When a reader noticed this sign yesterday, he thought it might hail a return of the decades-departed Wedgewood Cafeteria. No such luck. It’s merely a sign posted by the Vanguard Group to publicize space available for commercial lease in the Wedgewood Building. That’s the building on South Park in Montclair that currently houses Urban Outfitters and several thousand empty square feet of space, including the former bank at the corner of Park and Bloomfield.
But even a mention of the Wedgewood Cafeteria creates in me a nostalgia for an era of Montclair that pre-dates my move to Baristaville. I can re-imagine the mother-daughter outings of my northern Virginia youth (Garfinkel’s, Lord & Taylor) if I’d grown up here instead: Hahne’s (just a shell when I moved here) followed by lunch at the Wedgewood.
“It was the chic-est place to eat in the world,” remembers our resident historian Frank Gerard Godlewski. “We would play hooky from school and go have lunch there with the blue-haired ladies. You could choose your food and butler in a uniform would take you tray to the table.”
You know you’ve got it bad when you have nostalgia for places you never saw. I wish I could have seen East Orange in its glory days or Weequahic when Philip Roth lived there.
Of course, there are long-gone places that do have a rightful claim on my heart, like the old Fernwood Country Club in Roseland. And though I only went there once for brunch, I do miss the Marlboro Inn.
Here’s your thread for missing things. What’s gone that was good? And what would you like to see come in to the Wedgewood Building? Think big. There’s almost 10,000 square feet available.