This regional gem shines bright in late winter
by Laura D.C. Kolnoski
Designated by the National Register of Historic Places, Summit, in Union County, has an array of architecturally significant buildings dating back to the 19th century. Once known as the “Newport of New Jersey” for its wealthy inhabitants and grand mansions, Summit today is an upscale suburban city of just over 21,000 spanning six square miles. A wealth of information about the community and its resources is available via Summit Downtown Inc., a non-profit corporation representing local retailers and businesses. summitdowntown.org.
Things to do Let’s Go
GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT
Scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 14, this event is back by popular demand this year, and the first 1,000 pre-registrants receive a goodie bag. Enjoy shopping, complementary samples, door prizes, live music, performances, and special deals in a fun, festive atmosphere. Start at the Welcome Center: 17
Beechwood Road, 908.277.6100,
This “vertical mall of leisure activities” occupies a 94-year-old brick building reconstructed into a hub of craftsmanship, culinary, visual, and performing arts, shopping, fitness and wellness programs, classes, event space, and entertainment options.
426,Springfield Avenue, 917.969.4534,
NEW JERSEY DANCE THEATRE ENSEMBLE
The regional youth dance company is in its 45th year. Its state-of-the-art facility includes 4,700 square feet of dance space, a media library, and storage area for costumes, props, and scenery.
A variety of programs and pre-professional training areoffered.
315 B Springfield Avenue,
This non-profit public garden is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Its 1889 estate and gardens represent designs by prominent landscape architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rentable for private events, the site offers special events and programs, art exhibits, summer concerts, tours, and more. The annual Maple Sugaring Fest is scheduled for February 26!
165,Hobart Avenue, 908.273.8787,
(February 20 – March 8) Thirty establishments are set to fling open their doors and show diners their best dishes. Special promotions and an Instagram contest are part of the yummy fun, summitdowntown.org
Founded in 1918 as a World War I relief organization, this is one of the oldest continuously operating community theaters in America. Three shows are presented annually: a Winter Show in February, a Spring Show in May, and the Kaleidoscope youth theater during the summer. The Playhouse has its own historic theater nearby and offers scholarships.
10 New England
WINTER FARMERS MARKET
(Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., January through April 8). It’s the inaugural season for the winter version of the local summer favorite, featuring some 20 farmers and purveyors offering goods and produce, indoors and out at Calvary Episcopal Church.
31 Woodland Avenue at the corner of
DeForest Avenue, 908.277.6100,
THE SUMMIT HISTORICAL SOCIETY/CARTER HOUSE
Believed to be the city’s oldest existing building and located along the Passaic River, Carter House was built in 1741. Now fully refurbished, the home’s first floor contains an exhibit room, a Victorian-style library, an early 1800s-style dining room, a modern kitchen facility, and a Colonial-era kitchen with an enormous hearth and beehive oven. A new addition includes the May Room housing the society’s historic archives. Research facilities with microfilm equipment, Internet access, and a research area are available.
90,Butler Parkway, 908.277.1747,
THE TASTE OF SUMMIT
Scheduled for 6 p.m., March 22 at the Grand Summit Hotel, this gourmet extravaganza will feature specialties from Summit’s finest restaurants and food shops. Entry is $45 in advance, $50 at the door. (Cash bar) Proceeds benefit the Summit Historical Society.
570, Springfield Avenue, 908.277.1747,
VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF NJ
Don’t miss the state’s largest institution dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. With a studio art school and thriving exhibition and programming schedule, it received the designation Major Impact Organization from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and has been honored twice with a Discover Jersey Arts People Choice Award for Best Place to Take an Adult Art Class. It’s also accredited by the American Association of Museums and welcomes over 60,000 visitors annually.
68 Elm Street,
Shop until you drop
Offers fine linens, furnishings, and custom work with a wide array of products. Specialized monogramming, custom sizes in bedding, private in-store appointments, and more help customers customize their abodes. Interior designer owned and operated.
