Biggest Local Stories of 2015

Biggest Local Stories of 2015

Here’s a look back at the biggest local stories of 2015 brought to you by Baristanet:

stephen colbertJanuary

Pinnacle purchased Lackawanna Plaza; CBS announced that Montclair resident Stephen Colbert would debut as the host of “Late Show”; Chocolate Works, MishMish Cafe; and Speer & Crane opened in Montclair.



Montclair lost documentary filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky and NY Times Media Columnist David Carr; The Man on the Moon Committee asked the Montclair BOE to rename Mt. Hebron School in honor of Buzz Aldrin; Montclair Schools Superintendent Penny MacCormack resigned; and Montclair Art Museum debuted the Come As You Are exhibition—the first major museum survey to examine the art of the 90s in its historical context.


Laurel & SageMarch

Montclair Center won the 2015 Great American Main Street Award; Babo Teahouse, Creative Confections Cafe, Laurel & Sage, and Gus & Co. opened in Montclair; the Montclair BoE got two new members;  the Upper Montclair Train Station remained on the National Registry of Historic Places; Montclair Kids First called for Councilman Sean Spiller to resign from the Board of Schools Estimates and started a lawsuit; and the Montclair Paid Sick Leave ordinance went into effect and also in Bloomfield.


rocky the horseApril

The idea to move the Montclair Township HQ, as well as the MPD to Lackawanna Plaza came into discussion; MAM Announced the creation of the Vance Wall Education Center; there were two separate incidents of car crashes into storefront windows in Montclair;  Mayor Jackson stepped down from the Montclair Planning Board and appointed Martin Schwartz as a representative; The Corner and Cakeaholic Obsession opened in Montclair; and we interviewed Rocky the Horse.



Montclair and Glen Ridge started talks on redevelopment at Mountainside Hospital; Montclair Students Pushed Back Against Dress Codes;  Yogi Berra turned 90 and the community celebrated with him; the Montclair BOE a new president and new members; MPL went “Under the Covers“; and the Montclair Film Festival gave the area 10 days of great films and events.


The MC Montclair HotelJune

Montclair Manhattan Bagel had a rough opening; The Counter opened in Clifton offering Build Your Own Burgers and craft beer; we lost Le Baker’s Dozen and Greek Delights in Montclair, but we got Noches De Colombia and Tiny Elephant;  we had the first Montclair Make Music Day; Deputy Mayor Robert Russo announced plans to run for governor of NJ in 2017; there was a proposal for a Nishuane Well; and Montclair’s “MC Hotel” Design was unveiled.



The latest addition to the Montclair fashion scene were Le Willow 83, Isaiah Hemmingway, and Valley Girl Shoes; HLS Juice Bar & Grill and 12 West closed, but Vital and De Novo opened; Montclair Film Festival named a new Executive Director; and the 64th Montclair Independence Day Parade went through town.



Montclair Jazz FestivalAugust

We learned that Essex Junction Craft Kitchen & Bar would be opening in Bloomfield and Turtle + the Wolf would be opening in Montclair; MPL got a Book Bike; Jazz House Kids put on an amazing Montclair Jazz Festival; Montclair streets were made prettier; Apple Village and BeautyMark Essentials opened in Montclair; and we learned that Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory would open a shop in Montclair.


Yogi Berra to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom PosthumouslySeptember

B London, Dolly Moo, and Howell Montclair opened in Montclair, but we lost Terra Tea Salon & Cafe and Blu & Next DoorOpen Streets Montclair brought tons of traffic-free fun to Montclair Center; Our beloved Yogi Berra died; Montclair became a “Stigma Free” town; Vegan Pop-Up dinners moved to Escape Montclair; and Stephen Colbert made his Late Show debut.


MHS Alum and Rock Legend Joe Walsh Talks to Students about AddictionOctober

Montclair Bread Co. opens up shop at the Isabel Rose Café in MPL; Meat-A-Tarian, Turtle + The Wolf, Plum Gluten-Free Bakery, and Cranetown opened in Montclair; Watchung Deli owners sold the shop; Egans & Sons West Orange reinvented itself as Thom’s Saloon; A&P closed, but Acme opened; after having Mt. Hebron School named after him, Buzz Aldrin visits Montclair; We got news of the opening of Old Mogul Theatre; There was lots of talk about the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment; Valley & Bloom hosted an open house; and Joe Walsh performed a benefit concert at MHS.



Jack’s Super Food Town opened in Bloomfield; The Spot, Gelotti’s and Montclair Culinary Academy opened, we learned that the Dunkin Donuts in Lackawanna Plaza was moving to Banker’s Cafe, and Yalo & Me closed in Montclair; Montclair Township announces it reduced debt by $40 million; Stephen Colbert interviewed J.J. Abrams for the Montclair Film Festival; a Bloomfield Township councilman was arrested on a charge that he solicited and accepted a bribe of $15,000; Yogi was awarded posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom;  after the terror attacks  in Paris, NJ was on high alert; an Indoor Farmers’ Market opened at Old Mogul Theatre on Sundays; Montclair man Ernest Williams was found guilty in the 2012 killing of Brian Schiavetti; and an Essex County Jury convicted two Bloomfield Police Officers.


Anderson's 1949 Montclair: Great Eats on Glenridge AvenueDecember

We gave you many gift guides for the holidays; Cranetown closed, Montclair Falafel is coming soon to Church Street, and we learned that Anderson’s 1949 is closing at the end of January; We pondered who would run for Montclair Mayor in 2016; Residents complained about the lack of lighting in Montclair; and Old Mogul Theatre opened for live music performances.


These are just SOME of the news we covered in 2015. What other local stories of the year would you have included?



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  1. The biggest 2015 local story for me was the turnaround of the Montclair Animal Shelter. It is a story still unfinished, but one worthy of recognition and celebration today. All my best to all those volunteers, contributors, & employees who made such a difference!

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