We’re not talking gold, bronze, or silver medals here… We’ve heard from various sources that the venerable haberdashery, Olympic, in Upper Montclair, may be closing its doors. It’s been a cornerstone of community shopping for years, purveying dedicated consumers with with the likes of Polo and Tommy Bahama, a steady supply of Brighton and everything Vera Bradley. While the talk of their closing is just a rumor, the very attentive help were uncharacteristically unhelpful when we inquired. We called the store a second time to find out what was up, and found the owner very tight lipped. He told us “I have nothing to report. I am not saying anything until everything is nailed down.” Hmmmm…..We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
We can, however, confirm another retail shake up in Upper Montclair:
Orion Books on Valley Road, which has been supplying word crafters, readers, and party throwers with inspiring and off-beat necessities, is closing its historic doors after 24 1/2 years, says owner Rosemary Schweighardt. A sale sign in the window looked suspicious to a reader who tipped us off(“they never have sales”). Rosemary told us she’s decided to move on — and out of town. Orion will stay open until sometime in July – so no need to panic about finding the perfect graduation or Father’s Day card.
The charming digs that Orion inhabits was deemed a “key” building in the township’s proposed Historic Upper Montclair Business District. And when a favortie hang-out like Orion closes, it’s bound to get us a little sentimental. Here’s how one reader described it:
I’ve been a stationery-store junkie since childhood, and Orion had one of the most extensive and eclectic assortment of cards in town, as well as many tempting trinkets and beautiful journals and photo albums. I always felt I could sort of sense the personality of the store’s owner or buyer. For instance, I’m guessing that it’s a “she” and that she is a cat lover, because there were also many great cat cards. (No fear: dogs were not neglected.) In the decade I’ve lived in town, I’m sure I’ve happily dropped several thousand dollars there. I also love the ambiance of the historic building, from the screen door and the canvas awning to the tin ceiling.
There are whispers of a cafe and chocolatier going in to the Orion’s locale, and Rosemary has heard something about a bakery opening in its place.