Go Home

daily dish

February  24

The Kids Are Alright

CafeThe Bloomfield Avenue Café and Stage,  opened about four years ago, really rounds out the club scene in Montclair.  This one favors a culture of spunky punky music/ambiance/dance  for teens and twenty  somethings. Nothing like Diva Lounge or the soon to open Red Cheetah, also on Bloomfield Avenue.  No way.  Ed Beeson, of  North Jersey Media Group calls it "one of New Jersey's most popular venues for underground punk and hardcore music." It’s a no dress, no drugs, no drink(alcohol), sweat-and-scream-til-ya-drop kind of place. 

"It's like a godsend to have this in our town," said Jeffrey Knoblauch, 19, of Montclair. With it, the local punk scene has a space to call home. Without it, the scene would drift from basement to basement, from rented hall to rented hall. It would encounter those who don't understand its sound, its look, it thrashing dance, its appeal.

I't's grungy, it's steamy. And the more unbearably hot it is inside, the cooler you are for withstanding it.  And the music – touring bands with names like Our Dying Souls,  Death Metal, Through the Eyes of the Dead, and (my favorite) Despised Icon (death imagery is so over-rated) are drawing in SRO crowds of kids.  And if you can get in, you better stay in – it’s a full night comittment – until 11 p.m.  Because if you want out (some fresh air, maybe?) read the sign: BY ORDER OF MONTCLAIR POLICE: NO RE-ENTRY.  It’s the town’s way of keeping loitering to a minimum, and keeping all the sweaty, body slamming, song screaming, soda drinking kids under raps...Wonder if they do birthday parties?

February 24, 2006 in Those Crazy Kids | Permalink


I have several friends who are in bands that play there a lot - I've never been but I've heard it's a lot of fun if you like that kind of music.

Posted by: Girl | Feb 24, 2006 11:17:15 AM

This is fantastic. When I was 14, 15 (That makes me feel uncomfortably old. I'm only 22) we had a lot of great venues around the state that ended up either closing their doors to us (Deservedly) or ripping us off (Undeservedly), so it's nice to know that NJ Punk has a nice home in Montclair. That old adage, 'Punk Rock saved my life' is rarely literally true, but it has had such a profound impact on my sense of personhood that I doubt I'd be anywhere near where I am at this moment.

To this inevitable hipster who'll storm in the door with a chip on his shoulder: Don't worry, we know how much you love Clap Your Hands Say yeah, but we also know that you've got some old NOFX records hidden under your bed. 'sall good.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 24, 2006 11:24:15 AM

is this really Barista worthy?

Posted by: Teapot | Feb 24, 2006 12:03:54 PM

Barista thought so...

Posted by: Bill The Cat | Feb 24, 2006 12:18:46 PM

"Clap Your Hands Say yeah"

Thank you Scott - that made me laugh.

Posted by: hrhppg | Feb 24, 2006 12:33:37 PM

Yanno, with the exception of the no booze rule, I'd much rather hang out in a place like this than the red Cheetah. ANY day.

Punkers rock.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 24, 2006 12:41:19 PM

Punkers and hard rockers in Montclair? What next, a head shop? Is this the next coming of Poughkeepsie?

I'd rather see a place like this open up here.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 24, 2006 1:41:21 PM

Jim: Montclair DOES have a head shop. Ever hear of The Inner Eye?

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 24, 2006 1:42:33 PM

"Is this really Barista worthy"?

Why wouldn't it be? Because it has nothing to do with Kaki pants, Chinos, loafers, Banana Republic, or a political figure with his thumb up his a$$?
The Blmfd. Ave Cafe is a place for kids,or anyone really, to go to listen to some great local/underground bands. While most spoiled, yuppie children are getting drunk in their parent's own basements and crying for attention, these other kids are staying out of trouble. If you don't listen to the music or have never gone to a show, you will never understand "the scene" and the positive relationships that all these strangers have with one another. It's like an underground family that you don't mess with.
So your answer would be YES, it is definately "Barista worthy".

Jackie Rotten

Posted by: Jackie | Feb 24, 2006 1:42:45 PM

I liked the link, Jim, but lose the rap music.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 24, 2006 1:43:46 PM

"Is this really Barista worthy"?

Hell Yea! Go Jackie!

