From the South Orange Village Center Alliance:
Seven new businesses have signed leases and will be opening their doors this fall in downtown South Orange, according to the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA). As a result of these lease signings, only three rentable commercial storefronts remain within the SOVCA downtown district. In addition, South Orange was just voted as the “Hottest Town in New Jersey” in New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s month-long Hot Town Showdown contest, lending credence to the notion that South Orange’s downtown commercial corridor is thriving and very much in demand.
“We are thrilled that so many business owners have chosen the South Orange Village Center as the location for their business,” said Bob Zuckerman, SOVCA executive director. “In my four years running this organization, we have never had so many people interested in investing in our downtown by opening small businesses. This development demonstrates that business owners have real faith in the downtown South Orange commercial market as a place where they can open a new business and be successful.”
Matt Glass, Chairman of SOVCA’s board of directors, stated further, “The fact that there are only three rentable vacancies in our district now demonstrates that all of our hard work in creating new events, placemaking, improving our streetscapes, recruiting new businesses and marketing our Village Center has paid off. The momentum in the South Orange Village Center is palpable, and we encourage all area residents who haven’t been to downtown South Orange in a while to visit and see for themselves the vibrancy and energy of our downtown.”
The seven new businesses that will be opening are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Bayleaf Indian Cuisine – With a theme of “redefined Indian cuisine,” Bayleaf will be located at 115 South Orange Avenue in the former Neelam space. Bayleaf will be the first new Indian restaurant in our area in years. They have completely renovated both the exterior and interior of the restaurant to the point where it is unrecognizable from the space it used to be. Look for an autumn opening.
- Garden Savings Federal Credit Union – Garden Savings will be taking over the former Sparkhouse space at 15 Scotland Road and is the first credit union to enter the South Orange market. They are moving here from their Maplewood location. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives at which each and every member is a shareholder. When people join the Garden Savings Federal Credit Union they become members, not customers, who share in the success of the credit union. They hope to be open by December, 2017.
- Jackie & Son – This new breakfast, lunch and brunch spot will be opening at 134-136 South Orange Avenue in the spaces that formerly housed Yama Sushi and Colonial Cleaners. New owner Jackie Podhurst is a South Orange resident and is also the owner of two other restaurants called Jackie’s Grillette in Montclair and Little Falls. Look for Jackie & Son to open later this fall.
- K Kakes Cakery – K Kakes is a full service bakery that specializes in Jamaican baked products and American products such as cupcakes with a Jamaican flare. This is another South Orange business that is being started by South Orange entrepreneurs. K Kakes will be located at the new 3rd & Valley development at the corner of 3rd and Valley Streets, and they anticipate opening before the December holiday season.
- The Local Yarn Store – Another new business that is being opened by a South Orange entrepreneur, Irina Lester, The Local Yarn Store will not only be a retail outlet where customers can buy some of the finest yarns on the market but the store will also offer classes for kids and adults as well as birthday parties. They will open in October at 15 Village Plaza.
- Metro PCS – This new outlet of the national prepaid wireless service that is affiliated with the T-Mobile network is now open at 113 South Orange Avenue in the space that was formerly a Subway restaurant.
- Sadie’s Shop – This new boutique selling women’s and men’s apparel as well as home gift items is also the work of a local South Orange entrepreneur, Cat Fisher. Cat, who has years of retail experience, will be opening her new store this fall in a commercial storefront at 65 Valley Street.
With the advent of these new businesses opening, the Village Center now only has three rentable storefronts that are vacant and are for rent: 57 Academy Street (adjacent to Cycle RX), the former Pro Pets space at 154 Valley Street and the former Cryan’s Pub located at 24 1st Street. Inquiries about these properties should be directed to Bob Zuckerman at SOVCA at either [email protected] or at 973-763-6899.