Robert and Adele Genovese, Montclair residents for the past 15 years, have opened up Local at 107 Watchung Avenue. The coffee shop serves curated products from the tri-state area with a particular focus on Brooklyn and Upstate New York.
The shop, though small, feels spacious and airy thanks to the streaming light and open minimal design. And the warm and friendly staff makes it even more inviting. There are a few tables to sit and enjoy a very good cup of coffee brewed from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters — we’ve heard the pour over ($4) is excellent— or a flaky croissant from Balthazar, or a majorly huge doughnut from Dough, a bakery in Brooklyn. Also on the menu are a nice selection of Tay Tea, small batch chocolate from Fruition, granola, and other treats.
This is the Genovese’s first coffee shop, however, Robert’s family owned and operated one of the most beloved dive bars (Miladys) in NYC for over 50 years. When asked why he decided to open a coffee shop, he says it’s the culture that appeals to him.
“There’s something really special that happens when people can pause and share time together over a cup of coffee or tea. Outside of NY and NJ, I have spent time in Italy, Amsterdam, Portugal and Argentina as well as domestically in Venice Beach, California. I have fallen in love with the coffee shop environment as well as the narrative that evolves from the space daily,” Robert explains.
When asked why he chose the name and Montclair for his shop, Robert said, “Montclair is home for our family that we are raising here – we’re Local!”
And while the shop carries products that are not actually local, its focus on the community is an important aspect. The shop was designed by a local architect and design firm Madlab, their coffee partner Irving Farm worked with them to test Montclair’s water to ensure that each cup is perfect and consistent to what you would enjoy at one of their own cafes in NYC. They insisted on a triple filtration system to brew the coffee, and even ice cubes used in the cold brew. Robert also says that they will regularly share local stories from and about the community on the website and they have reserved a wall in the shop for local artists to share their work in a type of monthly residency.
107 Watchung Avenue, Montclair, NJ