located at 50 S. Fullerton Avenue, will debut its Library of Things on April 24th, according to Patch. Per the Montclair Public Library Foundation’s website, “The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional materials including gadgets, tools, games, kits, electronics, and more — all available to check out for free with a library card.”

Montclair State Accepts Record Number of Students

Montclair State University has accepted a record number of students, according to a press release from the school. During two recent Accepted Student Days on campus, Montclair welcomed a total of 2,743 students and their guests, bringing the total number of visitors on Accepted Student Days to 8,040. Of the accepted students, 169 visited from out of state.

Two Essex County Gardens Rank High

Greenwood Gardens, located at 274 Old Short Hills Road in Short Hills, has been named number 26 in a survey of 200 public gardens, per Patch. Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair, has been named number 191 out of the top 200 public gardens in America, according to the survey conducted by GoodPlantcare.com. Over 3,000 survey respondents answered questions about their favorite public gardens and the benefits received from spending time in them. Read more about the Presby Gardens from our trip, here.

Bloomfield Announces Town Flower

After weeks of resident input, voting, and other considerations, the town of Bloomfield has announced its choice for the official town flower, according to Patch. The classic Black-Eyed Susan was selected. It is known to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. On May 22nd, the town Beautification Committee will distribute seeds to residents at the courtyard outside the library and Civic Center.

Kung Fu Tea Opens in Newark

Popular bubble tea brand Kung Fu Tea has opened its most recent location near the Newark campus of Rutgers University, per Patch. The location at 73 Halsey Street hosted a grand opening celebration on Friday, April 21st, with samples and student discounts available and a DJ making a festive atmosphere. The shop is open from 11AM to 8PM daily.

New Dog Park Coming to Newark

Local officials in Newark have announced plans for a new dog park, according to Patch. The dog park is one of several improvements coming to Vailsburg Park, including new restrooms and improved lighting. The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Peruvian Restaurant Jarana Opens in American Dream Mall


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A Peruvian eatery called Jarana is the latest addition to the American Dream Mall, per Jersey Digs. Chef Gastón Acurio is behind the restaurant, which features traditional Peruvian dishes with international influences, like a variety of ceviches and grilled items. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

Thai-Style Ice Cream in Bloomfield

The Bloomfield Center Alliance announced the plans for a Thai-style ice cream shop to open at 625 Bloomfield Avenue, per Patch. Owner Kitana James is an East Orange native and has been selling the rolled ice cream treats at pop-up events and fairs throughout the area. The store is called Amai Ice Cream.

Tin Cat Shoes at Nutley Theatre

Nutley’s Little Theatre, located at 47 Erie Place, is home to a new production of Tin Cat Shoes, a quirky ensemble cast comedy. Per BaristaNet, the play debuted off-Broadway in 2018 but hasn’t seen many productions since. Director Sarah Gorden is excited to bring the play to the Little Theatre, which seats 55.

Newark Hospital Reaches Milestone in Expansion Effort

Lobby renovations are complete at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, located at 201 Lyons Avenue.
Per Patch, the lobby’s a significant milestone of a $150 million renovation project, called Newark Strong. The project has been the hospital’s largest expansion effort in over 50 years.

Summer Programs at School of Rock Montclair

Per BaristaNet, the School of Rock Montclair, in collaboration with Magic Door Recording, will offer its first one-week intensive studio recording and music production camp July 31st through August 4th.

“Our campers will learn the ropes of being studio musicians as well as the elements of what goes into creating a professional audio recording. Whether they’re into the gear and tech side of making music or are intrigued by the steps required to craft state-of-the-art sonic performances, campers will experience a fascinating introduction into the studio world and have a lot of fun at the same time,” says Kevin March, General Manager of School of Rock Montclair.

Bloomfield Walking Food Tour Announced

The Bloomfield Walking Food Tour will return on Sunday May 13th from noon to 2PM, per Patch. The restaurants included will feature brunch dishes. Tickets are required, and can be purchased here.

