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May   9

Your $300 Colander Has Arrived, Madam

300_colander Actually, it's $309, but who's counting? We thought Dick Grabowsky was kidding when he told us that the new housewares store had $300 colanders, but he actually understated the price by a few bucks. Pepper_mill Piazza Italia is now open on Church Street, and home to all kinds of stylish and pricy housewares you didn't know you needed. If you don't want the colander (which doubles as an ice bucket, with liner) how about a $75 pepper mill shaped like a dame?

May 9, 2005 in Brand New | Permalink


oops. Poor Dick. The late money is the dead money.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 1:08:54 PM

Dick is out for one person and one person only, "Dick". I am still bewildered how his parents had the foresite to give him such an acurate name.

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2005 1:13:34 PM

Well, Dick should only be "out for himself". It is commercial real estate after all.

But, I don't think $300 collanders will sell well, however.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 1:17:40 PM

We walked down Church Street yesterday for the first time in awhile. So many of the stores looked really charming and lovely and classy. However, there's not a single thing that I could afford in them so I didn't even bother going in. It was a bit disappointing that once we were at the end of the block, there had only been a couple of stores that we even felt comfortable walking into. (Copabananas, etc).

One of the thing I loved about Montclair was popping into shops to browse and perhaps finding something small I'd splurge on. Or, we'd take our guests around town to browse the cute shops. No more of that, I guess.

Posted by: butchcjg2 | May 9, 2005 1:23:49 PM

$309 for an ice bucket is much more plausible a charge than for a colander. Now you have something in which to ice that $100 bottle of champage. Or perhaps, a la Alfredo Garcia, someone's head. But won't the melting ice leak out? And is this really, really better than styrofoam? I hope the barista will follow up in a month or two on how many of this item were really sold.

Posted by: cathar | May 9, 2005 1:27:13 PM

Yeah, I don't see the $309 colanders flying off the shelves soon. But I guess they need to sell items at "caviar and champagne" prices to be able to afford the "caviar and champagne" rents.

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2005 1:35:58 PM

Check out the store at the end of Church/corner of Park- I think it is called Haute Culture or something like that. Lots of fun, funky stuff and not expensive.

I myself have found Church St more of a 'browsing' than 'buying' type of street. I tend to go to movies and eat there much more than I do to shop.

Posted by: Pam | May 9, 2005 1:36:41 PM

I bet some che-che streaky (apartment) wall paint a la Ché might sell well.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 1:39:07 PM


Actually it is a classic volume vs. pricing point equation. Remember even the dumpiest laundromat in Manhattan probably pays more that a shop on Chruch Street.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 1:41:07 PM

Butch, I can't afford that crap either.

Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2005 1:43:37 PM

This is the kind of great local reporting that we've come to expect from Barista. Where else would you go to find the $300 colanders? Where else can you go to make fun of the "Dick" who brought them to our village?

Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2005 1:46:14 PM

Pam - yes, the Haute culture (or whatever it's name is) store is cute and fairly affordable.

The restaurants are at least pretty affordable! They sure don't match the $309 ice bucket!

I did find it funny that when we walked down Church Street, all of the other places (Suzette's, Raymond's, Church St Cafe, etc) were packed - but Gimme Jimmy's Cookies had 4 people inside.

Posted by: butchcjg2 | May 9, 2005 1:50:15 PM

I'm more curious about those $75 pepper mills. If what's above is a picture of them, the "dame" in question is surely more Sybil Thorndike than Nelly Forbush. But I'd bet, ROC, that Church Street rents are pretty high, near Manhattan levels. I even feel sorry (today only, probably) for the proprietors of Piazza Italia, who have to sit there and read about their merchandise being run down by people who haven't even set foot in their shop. Who probably have a lot invested in said shop yet won't be able to come crying to Dick Grabowsky about breaking their lease should the shop have to fold, with the derision heaped on its wares even partly the reason. Anybody else feeling mildly guilty yet?

Posted by: cathar | May 9, 2005 1:53:22 PM

For good desserts...go to the Daily Crockpot. ( I think thats the name?)

Run by neat little old ladies, and you get a whopping piece of cake.

Posted by: Pam | May 9, 2005 1:53:41 PM

Feeling guilty? For pissing all over $309 colanders? That's a good one, cathar... There's no need to see a $309 colander to know it's crap.

Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2005 2:04:43 PM

I don't feel guilty. I am not running down their wares.

But I don't expect they would feel too bad, really. There is no bad publicity.

Doubtless many (myself included) will wish to see a $300 Spaghetti-Drainer, if only to gawk.

If they were smart, they'd give one away tonight at B's party as a door-prize.

I certainly don't "feel sorry" because of the high commercial rent. It is just business. "You pays your money and takes your chances."

Besides, I'd bet if you were going to sell $309 Grape-Dryers you would most certainly NOT want to be bordered by the riff-raff kind of stores that "low-rents" would encourage.

c'est la vie.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 2:05:48 PM

"Remember even the dumpiest laundromat in Manhattan probably pays more that a shop on Chruch Street."

Well, at least the dumpy laudromat provides a service I can use.

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2005 2:05:51 PM

I resemble that remark!

Posted by: Riff Raff | May 9, 2005 2:09:00 PM


so says the Motclair Pasta Princess out to impress!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 2:09:26 PM


As do I. I spent much of my childhood in such places as the "coin-op"

And I tend to use my old collander until the Penne slips through un-hindered!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 2:13:00 PM

I like low rent stuff as much as anyone else who's ever seen an Adam Sandler movie. I was simply raising a moralistic issue. I too don't want, need or can afford a $309 colander (and my green plastic job does just fine). I also don't want the owners of Piazza Italia gunning for either the barista or her posters. Possibly, too, we've all splurged at one time or another on something that was way too costly, that we bought because we maybe secretly liked the high price and hang the quality? Far be it from me to condemn self-righteousness, it's just that we might want to temper it a bit. But, ROC, there is so such a thing as bad publicity, you and I can both come up with hundreds of examples. Yes, too, your reply is in the true capitalist spirit, the store will stand or fall regardless of our verbal input. So will I see you, or you, walleroo, at the inevitable going-out-of-business sale?

Posted by: cathar | May 9, 2005 2:17:11 PM

Hmmm...I just had a thought (always a dangerous thing). Think I'll open an upscale pasta shop on Church St. called....Penne from Heaven.

{{{{{{ducks behind desk}}}}}}}}

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2005 2:19:05 PM

(If what's above is a picture of them, the "dame" in question is surely more Sybil Thorndike than Nelly Forbush)

cathar...where do you come up with these things? (as I find myself furiously googling...)

Posted by: Pam | May 9, 2005 2:23:38 PM

Point taken cathar. But imagine the kind of person who would buy a $309 washed-apple-de-moisturizer. Critical comments by the likes of us would serve as a reccomendation!

Don't get me wrong. Starting a retail business is one of the hardest things to do. Good luck to 'em!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2005 2:23:43 PM


Objective proof that Democratic Presidents are better than Republicans:

Princeton Economics Paper

By the way, one of the things he shows is that whilst income growth is much higher under Democratic administrations overall, it is better under Republican administrations in election years. He doesn't say why, but I do: the Fed Chairman consistently favors Republicans and provides that little jolt of inflations when it's needed most.

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