11 Beechwood Road, 908.273.4646,
A to ZOOM
Party items, gifts, souvenirs, novelty items, loungewear, and more catering to the tween/teen population make for a distinctive shopping experience. Check out their Trolls, Vera Bradley, jewelry, favors, décor items, and camp accessories. Party decorating services available.
Avenue, 908.273.4281, atozoom.com
This gallery/boutique features exotic, unusual, quality handmade products and wearable art from the Far East, Africa, and America; including Fair Trade.
37 Maple Street,
A cool, chic boutique offering cosmetics, fragrances, skin, body, and hair care products, and jewelry. Private parties, special events, and a team of stylists performing haircuts and color along with other services await.
31 Maple Street, 908.522.6688,
Contemporary women’s clothing and accessory boutique carrying the latest fresh, fun lines at reasonable prices; owned by a professional fashion designer.
380,Springfield Avenue, 908.273.7200,
DONNA DONALDSON HOME & INTERIORS
Donna’s full service operation now has retail space featuring furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, fabrics, rugs, and other heart’s desires.
FRAMES FOR YOU
Family owned and operated since 1984, offering custom framing, art, and fine pewter from Italy. 363,Springfield Avenue, 908.273.4813,
Featured in both Men in Black films as well as The Intern and Julie & Julia, the eclectic inventory selected by owner Bonny Neiman reflects her life-long love of antiques and design. Furniture, art, accessories, lighting, window treatments and more attract customers like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, John Bon Jovi, Martha Stewart.
Paris-inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories for babies and children—from newborns to age 12. Hallmarks are high-quality fabrics, exclusive patterns, and attention to detail.
487 Springfield Avenue,
JOHN HYATT CLOTHING
A true men’s haberdashery with classic American and English brands including Barbour, Patagonia, and Smathers & Branson.
334 Springfield Avenue,
Early childhood development and enrichment classes for babies to age 6, including music, arts, and sports. Birthday parties and a retail boutique, too!
Street, 908.273.2487, kidville.com
For women who love to look and feel good and have fun with clothing, gifts, jewelry, and accessories for all occasions.
336 Springfield Avenue,
MISS JULIE’S BOUTIQUE
A charming dance and activewear boutique for dance, exercise, and comfort needs from toddlers to adults, owned by Summit native, professional dancer, dance teacher, and fitness expert Julianna Kaloshi.
12 Kent Place
MURRAY & FINN
The source for maternity, nursing wear, and clothing, accessories, and toys for newborns to age 7. Specializing in maternity wear that can be worn after the blessed event.
46 Maple Street,
The owners are sisters specializing in creative, colorful products and gifts for the home, weddings, and personal use. A wide variety of personalized items are available, along with home accessories from plates and glassware to cutting boards and hand-painted trays.
4 Beechwood Road, 908.277.0459,
Founded in 1983 and inspired by traditional papermaking in Japan, this paperie and retail store offers fine and artisanal papers, stationary, invitations, holiday items, gift wrap, greeting cards, gifts, party supplies, and a custom selection of envelopes and cards.
359 Springfield Avenue,
PEREAUX INTERIOR DESIGN
Consultation and services for a variety of projects, budgets, and styles. The showroom and workroom offer choices galore, plus 30 years of experience in making personal visions a reality. 20, Beechwood Road, 908.522.0950,
PETER WALLBURG STUDIOS
All-occasion photography and portraits for business, weddings, and personal needs at this family-owned business.
15, Beechwood Road, 908.277.6917,
ROCCO’S TAILOR SHOP
In business over 40 years, Rocco’s motto is, “Every day will be a successful day if you are property dressed.” Suits, shirts, alterations, made-to-order, and tuxedo rentals and purchases draw executives, attorneys, physicians, and other men of taste.
55 Summit Avenue,
Classic, heirloom garments and accessories for christening, communion, weddings, and other special occasions.
ART & EVENT DESIGN
Specializing in weddings, corporate and social events, residential accounts, daily flowers, and gifts of impeccable style and taste. (Owner Olga Sahraoui apprenticed with Dutch designers.)
