Whole_foods Finally, after months of speculation, a sign that it’s really coming: the new West Orange Whole Foods, taking the place of a Pathmark that closed last year.

That’s an impressive addition to a shopping center that now houses a K-Mart, a Rag Shop, a Staples, a large-woman’s clothing store and other untrendy businesses. Could a GAP be far behind?

85 replies on “Talk About Your Gentrification”

  1. As a WO resident of 5 years, I am excited to see that we are emerging from the “Dorky Brother” status that we have when compared with Montclair.
    Bring it on! Maybe while they’re at it, WF will take their wine license out of the Woodbridge store and put it in the WO so that I can have a glass of wine without getting such a stinkin’ headache.
    Damn you, sulfites! Damn you!

  2. Sorry, Conan (if you’re reading this.) In my excitement, I left out a few commas along with the word “store.”

  3. The pithy marsupial squeaks above. And most wisely deign not to answer, lest it be encouraged. Too much sangria there, walleroo? Not enough? We’ve missed you.

  4. Cathar-
    That’s exactly what they did a year or so ago.
    Montclair WF used to have wine and beer for sale. They stopped selling it. When I asked the manager why, she replied that under NJ law, WF was only allowed 2 stores that sold wine and beer within the state. One was Madison. Once they opened the big WF in Woodbridge, management thought it best to “move” (for lack of a better term) the license to that store.
    Personally, I thought it was a bit of a dumb move given that the Montclair store is amidst a BYOB haven.

  5. Whole Foods in West Orange, Kings expanding in Verona… looks like the neighbors are getting in on all the action. I’m sure the Essex Green Shop-Rite will raise hell, but I wonder if WO will give Whole Foods a liquor license? It would be nice to find a bottle of Smoking Loon or Our Daily Red without having to go to the declase Bottle King or search every little liquor store between here and Roseland.
    Truth be told, I was hoping for a Wegman’s in that spot. Dare to dream.

  6. Yes, Dog Mom, the legal limit for liquor licenses of any kind is (usually) 2. But they can’t be transferred from town to town. (If they could be, then Montclair might suddenly have a real night-life district.) Trust me here. If they’re going to sell spirits for off-premises use in WO, likely they bought someone else’s license.

  7. Oooh – MM!
    Trader Joe’s.
    WF in WO Plaza (not that I really knew it was called that until I saw the sign) and Trader Joe’s in Essex Green…
    I don’t know where I’d drop more money.

  8. But that still doesn’t solve my hate-hate relationship with sulfites.
    Anyone know where I could find organic wine other than Fre, which tastes like sweat sock-infused vinegar?

  9. The WF license in Montclair was sold to the owners of Amanti Vino on Church Street. The Woodbridge license would have to be a license from Woodbridge that WF obtained

  10. Damn. You know that Whole Foods is AWFULLY close to the Montclair Store. I mean it’s only about a mile or 2. The new store might even be a closer drive from my house in Glen Ridge.
    Just to speculate: Could they be MOVING. I mean the K-Mart site would offer more store space and better parking (Parking at WF in Montclair can be nightmareish).
    I can’t imagine that there would be enough demand to have two stores like that so close together. For most people it wouldn’t be THAT much more of a drive to the new site.
    What do people think?

  11. I think the ultra-chic upper-montclairians wouldn’t drive to WF in WO.
    There is plenty of customers for both WF in this condensed baristaville.

  12. Dog Mom, lots of liquor stores carry a fair number of sulfite-free wines. Almost all (or is it all?) kosher wines are in fact sulfite-free, as in the Baron Jacquab Herzog line or Galil wines from Israel. Shoppers Vineyard in Clifton is just one place that carries a fair amount of sulfite-free stuff.

  13. Dog Mom,
    It’s worth giving a call to Amanti Vino. If they do carry a sulfite-free wine, I would expect it to be decent.

