Montclair celebrated a milestone Thursday with an opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony for The MC Hotel. The hotel, located at 690 Bloomfield Ave., is the first full service hotel in Montclair since 1939.
“The MC Hotel is a transformative project that we really think helps define who Montclair is as a community, not only for this generation, but for generations to come,” said Jimmy Hanson, CEO of the Hampshire Companies.
“At Aparium Hotel Group we strive for translocal hospitality. The definition is local collaboration, collaborating with local vendors to instill a sense of place in the building as well as celebration of the local culture,” says Todd Cilano, COO of Aparium. Cilano added that this was the first hotel for Aparium on the East Coast.
“Now we have a brand new, state of the art, sparkling hotel,” said Mayor Robert Jackson, thanking Hampshire, Circle Square Investment, Aparium Group and Pinnacle.
Jackson, who grew up in Montclair, offered some history regarding the area’s dramatic transformation. Pointing across the street, Jackson said the building where Whole Foods stands now, used to be an S&H Greenstamps. Next to that was a PSE&G center and a bowling alley. Where the hotel now stands, says Jackson, used to be a gas station.
“Those things had meaning and charm in their day, but we are at a different point in this community. When you see what this has been transformed into and what this end of town has become, it’s astonishing,” Jackson said, adding how proud he was to be mayor at this time in Montclair’s history.
MC Hotel general manager Oscar Fontana Roos thanked the community for all the local partnerships and encouraged people to visit the hotel often, for breakfast, lunch and dinner
“Come on in, this is your home,” Fontana Roos added.
And while the hotel may be new, it’s embracing and channeling all things familiar to and from the Montclair area, with everything from the art work on its walls to the local goodies in the mini bar.
Siona Benjamin, a Montclair-based artist, created six stunning original paintings throughout the hotel, commissioned exclusively for The MC. You’ll recognize Edgemont Park and its beloved heron as well as the mighty oak tree in Anderson Park in Benjamin’s thematically related artworks. Other featured artists include alumni from Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers.
The MC Hotel has put down roots in the community by establishing partnerships, like its relationship with Rose & Co., a 12-year-old Montclair candlemaker. You’ll find Rose’s soy candles (two exclusive Montclair scents created for the hotel — Downtown Jazz and Uptown Gardens) available for purchase as well as Dolly Moo bath products in the guest baths.
Snacks in the mini bars of the hotel’s 159 rooms (including 18 suites) as well as downstairs in the grab and go section of The Market in Allegory, offer a love note to Montclair, with Joe’s Chips, Dolce Federica Chocolates, candies from Sweet Home Montclair and other local treats.
At the bar, you can sample The MC Pilsner, the hotel’s signature brew from Montclair Brewery. There’s also beers from Brooklyn Brewery (the CEO is from Montclair) and coffee from Newark’s Great Notch Coffee.
In addition to its restaurant, The MC Hotel offers ample meeting and event space, including an outdoor private patio, as well as a ballroom with the option for a dance floor.
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Following the ribbon cutting, Emily Wittman, the hotel’s director of lifestyle, welcomed visitors inside the hotel for a celebratory toast.
Pinnacle Companies CEO Brian Stolar, holding a glass of champagne, toasted the hotel.
“It’s been an incredible, difficult, but ultimately rewarding experience for everyone,” said Stolar. “This was not something that was very easy to do.”
Stolar reiterated Fontana Roos’ invitation to come often to the hotel and ended his toast with “I’ll see you on the roof.”
MC Hotel: What’s To Come
Wittman also expressed her excitement about upcoming events at the hotel that will engage the community including an outdoor Bark and Brunch under the rotunda with a special menu for dogs, as well as jazz nights, coffee tastings and art tours.
“Our art curator Paige Powell curated art from within a 45-mile radius,” says Wittman. “There’s local Montclair artists, there’s artists from Hoboken and Glen Ridge, South Jersey and others with a Montclair connection.”
There’s also a section of the hotel by the market, that is dedicated to open space for the community. Anyone can come and work and enjoy free WiFi, Wittman added.
The hotel is home to Allegory, a contemporary New American restaurant with global influences, helmed by Executive Chef Daniel Kill, with a shared-plate, multi-course format. Allegory is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as drinks at the bar.
The MC Hotel will open its rooftop lounge and bar, Alto, in Fall 2019.