310 Springfield Avenue,
SCOTTI’S RECORD SHOP
Every good downtown needs an “old school vintage music store.” This one, operating since 1956, features a great selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, memorabilia, and all types of music-related products, including new and used stereo equipment, receivers, amps, and speakers. They also buy, sell, and trade.
351, Springfield Avenue, 908.277.3893,
SUMMIT FRAMES & ART
In the custom framing business for over 50 years, this family-owned business prides itself on excellence and personalized customer service.
444 Springfield Avenue, 908.273.8665,
SUMMIT SKI & SPORT
Featuring hard-to-find skis and related equipment, boots, snowboards, snowblades, helmets, rental packages, and more in winter; tennis shoes and racquets in summer. A wide array of services is available.
353, Springfield Avenue, 908.277.4170,
The sweetest spot in town for gift-giving, special occasions, indulgence, and fun. Experience creative packaging, tasty treats, seasonal and eco-friendly items, as well as nut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan options.
26, Beechwood Road, 908.522. 0888,
Begun in Shrewsbury, and with Sea Girt, Princeton, and Denville locations, this family-owned business puts its emphasis on personalization and a vast selection of quality products.
371, Springfield Avenue, 908.608.9300,
THE PHOTO SUMMIT
Gather, store, and communicate your film and digital photos with state-of-the-art products and services from a certified staff of experts. Movie to DVD transfers available.
383 Springfield Avenue,
THE RED BALLOON
Elevated style and unique gifts for infants and kids age 14 and under.
350 Springfield Avenue, 908.273.1776,
Whether for home or giving, Teapot’s constantly changing merchandise selections are sure to delight.
450 Springfield Avenue,
THE TOY PROFESSOR
Offering carefully selected best sellers, award-winners, Professor’s picks, gifts, toys and “really cool stuff” make for a neighborhood toy store and bright, cheery atmosphere with a vast online presence.
430 Springfield Avenue,
WILLOW ST. BOUTIQUE
Dressing and accessorizing women head to toe with selections from top designers including Seven for All Mankind, Theory, Trina Turk, and Frye. Great gift source!
431 Springfield Avenue,
WONDER DOG STUDIO
All types of care for your beloved canine. Grooming, training, and “Boot Camp” offer active dog care with socialization, exercise, and structure. Many doggie products available, too. “Yappy Hour” every Thursday.
27 Maple Street,
Dining Dig In!
Internationally inspired soups, salads, and sandwiches including gluten free go down easy with fresh brewed coffee and home brewed iced teas made daily.
356, Springfield Avenue, 908.918.0100,
FIN RAW BAR & KITCHEN
Seasonal fare features wood grilled fish, a raw bar, and other enticing offerings from the sea, complemented by a rustic atmosphere.
37 Maple Street, 908.277.1414,
Purveyor of fine Tuscan dining in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by walls of wine, from the former owners of lower Manhattan’s famed Minetta Tavern.
38 Maple Street, 908.277.1900,
JENNY’S JAPANESE CUISINE
Located in the former space occupied by Fujiyama, delicious and visually enticing Japanese food is served, including teriyaki, tempura, hibachi, and luscious sushi.
447 Springfield Avenue,
NAGEEN PERSIAN GRILL
Owners Mike and Azar Zarrabikia moved to the U.S. from Teheran, bringing their traditional family recipes and Middle Eastern cuisine with them. Health conscious and vegetarian options abound.
330, Springfield Avenue, 908.277.2100,
RANDAZZO ITALIAN RESTAURANT AND PIZZA
Serving Summit since 1980, the Randazzo family offers a casual, friendly atmosphere and top-quality ingredients.
10 Bank Street, 908.273.1713,
In addition to locations in Morristown and Ridgewood, the clubby Summit chophouse delivers “killer” steaks, “fabulous” shellfish, and “a world class” wine list, according to Zagat.
401, Springfield Avenue, 908.273.0027,
Carefully crafted Mexican specialties here include ceviche, molé, softshell crab, and elevated south-of-the border favorites.
