Signs of the Times

The closing of the Paper Boutique, a beloved stationery store that enjoyed a more than 40-year stint at Watchung Plaza, sparked debate on the Montclair Watercooler, over “market rates” and the prospect of the Plaza becoming the next “Church Street” with longtime businesses getting driven out by rent increases. The expected close date for the store is sometime after January 2005; until then folks can enjoy the store’s inventory, described by one Coolerista as “wonderful cards, crafts, and other items that you won’t find at a Party City or the Mall.”
Balconysell In other shifts, The Balcony restaurant, on Valley and Lorraine, is up for sale, priced at $425,000. Is it curtains for the Balcony, too? Time will tell, but if you could be granted one restaurant wish in Baristaville, what style/cuisine would replace the Balcony?

Baristanet Local Offers

View More

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.


  1. Real Mexican food. Moles, pumpkin dishes, Day of the Dead cakes, that sort of thing. Or a Malaysian-style restaurant (like Penang in East Hanover, say), where they make real curries.

  2. A Cuban or Southern (Soul)restaurant would be a WONDERFUL addition. Please, no more sushi, Thai, Italian or Indian.

  3. A reasonably-priced (as opposed to Indigo Smoke priced) BBQ/Southern place. We used to order take out from Fink’s Funky up in Paramus when we were desperate, but they closed recently and I don’t know anywhere else to get a cheap BBQ fix. 🙁

  4. It’s no shock to me that balcony is going out of business. i only ate there once, and the food was absolutely awful. i’m surprised it lasted this long in such a foodie town. as for the stationary store, it’s a shame because i was always able to pick up cards and presents there when doing banking, nails, dry cleaning, etc. very convenient. hopefully nothing too trendy will take its place. no more nail or sushi places – PLEASE!

  5. I would love to see a real candy store at the Watchung location. There was one on Valley Road back in the early 90s. Maybe a candy store/ice cream parlor, like Holstens, would be nice. People could book it for parties too.

  6. The Balcony occupies prime real estate at the intersection of Valley & (?) in Upper Montclair … too bad the restaurant was never a ‘chic’ hit like Dai-Kichi or Fascino or Richie Cecerie’s … what we DON’T need is another Italian restaurant! … how about a good steakhouse, like Palm or Morton’s?

  7. I have to agree with Jessica, the loss of The Balcony is no great loss at all. My wife Evelyn is hoping for a good Korean restaurant to take its place. Personally, I could go for a REAL Southern/BBQ roadhouse with live blues bands. Well I can dream, can’t I?

Comments are closed.