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April  28

Baristanet Question Of The Day

Barista_mug_small_2 George Musser, Jr.  asked us this stirring question, and now we put the cafe controversy out to you...

Have you ever blogged on the scarcity of cafes in Montclair? San Francisco neighborhood of equal size would have 10 times as many cafes. Montclair has two and a half -- Eclectic and the 1 1/2 Starbucks.  In SF I wouldn't have been caught dead is a Starbucks! Here I have little choice. And the situation is getting worse, not better, with the loss of Remedy and Coffee Club. What's up? Why are East Coast people so antediluvian?

Antediluvian? We don't think so, George,  and there are other places to get a good coffee buzz... Ok, that'll be a double cappucino with my daily chat....

April 28, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink


Believe it or not, some people make coffee at home. And where I work there is an espresso machine that was last used 20 minutes ago.

Posted by: buycopy | Apr 28, 2006 4:28:26 PM

Good question, indeed.

Now that we have the smoking ban in place, we might see more of 'em pop up. That was one of my beefs with Eclectic. Gorgeous place, cool people, decent coffee but the smoke...ugh!

I also like coffee shops (cafes? bistros? whatever!) that offer things like performance nights and/or poetry nights, so I hope to see more of that.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 28, 2006 4:32:51 PM

So is the Remedy Cafe really gone for good then?

Posted by: ccl | Apr 28, 2006 4:34:19 PM

Re: Remedy, we really don't know.

Posted by: The Barista | Apr 28, 2006 4:36:53 PM

I hope it's not gone for good. When I drove by the other day I noticed that the curtains that were covering the window were either open or down (was whizzing by too fast to notice!)

I'll have to check again. I hope they are just getting ready to re-open.

Posted by: Anne Prince | Apr 28, 2006 4:39:04 PM

One of the most awesome coffee shops I've ever been in was the Palmyra Cafe in Bound Brook. Unfortunately, it was the victim of a flood and as far as I know, has not been resurrected.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 28, 2006 4:39:25 PM

There was this place, on Bloomfield Ave, a few years back... I think it was in the location where "Rooster" or whatever it's called. A little cafe' husband & wife, they made their own Gelatto.
I remember them saying that Starbucks had an effect on their business :(

Posted by: JT | Apr 28, 2006 5:02:13 PM

Excellent coffee to be had at the cafe at the library, run by Bluestone!

Posted by: Cliff | Apr 28, 2006 5:05:50 PM

caldwell just opened a new coffee house on bloomfield ave opposite roseland ave....i think it's called cafe coco...it also has free wireless.

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 28, 2006 5:07:44 PM

my friends and i usually make the trek out to Union to go to Van Gogh's Ear. the ride doesn't really bother us, but i really do wish Baristaville had a few more places in that vein, though.

Posted by: efs | Apr 28, 2006 5:56:41 PM

Unless you can draw a significant morning rush of folks getting coffee on the way to work (like a Starbucks) and a decent crowd buying real lunches (like a diner), the economics of a coffee shop are pretty rough: you don't have much cash flow if you sell 15 total cups in a morning to people who sit at your tables for 3.5 hours clicking away on laptops or chatting while their kids touch the pastries. San Fran and NYC have denser pedestrian environments, so they can sustain more voluminous walk-in business.

Bluestone seems to pull it off with the small restaurant/cafe angle, but how many Bluestones can a town this size support?

Posted by: appletony | Apr 28, 2006 6:00:20 PM

I hate to say it but the state of cafes in Montclair and Bloomfield is dismal. A good cafe has a coffee bar, highly skilled and conversational baristas, and excellent coffee. You really need to go to Philadelphia, Seattle, or San Fransisco to know what a good cafe experience is.

If someone is serious about opening a decent cafe they should go to La Calombe in Philadelphia, PA and see how its done.

Posted by: lasermike026 | Apr 28, 2006 6:16:20 PM

My favorite San Francisco cafe's are Caffe Trieste and Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Restaurant, both in North Beach.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Apr 28, 2006 6:19:09 PM

I like the coffee at the Montclair Cheese Shop - and they make great sandwiches.

Posted by: caris | Apr 28, 2006 6:25:36 PM

I suspect that the various places on Church St. pull in most of Montclair's potential cafe clientele. The fact that Beans survives & thrives speaks to the DIY % of the populace. Raymonds & Church St. Cafe probably get a good chunk of the trade that is looking for some sort of cafe experience.

Hmm, Church St. Cafe - how's their coffee anyway?

Posted by: crank | Apr 28, 2006 6:44:25 PM

Do we need an IZO to subsidize good coffee shops?

Posted by: Byron | Apr 28, 2006 6:48:19 PM


Posted by: tangomama | Apr 28, 2006 7:01:25 PM

I'm afraid the Remedy is gone. The curtains are down indeed...and the place is empty. Tables, chairs, pictures on the walls, brewing equipment - even the faux fireplace - all gone. The only things that remain are two empty bookcases and the drink menu in the window. I live in the neighborhood and I am very saddened that the Remedy has closed.

Posted by: mmbiker | Apr 28, 2006 8:44:15 PM

That's really sad about Remedy, they had created such a lovely space there. Just the wrong location, I guess?

Posted by: crank | Apr 28, 2006 8:54:23 PM

Who is this George Musser Jr. character anyway? I don't recall a George Musser Sr., so what's with the Jr. thing? And if this George Musser Jr. is so chatty and all, why haven't we seen him post here? OR does he have a nom de blog?

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 28, 2006 9:27:05 PM

I couldn't agree more with George as that's one of the first things I noticed when I moved here from the South. Where I used to leave, there were so many 24-hour or late night coffee shops, some were mellow dessert places on the lake and others with totally unique style and outdoor seating with stages for music, so you always had a backup plan for nights when you didn't know what to do. They were super supportive of the local art scene. I miss that a lot!

Posted by: detail | Apr 28, 2006 9:36:14 PM

You can't compare Montclair to NYC, Seattle or San Fran because of density, too: a coffee shop in one of those cities probably has half of Montclair's population within easy walking distance. That's a wide pool of customers from which to make your $0.20 per cup.

Posted by: voice of razing | Apr 28, 2006 10:06:37 PM

Off-topic - did anyone else see that accident at Watchung Plaza tonight at 7 p.m.? Both cars damaged enough to need towing away. Airbags deployed in both cars. One driver taken away in an ambulance. From talking to the other driver, it seems excessive speed was a factor. One car was heading west on Watchung between Fullerton and Park (that's the guy who went away in an ambulance). The other was pulling out of the parking lot that's between the Floor Covering store and the train tracks, heading east on Watchung.

When are they going to get serious about changing the traffic patterns and enforcing speed limits there?

Posted by: TwinDad | Apr 28, 2006 10:30:13 PM

We're all so busy remodelling our houses and so forth that we have no time for hanging out at cafes.

Who, though, is the real George Musser Jr? And is it Musser as in moose, or as in mussy? Speak to us, George. Speak!

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 28, 2006 10:38:49 PM

Perhaps, walleroo, it's Musser as in "muse." Or as in the u in "marsupial." Whatever jiggles your pouch and cloven feet.

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