Home Jazz Montclair businesses hope jazz festival can boost local economy

Montclair businesses hope jazz festival can boost local economy


MONTCLAIR, NJ – This summer, two renowned chefs plan to open Pineapple Express Barbecue, a restaurant and beer garden at the historic Lackawanna Rail Terminal in Montclair. And when they do, they hope to benefit from one of North Jersey’s most beloved musical events: the Montclair Jazz Festival.

According to Lauren Hirschberg, chef and owner of Turtle & the Wolf in Montclair, he and his partner Damon Wise, chef and owner of Wise Meats, their new restaurant will feature on-site smoked beef, pork and chicken over cherry woods and of local oak. . The restaurant will also have counter order service, mobile bars, picnic tables and garden games.

“Damon and I are very happy to open Pineapple Express Barbecue and the partnership with the Montclair Jazz Festival was a natural fit,” said Hirschberg.

“Lackawanna Plaza and the [festival] are the two pillars of the Montclair community, and we hope to create a space that brings people together through music and barbecue, ”said Hirschberg.

Wise and Hirschberg aren’t the only entrepreneurs in Montclair hoping that the good vibes from the beloved festival can help jumpstart the local economy.

This year, Jazz House Kids – the nonprofit that runs the annual festival – has teamed up with two new sponsors to launch a “brand new” festival. New clients are real estate development company BDP Holdings LLC and the Montclair Center Business Improvement District (BID), which represents more than 300 retailers and restaurants along Bloomfield Avenue and adjacent streets nearby.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jazz House and Montclair Center BID as we look to the future, hosting this fantastic live music event downtown this summer, in person, bigger and better than ever.” said David Placek, managing partner of BDP Holdings.

“We hope to see our community with their families coming in large numbers and often over the summer,” Placek added. “No tickets – or computer screen – required.”

Winner of three consecutive JerseyArts.com “People’s Choice Awards” for favorite music festival, the Montclair Jazz Festival will remain in the same zip code for 2021. But after being held for 10 consecutive years in Nishuane Park in southern the city, it moves to 2 km from the corridor of downtown Montclair, with the core of the festivities taking place in the new summer pop-up location Lackawanna Plaza.

The Grand Finals events in September will extend west onto Bloomfield Avenue, turning it into a “musical pedestrian playground.” The new downtown location will support local businesses that have struggled amid the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said.

“This year, due to the pandemic, we felt it was important to present a series of concerts throughout the summer to bring people together again,” said Melissa Walker, Founder and President of Jazz House Kids.

Walker said the organizers weren’t just hoping to give the community good songs. The goal is also to be able to support local businesses in Montclair which have been “hard hit by the pandemic,” she added.

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