Posted by: Cara | Feb 24, 2006 2:01:13 PM

I wish there was a place like Blfld Ave Cafe in my hometown when I was growing up. We had to take the train into NYC to go to Danceteria or The Ritz etc. Go Cafe!

Oh, and did anyone find out what happened to Let It Rock? Seeing the empty storefront was sad but there's still Romp N Stomp.

Posted by: Krys O. | Feb 24, 2006 2:23:07 PM

Death Metal is not a band, it's a genre.

Posted by: Erik | Feb 24, 2006 3:12:08 PM

Jackie, you're my hero!

Posted by: g | Feb 24, 2006 3:54:10 PM

R.I.P. to the greatest smelling shop ever then I guess.

Posted by: Meghan | Feb 24, 2006 6:15:28 PM

"The only reason that marijuana isn't legal today is that we could never remember where we left the f***ing petitions."

...and I forget who first said that, but it wasn't me. :>}

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Feb 25, 2006 10:01:49 AM

I know alot of people my age that go there all the time. Alot of lesser known bands play there. I went there once, but I got scared because I didn't see anyone I knew. It's a bit sketchy because it kind of looks like it was just thrown together, but I think it is a good place. It provides alot of people with the oppurtunity to see bands they like in person. I don't know about the no drinking thing. It seems like a place where alot of people are getting high and/or drunk, but still, it would be a pretty darn shame if it were to close.

btw, Let It Rock closed? I passed by that place and I always wanted to check it out. Bummer.

- Jen

Posted by: Jen | Feb 25, 2006 8:04:39 PM

Cheers to the guys from NOLA who have kept BLFD AVE open for this long and who continue to give the kids a fighting chance. I agree with Scott... long before you ever picked up a Broken Social Scene disc -- and then picked up Metric, Stars and Feist as a result -- chances are you had some Black Flag, AG or Bad Religion in your walkman. Much love to the lil' punks.

Posted by: notteham | Feb 26, 2006 9:21:42 PM

P.S. 108, Ensign and The Fire Still Burns is an old-school Jersey punk lineup. Why on a monday? Is that Easter Break?

Posted by: notteham | Feb 26, 2006 9:24:48 PM

This is Bret from the Bloomfield Ave Cafe. Thanks alot for all the support over the past few years and the kind words on here... I never had a place like this growing up and i just wanted to do my best to provide a safe place for kids to go see some bands and hang out. I'm glad it caught on and we've been able to bring you guys so many awesome shows over the years...

In response to people getting high and drunk - i just want to make it clear that we have a zero-tolerance policy towards any of this. many members of my staff and alot of the bands who play here are straight edge and we have never allowed anyone to ever enter visibily intoxicated...

with that being said - thanks alot and we'll see you soon...


Posted by: Bret Nola | Mar 27, 2006 5:21:41 PM

Click & Jump to our INSIDE PAGES:

· In Case You Don't Look at Our Announcement Box
· Window Painting
· Flatulent Friar
· Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend
· Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action
· Open Space Call For Action
· Closed For Renovations?
· Thrill Seekers
· Heroic Dudes
· Making Montclair's History Demo-Proof

May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004

A Friend Writes
April Fool's!
Bada Bing
Barista Does the Math
Barista's Sunday Poll
Betty Says
Brand New
Civic Virtue
Comings and Goings
Culture Club
Current Affairs
Cute as Hell
Don't Ask: Dating in Baristaville
Flu Shot Central
Food and Drink
From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Raymmmondo
Funniest Home Videos
Good Reads by Neil Baldwin
Growing pains
Help Your Barista!
In Your Dreams
Intersections We Hate
Karma Violation
Lights! Camera! Craft service!
Lights, Camera..... Roll Tape
Major Dudes
Marlboro Inn
Movie Mojo
Only in Montclair
Our Favorite Diversions
Paranoia Beat
Parties We Crashed
Party With Baristanet
Photo of the Week
Pop Culture
Postcards from the EB
Really Freaking Weird
Scooped by Phil Read, Again
Scot's Photo Journal
Seasonal Decorating Violation
Seen around town
Seen in Cyberspace
Shopping With Barista
Songs We Can't Get Out of Our Head
Suburban Archeologist
The Daily Chat
The Sunday Barista Poll
The View from Her Pickup
Those Crazy Kids
Time Capsule
We All Bow to Java
We Ask Random Strangers
Where For Art Thou?
Win Stuff
Yard Sale Treasure Map