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January  16

Say Goodbye to Bradner

Bradner2The mystery that has shrouded Bradner Pharmacy, Watchung Plaza's perpetually dark, Miss Havisham kind of place with its gorgeous fixtures and antique beauty products, has lifted. The Bradner Pharmacy is officially closed (as opposed to those months where it just appeared to be closed) and everything inside is being sold off. The store will be open every day (with the exception of tomorrow, Tuesday) from 9 am to 6 pm, until everything is sold out. Already sold: an antique fudge machine, various mortar and pestle sets, old soda fountain glasses and the penny scale. Still for sale: some nifty prescription file holders (they can hold 90 cds), a 1921 cash register, retro bottles and apothecary jars, and, it goes without saying, bottles of Tabu and other fragrances of another era. The owner's daughter tells us the space is for rent, with the following condition: the store's historic floor to ceiling fixtures must remain in tact (hooray!!!!!). Send serious inquiries for renting the space here. Meanwhile, the new renters will not be required to keep this sign up...


January 16, 2006 in Buzz | Permalink


Seriously, was this place actually open?

Posted by: Jan | Jan 16, 2006 9:52:23 AM

When I first moved to Montclair back in 1985, I went into Bradner's a couple of times. Burgess Chemist on Broad Street in Bloomfield also has that apothecary look but they're definitely still in business.

Posted by: Krys | Jan 16, 2006 10:04:27 AM

It really was open and it really was like stepping back in time. I don't know how they survived all these years.

Burgess Chemist is the only place I know like it around here. There a chemist (Warrick?) up from Lenox Hill Hospital in on 7th Ave in NYC too.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 16, 2006 10:57:49 AM

The better half just came home with an old emerson radio from Bradner's. There was a reporter from the Star-Ledger there also.

Posted by: PAZ (AMiL) | Jan 16, 2006 11:01:55 AM

It was such a great little place. I wondered what would become of it. This one hurts somewhat.

Posted by: notteham | Jan 16, 2006 9:33:07 PM

I suggest an ice cream/candy shop.

Posted by: njholdem | Jan 17, 2006 7:52:08 AM

I stopped by yesterday noonish and it was closed. Anyone know when they might be open?

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 17, 2006 9:13:30 AM

the store is closed today and will open tomorrow at 9:00. I was there at 2:00 and the owner says she closes an hr for lunch so she was probably at lunch when you arrived.

Posted by: The Iceman (8T) | Jan 17, 2006 9:50:16 AM

I've lived in Watchung Plaza for 3 years and NEVER went inside...I always thought that place was creepy...I hope something good will take it's place- like another yarn store...haha!

Posted by: Julsey | Jan 17, 2006 11:37:49 AM

Thanks Ice!

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 17, 2006 12:12:09 PM

Stole a pack of cigarettes from Bradners in about 1969. You could just open the door a crack, reach an arm inside, and abscond with the pack in no time. Memory was, we sat up on the train tracks smoking a brand called "Multifilter," trying to look cool when we all just wanted to puke. It may true that, in all my years in Montclair, I never got more than an arm's length into that store.

conjuring memories out of the mist... wait, is that Colonial Coiffures? Frank & Eddie's? Holly's Market? Doug-Mo's (aka Coins of the World)? Anyone else?

Posted by: Ginger | Jan 17, 2006 12:36:43 PM

Ginger, that's really funny. I had a twinge of guilt when I read about Bradners. I remember taking a round tin of those perfumed candies without paying and getting read the riot act by my mom when she found them.

I never went into Colonial Coiffures (it seemed scary and only for old ladies) but I will never forget Frank & Eddie's market. Somebody's mom would send us there almost everyday to get something. My favorite place was Bernie's, the candy store on the corner. I recall my mom getting upset when Bazooka gum went from $.01 to $.02.

I'm not one who pines for the old days but thinking about these places that are gone and then reading about how no one in town lets their kids out alone anymore is making me really sad.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 17, 2006 4:16:59 PM

Alas, wherefore now shall one purchase physick of newt's eye?

Posted by: Appletony | Jan 17, 2006 4:54:05 PM

When I was a child, every Mother's Day, my 8 brothers and sisters and I would pool our money and go to Bradner's and pick out all the items for a gift basket to present to our mom. Wind Song perfume, chocolate covered cherries, lilac body lotion...and of course we would make a stop at the corner store for maybe some Junior Mints. Loved that store!

Posted by: celia | Jan 21, 2006 7:58:37 AM

Bradners was always a little eerie for little kids. I grew up on Midland and the Plaza was our regular haunt. As an adult it just became part of the character of the Plaza. A few of the shops just never changed for a long time. Other shops changed so often you couldn’t keep track. I’m sad to hear of Bradners demise. Too bad the owners didn’t ever sell it to Jim Erwin, the pharmacist who worked there for so many years. He might have let the place keep its character and even reopen it’s soda fountain.

Posted by: Joan | Jan 22, 2006 2:47:52 PM

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