Montclair Schools Join Anti-Bias and Anti-Bullying Program

Montclair High School, Renaissance Middle School, and Glenfield Middle School will participate in the Anti-Defamation League’s widely respected No Place For Hate anti-bias and anti-bullying training program beginning next fall, according to a press release from the school district. The District’s other middle school, Buzz Aldrin, is currently participating in the initiative.

The free program will require each of the schools to assemble a student-led committee overseeing a year-long effort — with ADL’s support and resources — whose steps include encouraging fellow students to sign a pledge to fight bigotry and bullying, conducting an extensive school climate survey, and, based on the needs of the school, planning three schoolwide interactive events over the course of the year.

Schools that complete the requirements are designated by the ADL as a national “No School for Hate.” More than 1,800 schools across the nation have participated in the initiative, according to the ADL.

Women’s Club of Glen Ridge House Tour Returns


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The much anticipated 31 st Annual House Tour of Glen Ridge will return on Sunday, May 7th, according to a press release from the organization. The tour is self-guided and open to anyone 14 years and older. This year’s event promises to once again delight with a showcase of exceptional homes on display from 1PM – 4PM followed by a reception at the Clubhouse from 3:30PM to 5:30PM. The House Tour typically draws about 150 local area guests and is a well-known community-favored event.

The post-tour reception will feature fabulous boutiques offering beautiful gifts just in time for Mother’s Day, alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments, and light hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds will benefit The Women’s Club of Glen Ridge, a tax-exempt organization providing integral support to various organizations within our community. To purchase tickets before the April 22nd early bird deadline and other important information, please visit the event website linked here, or call the Clubhouse Office at (973) 748-5459.

Montclair Board of Education Receives $75K Grant

Several Essex County schools were awarded funds as part of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services’ Local Recreation Improvement Grants. According to a press release, $25 million was distributed among 352 local governments after a competitive application process. The Montclair Board of Education was awarded $75K to upgrade playgrounds through the program.

Decadent Dessert in Essex County the Priciest in the State?

New Jersey-based influencer Alexis “Lex” Foster may have found the most expensive dessert in the Garden State, right here in Essex County. Per Patch, Lex found an ice cream sundae at Calandra’s, located at 234 Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, with a price tag of nearly $100. The decadent treat was gelato topped with 23 karat gold, gourmet pistachios, cherries, & a shot of cognac.

Out Montclair Hosts Spring Fundraiser

Out Montclair hosted its second annual Spring Fling at 18 Label Studios. Over 250 people came and danced the evening away, according to a press release from the organization. The event raised $40,000, just enough to cover police and security costs for Montclair Pride 2023 on Saturday, June 10th. The event also featured a special fundraising match, underwritten by Vanguard Theater’s Jessica Sporn to help Out Montclair sustain its new trans-focused 2023 programming. Guests danced the night away and enjoyed sips and bites courtesy of Events by Joni, Little Daisy Bakeshop, Van Hook Cheese & Grocery, Montclair Brewery, Little Pizza Heaven and more. A robust silent auction included items from all over Montclair.

Montclair Local and BaristaNet to Merge

Two local news outlets will merge and become one digital news source. Per Montclair Local, the April 27th newspaper will be the publication’s last. Liz George, Baristanet’s longtime publisher and editor and a nationally recognized digital news leader, will become the publisher of the new Montclair Local.

Earth Day Bike Ride in Montclair

A ten-mile bike ride will celebrate Earth Day in Montclair this weekend. Per Montclair Local, the ride is a joint effort from Bike and Walk Montclair and Montclair Climate Action. The bike ride is meant to show riders how to get to the main points in town by taking them through roadways with fewer parked cars and side alleyways.

Name Change Clinic in Essex County

Attorneys from the law firm McCarter & English and Essex-Newark Legal Services will provide free legal advice to help transgender and non-binary community members legally affirm their names. Per Patch, the event on April 25th is free and registration is required. The event will take place from 2PM – 5PM at the Essex County Leroy F. Smith Jr. Public Safety Building, located at 60 Nelson Place in Newark.

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