  14. oh, Happy Day. That Whole Paycheck will be right by my house! No more schlepping to Montclair and fighting the mammoth SUVs for parking. Yay!!!!

  15. Good luck to them. It sure wasn’t a WF crowd at WO mall when Pathmark was there. I’m not sure what all has changed in the demographics although perhaps the newish condos off of Prospect will provide the WFer customers.

  16. “a large-woman’s clothing store and other untrendy businesses”
    If the women’s store was for petites, would it be more fashionable?

  17. I will drive right passed WF in Montclair in favor of the one in WO – the parking has got to be better there!

  18. “Sorry, Conan (if you’re reading this.) In my excitement, I left out a few commas along with the word ‘store.'”
    Dogmom: do not perspire over minutiae; even Conan has been known to lapse into a comma every now and then.
    (BTW, “Lapsing into a Comma” is the title of an excellent style guide by Bill Walsh, Copy Editor at the Washington Post. I recommend that all of you wordsmythes out there check out http://www.theslot.com for an enjoyable read.)

  19. maybe this one will have a decent butcher too…been living in the area for 4-5 months and have yet to find one..
    Wonder what the est opening date will be. The building is already there maybe 6 months tops…anyone in the know on this?

  20. bluto, where do you live? and what kind of butcher are you looking for?—
    There is one in little falls (where my mother in law gets our turkey for thanksgiving) located on Main street almost at the intersection of 23. One in Bloomfield at the corner of Broad and Baldwin –and one in Nutley on Franklin Street—

  21. Isn’t there an Italian butcher shop in Watching Plaza? At least there was when I lived in Montclair.

  22. I am in West Orange, in St Cloud. I’ll check out your reco’s looking forward to someplace nice and close…I was spoiled having the Edgewater WFs 2 miles from me when I lived in Weehawken…

  23. As to a Trader Joe’s…I’ve always thought that it would be perfect for the proposed developement in Bloomfield (on Bloomfield Ave.) what better way to expand Bloomfield and bring in a different mix of people?…and , I could walk there!

  24. Conan and other grammarians, check out this AP lead paragraph:
    High-speed Internet closing gap between town, country
    Monday, February 27, 2006
    Associated Press
    NEW YORK — The use of high-speed Internet services is growing fastly in rural America, partly closing the gap between country and city, a survey shows.

  25. Lutz’s Pork Store. Inc. 1055 Stuyvesant Avenue Union, NJ 07083 908.688.1373 not that far from West Orange thru the reservation….excellant breakfast sausage!

  26. Lutz’s used to have a shop next to North Center Drugs on Broad in Bloomfield. Then the rent went through the roof.

  27. MM, I think the one your referring to is gone-( I found it rather pricey and no different from the others I mentioned).-I am uncertain if there is a butcher still there –but I don’t think so.

  28. Chris,
    What’s fun about the wire is seeing one of these blunders and then waiting to see how long it takes for an editor to catch and fix it. Clock is running…

  29. There is a butcher shop in Bloomfield, on Broad street near the Watchung Ave. intersection.
    Mastriano’s Quality Market
    1058 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
    (973) 338-6880
    I’ve used them for prime meats before. They are expensive but excellent quality.

  30. I have come out of lurk-dom to tell notteham that I adore Wegmans! I lived in upstate NY for several years and found every Wegmans to be amazing.
    That said, I’d also get on board for a Trader Joe’s for the more budget conscious among us who can only use WF for a “special” grocery trip. I’ve never managed to get myself out to the one in Wayne, which I believe is the closest?
    And being a veggie/psuedo-vegan, I certainly can’t comment on the butcher recommendations!

  31. Bluto,
    Rosario’s Butcher Shop/Italian grocer offers exceptional meat & friendly service. Now open till 2 on Sun!

  32. “a large-woman’s clothing store and other untrendy businesses” If the women’s store was for petites, would it be more fashionable?
    I second that, MadBrian. Last time I checked, “large women” could be fashionable, too.

