Copabananas, a Church Street institution for the past eight years and our hands-down favorite party/gift store, is leaving. Owner Clair Baker says the new lease is unaffordable – and for that matter – so is the rest of Montclair.
Baker, who grew up in Montclair, says “This could be a hiatus, or it could be forever. Maybe a miracle will happen. I’ve looked all over town and can’t find another store that I can afford. Actually, I love where we are. It’s the best location in Montclair and I can’t imagine it being anywhere else.”
Yesterday, a sign on the door announced a 20% liquidation sale and the store closing. Customers are glum, Baker says. The temple of tricks and treats is the store of choice for Baristaville kids, and a can’t-miss stop for out-of-town visitors. It’s filled with quirky cards and retro gifts like potato shooters, pepper gum, Bush-bashing souvenirs and car bobblers that make you laugh out loud.
Baker will say her final goodbyes on January 24. Customers can still buy her most popular items through her website, and she’s just opened a virtual store on Ebay. But will that be enough to console the kids?
— Above, Claire Baker pictured with favorite Ugli Doll and rubber chicken.