10 Maple Avenue, 908.598.9200,
SUMMIT GREEK GRILL
Authentic fresh Greek and Mediterranean favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
90 Summit Avenue, 908.277.6418,
SUMMIT THAI CUISINE
Healthy, tasty, homemade options based on fresh ingredients, including herbal specialties, gluten
free, and vegan choices.
34 Maple Street, 908.273.1122,
TAKA SUSHI JAPANESE
Emphasis here is on a warm, welcoming environment and expertly prepared fresh sushi dishes, along with teriyaki and hibachi offerings.
95 Summit Avenue, 908.277.0886,
THE BOMBAY BISTRO
Classic and innovative regional Indian dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients and spices blended on premises in an ambiance highlighted by modern, elegant décor.
427 Springfield Avenue, 908.918.0330,
THE COMMITTED PIG
Award-winning burgers, a la carte brunch, and meats from renowned Pat LaFrieda meat purveyors, with sister locations in Manasquan and Morristown.
339 Springfield Avenue, 908.277.6222,
Owner/Chef Teri Tyson grew up in Pennsylvania farmlands before exchanging her finance career for a culinary degree. Her “feel good” cuisine features healthy, fresh selections and Stumptown coffee.
447 Springfield Avenue, 908.273.0049
THE OFFICE TAVERN GRILL
Modern twists on comfort classics and a vibrant bar are the trademarks of this recently renovated, well-known spot across from the train station. A second location is in Morristown.
61 Union Place, 908.522.0550
TITO’S BURRITOS & WINGS
A small space packing big flavors from the colorful owner, whose slogan is, “It’s all good!” Beach culture is celebrated with fresh, custom-made items. Additional locations in Boonton, Morristown,
Ridgewood, and South Orange.
356, Springfield Avenue, 908.277.3700,
Hailed by the New York Times, imported pasta, Grandma pan pizza pies, house specialties, and hot homemade bread help make this a favorite for Italian fare. Other locations in Maplewood and
103-105 Summit Avenue, 908.608.1441,
Euro-American fare and a trendy atmosphere make this bistro a top choice for families, dates, and special occasions. The Sunday Brunch Buffet is especially popular. Their Princeton location is equally revered.
2 Kent Place Boulevard, 908.277.4224,
ZAPPIA’S BRICK OVEN AND ZAPPIA’S DELI
Located four doors apart, the gourmet pizza restaurant and delicatessen fulfill a wide range of culinary desires. The Brick Oven
21 Union Place, 908.608.1200,
The Deli: 33 Union Place, 908.273.9600
Lights Out Where to Stay
THE DEBARY INN
Situated on a quiet street in Summit’s historic North End amidst stunning Victorian homes, the inn has recently been remodeled and redecorated. Just one block from the bustling downtown area, one mile from the Short Hills Mall, and a few blocks from the train station. In addition to period décor and modern conveniences, the inn’s hallmark is its personalized service.
265 Springfield Avenue, 908-277-0005,
THE GRAND SUMMIT HOTEL
Gracious elegance defines this revered landmark, the site of countless weddings, galas, romantic dinners, meetings, and memorable events. Opened in 1868 as the Blackburn House, it embodied the era’s gentility and rural charm. Its reputation and the area’s allure drew the wealthy to visit, relocate, and build mansions in the area. The boutique-style hotel continues this storied history today with 149 guest rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, atrium, and posh decor. The Hat Tavern is also on site.
570 Springfield Avenue, 908.273.3000, grandsummit.com
THE TURKEY HILL INN
The 18th century Victorian inn is a home away from home for travelers from around the world, located close to Drew University and downtown Summit, as well as the train station (Fun fact:
The original late 17th century name of Summit was actually “Turkey Hill.” James Kent, a Chancellor of New York State, lived in his house, Summit Lodge, from which the city took its name.) Its warm, relaxing environment offers Victorian ambiance with modern comfort. Visitors praise the charming Old World ambiance, antiques, hospitality, and décor.
73 Beechwood Road, 908.522.9699,