  33. Christine, there is also a Trader Joe’s in Westfield, off the GSP. In miles it’s about the same trip from Montclair, but it requires less involved directions to get to than the TJ in Wayne.

  34. With regard to WF in WO, this topic was exhaustively discussed about a year ago and WF corporate denied that they were closing the Montclair operation but would keep both open.
    With regard to Wegman’s, they were all set to build one on Route 10, in an abandoned industrial site near the High School, but the residents came out to the planning board meetings and opposed it. Although Wegman’s offered to rebuild the intersection and do lots of other traffic engineering, the residents complained about the traffic it would bring to the area.
    Traffic? Like Route 10 is an oasis of calm? What was it going to do, increase traffic from 20,000 cars per day to 21,000?
    Now the residents will just have to be satisfied with their existing solution, a Pathmark.
    A Wegman Fan

  35. I hope WF hires parking security for the old Pathmark location. That parking lot was/is notorious for stolen cars and thefts, due to its close access to Route 280 (a.k.a. the great Newark way).

  36. Maybe Montclair WF will become a better venue as we won’t have soccer moms parking their super huge SUV across 2-3 parking spots. Or blocking the entry way waiting for a spot outside the door while you are in waiting behind them to obtain one of the two spots in the back row which sits fully available.
    Go to WO!

  37. “soccer moms parking their super huge SUV”
    It’s not always soccer moms. My boss (surfer guy) HAD to have a luxury car SUV √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú which gets double parked and crammed into √¢‚ǨÀúcompact car√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ spaces. Now he rents cars for family trips, and often can’t get to meetings due to weather. (That cracks me up since my car is a 4 cylinder POS and I can get anywhere in any weather.)

  38. Thanks for understanding, Conan. Also, thanks to Cathar and others for the recs on sulfite-free wine.
    My husband used to laugh about how much I frequent this site and the MTC watercooler, but he’s become quieter with every tip and bit of information that I share with him from here.
    Not to mention how fun it all is.
    Back to my students – Chorus time is over.

  39. “I second that, MadBrian. Last time I checked, “large women” could be fashionable, too. ”
    LoLoo maybe you didn’t catch the post where the Barista wanted to be a MILF – I think it was by Easter.
    With that aspiration it’s easy to see large women as untrendy.

  40. I was also hoping that a Wegmans would go where Pathmark was. In fact, I was hoping they’d take the K-Mart down too and combine it for 1 giant Wegmans.

  41. Cather/Dog Mom,
    There’s a new bill, recently introduced in the Senate, which would lift this existing 2 cap limit for these retail entities to hold the liquor licenses. So, WF and others could sell wine at all their locations is this was passed.

  42. Rag Shop needs a name change to keep up with WF cliente. How about “Thread & Needle” or “Cozy Crafts” or “The Knitting Factory”?
    Otherwise, the Rag Shop can move to center city Newark, Orange, or a host of other financially-depressed areas of NJ where “rags” are all the rage.

  43. Nicki, thank you for the info about the bill. I wonder if I’d support it. As I recall, the old reasoning behind the 2-license limit was to preserve mom-and-pop shops. Well, Whole Foods ia hardly that. But then, neither is Shop-Rite or Stop & Shop. But then too, there’s often a liquor store conveniently placed near such markets, a mom-and-pop version. So it gets complicated here.

  44. And “Jim,” maybe no one else is going to publicly observe this but that doesn’t generally stop me: you’ve already posted two somewhat obliquely phrased but likely racially tinged remarks about Newark here. May I ask why?

  45. We all know it as the Rag Shop and have no problem with the name. Would you shop there if there was a name change?
    I’m not sure what the quote below means- are you saying something racial?
    “Otherwise, the Rag Shop can move to center city Newark, Orange, or a host of other financially-depressed areas of NJ where “rags” are all the rage.”

