New Olympic.jpg
Has anyone else noticed there seems to be a game of musical doors going on among Montclair businesses? Many merchants are moving into bigger spaces — could it be the sign of a recession rebound? In the downtown business district, Fume Cigars is moving east a couple of blocks on Bloomfield Avenue next door to Dr. Cameron’s Animal Hospital. The elegant dress shop, Chez Renee on Church Street has moved into a primo location on the corner of Church and South Park. There’s new bling on that block: Gallery Loupe hopped right into Renee’s old space ditching their Midland Avenue digs. Modern Yarn, who recently closed the Church Street knitting center will resurface at 182 Glenridge Avenue – a space being vacated by Chalk Farm. (Chalk Farm is hunting for another locale…) Minnow kids’ haberdashery on Glenridge Ave. will open on Church Street the 1st week of July at the former knitting shop.
Jafajems is closing both the Church Street and Valley Road stores to move into the Olympic Store Renovation (photo, above).

Tory Janes, the tony shoe emporium on Walnut is taking over Jafajem’s Church Street store. And the chocolate business must be good – Susan Fine is taking her tiny Chocolate Path Boutique to the present Tory Janes shop. The Little Shoe Box in Upper Montclair will leave Bellevue Avenue for Valley Road – taking over the World Wide Travel office (we hear the owner is retiring..)
Montclair will have much mas Mexican since Tinga is blasting through the wall of its former neighbor, Motophoto, to double its seating capacity. They plan to be serving in the new space in the next few weeks.
Despite all this movement, there are still too many empty storefronts on the streets. What’s happening with the former Red Cheetah, which seems to be the white elephant of Bloomfield Ave? We’ve heard there’s been interest from restaurants, a rock and roll club, and a Manhattan pub. What would you like to see there? …And we hear that Carvel ice cream has been scouting around for a new store location at the beautiful Lackawanna Building on Bloomfield Avenue, currently extensive renovation.

14 replies on “Montclair Merchants On The Move”

  1. How did this builder wind up with a zoning variance for that third story of residential units in the historic district of Upper Montclair?
    The original plan the town approved had only two stories.
    It is good to see that local businesses like Tinga and Jafajems are doing well enough to expand. We always take out from Tinga because it’s so tight in there. I wonder who will move into Baby Boom? Some Thai Food would be nice.

  2. Jerseygurl, the builder resubmitted for the third floor, and it was approved.
    Third floor apartments are permitted in that district, and you can see it in a number of the buildings already there.

  3. It would be great if the old Cheetah space became a simple, reasonably priced place to get a good dinner and a beer. How about a great venue like Maxwell’s in Hoboken?
    The only places downtown are lame – South Park (ugh!), Jake’s live music on the weekends is Jersey Shore entertainment (ugh!) and Diva’s, er, Comfort Lounge is, is… (urg!)
    How long can Grabowski hold that liquor license hostage?

  4. rp, a venue like Maxwell’s in Montclair would be a dream! Gotta agree with your assessment of the current offerings, unfortunately.

  5. If you love Maxwell’s so much, quick, somebody call corporate and tell them to come!

  6. Ah, Maxwells, the ’80’s… The Feelies…
    relax, it would turn into Egan’s with music.
    I think we need a good ‘ol crack house front and center on Bloomfield Ave.
    (Sorry, it’s Friday….)

  7. I spent a lot of time at Maxwell’s in the 80s…would love to see a club like that around here.

  8. I thought the smoke shop already expanded…out onto the sidewalk?
    Seriously. Have you ever tried to walk past that place? It’s like an obstacle course – complete with smoke screen.

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