—Carlo’s Bake Shop, catapulted to fame by 10 seasons of TLC’s Cake Boss show, has closed two more locations: Ridgewood and Morristown. (They previously shuttered their Westfield and Red Bank stores). According to the website, three remain: Hoboken, Marlton and at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro picked up the craft from his father, Bartolo Valastro Sr., who began baking in the first shop, in Hoboken in 1964. Buddy later took it over and raised it to local, then national, fame. Carlo’s Bake Shop.
—In and Out Food Market (not to be confused with the West Coast’s In-N-Out Burger) is a Middle Eastern bakery, Halal butcher shop, and café that opened on Main Street in Clifton about two weeks ago. Feedback so far is very good. In and Out Food Market, 1404 Main Street, Clifton; 973-478-2222
In the Works:
—Luna Stella is coming very soon to Maplewood. Originally slated to open late in 2018, the restaurant from owner Max Kian and chef Humberto Campos Jr. should open sometime in February. Campos, who runs the kitchen at the intimate, upscale Lorena’s across the street (one of our 30 Best Restaurants for 2018), will divide his time between the two places, focusing at Luna Stella on refined Italian flavors, local product, house-made everything, and creative vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Like Lorena’s, the restaurant will have a liquor license and will showcase local beers. Luna Stella, 5 Highland Place, Maplewood; no phone yet.
—The Good Neighbor Juice Bar is coming to 18 South Dean Street in Englewood. In addition to the promised cold-pressed juices, smoothies and bowls, the family-run shop hopes to spread some legitimate goodwill in the area: 10 percent of store profits will go to supporting “community development initiatives that benefit children from low-income homes in Englewood.” The Good Neighbor Juice Bar, 18A South Dean Street, Englewood; no phone yet.
–Bonji Bowls, which has two locations in Summit and Gillette, is adding a third in Maplewood (within weeks, likely). Expect more of its well-established fast-casual health café vibe: bowls (acai, pitaya, coconut), smoothies, juices, boosters, and lots of brightly colored healthy things to go with the positive, family-owned-and-operated vibe. Bonji Bowls, 168 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood; no phone yet.
–Wayne is about to get a dose of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza with the opening of Ah’Pizz, the third of a mini-chain of wood-fired pizza restaurants in northern Jersey. Coming to the former home of the Tilted Kilt on Route 46, it expands Ah’Pizz, which started in Montclair in 2010 and also has a location in Harrison. (A brief expansion into Denville did not last). The focal point is pizza: massive wood-fired oven, meticulous cooking, imported Italian ingredients. The spot will be BYO, like its sister restaurants. Ah’Pizz, 344 Route 46 East, Wayne; no phone yet.
Change in Ownership:
–TOWN bar + kitchen, which opened in 2017 in the former home of fire-ravaged Sebastian’s in Morristown, was recently acquired by 40NORTH Restaurants (of New Jersey’s Villa Restaurant Group). The 6,000 square foot space will continue serving an eclectic contemporary menu, with no major changes based on the new ownership. Among its other properties, 40NORTH also oversees George & Martha’s in Morristown, Piattina Neighborhood Bar in Mendham and Summit, and several locations of The Office Tavern Grill, including one in Morristown. TOWN bar + kitchen, 80 Elm Street, Morristown; 973-889-8696Click here to leave a comment