  46. The colanders went up $200? Jayzuz, why didn’t I buy one when they were only $300. Dummy.
    Bluto – sounds like you have gotten a lot of tips for butchers. If none of them work out, let me know – there is another shop in the area that I have found to be very good. And, if you happen to have an extra suitcase full of $20 bills, King’s can provide you with dry-aged, restaurant quality USDA Prime beef.

  47. badd_patti, whatever our respective keyboard speeds, I am simply honored to be in your company and on the same apparent wave length here.

  48. I don’t think there is anything wrong with suggesting that the rag shop go to newark. If they clean up that mall maybe it would increase the value of the homes in the immediate area. Alot of us are sick of having to go to millburn or montclair.

  49. badd_patti, thanks for the reminder… 🙂
    Although I am neither a large woman nor a Mom…I’d like to think even Rubenesque mothers could be considered MILFs? “Large” and “full-figured” isn’t always a bad/unhealthy thing.
    Granted, there are plenty of “large” men and women out there who could stand to live healthier lifestyles, but that’s another topic for another post, methinks.

  50. Bill,
    I agree. That mall is an eyesore. W.O can really benefit from nicer looking and better shopping areas. I already don’t like going to the Essex Green and especially do not like the AMC movie theater in there.
    I like the Rag Shop and go there often but an exterior face lift to that store along with the whole mall would be such a welcome to the community.

  51. Bluto:
    Rosario’s is the butcher in Watchung Plaza. It’s on Park Street directly across from the gas station. I’m not a meat-eater, but my foodie friends swear by that place.

  52. Bluto – I have only purchased the dry-aged beef from the King’s in West Caldwell – sorry, I should have thought of that. I used to live there and I work very near there.
    Their meat department (and pretty much everything else) is very nice at that store – it is much larger than UM and they have an extensive wine selection at reasonable prices.

  53. Cathar: I bet you accuse people of being anti-dentites. Chill out. No one here is racist, which is still defined by bias of skin color and not town of residence. Unless, of course, you want to invoke the Montclair-is-the-center-of-the-world bias of the Watercooler BDs…

  54. I asked a question there, Jim. Those were two somewhat ill-formulated posts, didn’t come off quite as witty-sounding as you may have intended.
    Perhaps you might wish to chill yourself. And to spend more time carefully pondering what you want to say before you say it. I’ve also never visited the Watercooler in my life. Cheers, and don’t try and obscure the issue with this “anti-dentites” nonsense.

  55. Jim,
    I’m on the Watercooler all the time and don’t think the world revolves around Montclair.
    What does the reference to rags mean here? I took it as a reference to doo-rags If you meant something else it certainly wasn’t evident.
    “Otherwise, the Rag Shop can move to center city Newark, Orange, or a host of other financially-depressed areas of NJ where “rags” are all the rage.”

  56. My wife also uses the Ragg Shoppe when she needs emergency sewing supplies. Let it be.

  57. cstarling,
    I didn’t know there was a Lutz in Union. We use to go to the one in Bloomfield and missed it since it closed. My husband was off today and drove down there today. Thanks for the tip

  58. Late-you don’t even know how missed Lutz’s in Bloomfield is missed by our family–,my Grandmothers went there , my mother, me, and later my husband “Emeril”—the family was lovely and it was truely part of my neighborhood memories—I am just glad to have shared a memory with someone who could relate–;)

  59. Re: sulfite free wine
    Totally sulfite-free wines are an accident of nature; but wines low in sulfites or free of added sulfites do exist. Sulfites are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. Fermenting yeasts present on all grape skins generate naturally occurring sulfites in amounts ranging from 6 to 40 parts per million (ppm.).
    According to Professor Roger Boulton, Ph.D., University of California at Davis, Department of Viticulture and Enology, even if no sulfur dioxide is added to wine, fermenting yeasts will produce SO2 from the naturally occurring inorganic sulfates in all grape juices. Thus, says Boulton, it is impossible for any wine to be completely free of sulfur dioxide.

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