morris county’s town power twins shine

by Laura D.C. Kolnoski • photos by robert nuzzie

With two colleges, plenty of history, and ambience to spare, the adjacent Morris County towns of Chatham and Madison sit at the foot of the Watchung Mountains near the Short Hills Mall. Madison, which was named for President James Madison, is known as “The Rose City” because of its prominence in the rose-growing industry during the 1800s. Chatham means “village of cottages.” Its current Main Street was, at one time, the Minisink Trail, forged by Lenni-Lenape Indians. Today, with restaurants, shops, parks, and plenty of recreation, there’s lots to discover—and even more to enjoy.

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Things To Do

Let’s Go

BOTTLE HILL DAY – Madison’s 30-year-old annual family street festival takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, in the downtown district, with a car show, rides, amusements, vendors, food, a beer garden, and four stages with live entertainment. It’s named for the borough’s original 1715 village, called “Bottle Hill.” 973.593.3042; rosenet.org/1005/Bottle-Hill-Day

CHATHAM FARMERs’ MARKET
Rain or shine, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through November 18 at Railroad Plaza off of Fairmount Avenue. chathamborough.org

Ray Catena Spread

DREW UNIVERSITY
The beautiful, highly regarded liberal arts institution presents public programs. Enjoy all things interstellar with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on September 26 at 36 Madison Ave., Madison; 973.408.3917; drew.edu/events/events/category/headliners/

FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY – Set on the lush grounds of a Gilded Age estate straddling the boundary of Madison and Florham Park, FDU, the largest private university in the state, was founded in 1942. This fall’s Speaker Series, open to the public and held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, features, among others, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, writer/legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and journalist/author Cokie Roberts. Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak in April 2018. 888.696.5722; NJSpeakerSeries.org

F.M. KIRBY SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY
Located on the Drew University campus, this acclaimed professional performing arts institution has indoor and outdoor (seasonal) stages and offers educational programming. Shakespeare in Love begins October 11, followed by It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on November 30. 36 Madison Ave., Madison; 973.408.5600; shakespearenj.org

MADISON ARTS & CULTURE ALLIANCE (MACA) – A coalition of arts organizations, cultural institutions, supporters, and the community that encourages collaborations for youth and adults. Artistic and cultural events are posted at madisonartsnj.org. 50 Kings Rd., Madison; 201.400.2349

MADISON FARMERs’ MARKET
Celebrating its 25th season, the market is open 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through October 26. Central Avenue between Main Street and Cook Avenue, Madison; rosenet.org/380/Madison-Farmers-Market

MADISON WALKING TOUR
Using a detailed brochure accessible online from the local Historical Preservation Commission, visitors can follow a map to discover historic sites, points of interest, and local landmarks. 973.593.3038; rosenet.org/DocumentCenter/View/1909

ROSEDALE SKATING RINK
This large public rink, adjacent to the Madison Community Pool at Memorial Park, is open seasonally. 105 Rosedale Ave., Madison; rosenet.org/778/Rosedale-Skating-Rink

STRYXE – Bowling, arcade and parlor games, food, bar, Happy Hours, and events for companies, kids, teens, and
adults. 300 Main St., Madison; 973.377.8919; stryxe.com

THE GRAVITY VAULT
An indoor rock climbing gym for young and old, novice to expert, with a variety of features. Available for parties. 40 Watchung Ave., Chatham; 973.701.7625; gravityvault.com

THE GREAT SWAMP NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
This 8,000-acre refuge in nearby Basking Ridge, run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has wilderness, trails, and
varied habitats. It’s a haven for flora and fauna, including more than 244 species of birds. The site was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1966. 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge; 973.425.1222; fws.gov/northeast/greatswamp

TWO ELEPHANT BREWING COMPANY – Offering handcrafted ales and lagers, tours, and a tasting room. 13 Watchung Ave., Chatham; 973.507.9862; twinelephant.com

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Shop Until You Drop

ALFRED’S SPORT SHOP
With more than 50 years’ experience selling sporting goods and apparel, uniforms, clothing, embroidery, and more. Top brands and personalized gear for teams, schools, and organizations. 32 Main St., Madison; 973.377.0051; alfredssportsshop.com

BLUE PURL LLC
A wide selection of yarns, patterns, and supplies. 60 Main St., Madison; 973.377.5648; bluepurl.com

CHATHAM SPORTS SHOP
Family-owned since 1999, serving teams and individuals with a wide range of equipment from leading brands. 257 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.3595; chathamsports.net

DJ CRATER
A boutique offering a range of women’s wear and accessories. 250 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.0097; djcrater.com

DUNDEAN STUDIOS
Residential and commercial architectural decorative finishing and restoration by an art and art history graduate with 35 years’ experience. Showroom, classes, and store. 17 Watchung Ave., Chatham; 973.635.0505; dundeanstudios.com

JABBERWOCKY – Children’s books, educational games, and expert advice on the ideal item for every child. Family-owned for more than 20 years. 261 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.5244; jabberwockynj.com

JAGUAR MORRIS COUNTY
Luxury cars. 275 Main St., Madison; 888.594.2079; jaguarmorriscounty.com

J&M HOME AND GARDEN
Family-owned for decades, this local favorite offers expertise in plants, home furnishings, accessories, landscaping, floral arrangements, plus a nursery, greenhouse, and Villa Milagro wines. 201 Main St., Madison; 973.377.4740; jmhg.com

HAT SHOP MADISON
“A hat for every head” is the motto of this full-service retailer serving men, women, teens, and children. 81 Main St., Madison; 973.443.4287; hatshopnj.com

L’FAY BRIDAL – Private appointments in a relaxing setting, and the latest in wedding wear. 9 Roosevelt Ave., Chatham; 973.556.4699; lfay.com

MELI MELO HOME – A pleasing selection of furniture, accessories, and fine gifts reflecting today’s lifestyle. 82 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.0788; melimelohome.com

PURPLE AARDVARK
American artisan handcrafted items. 240 Main St., Chatham; 973.346.2649; Facebook

QUARTET HOME DECOR
Unique home items, giftware, jewelry, accessories, and more. 9 S. Passaic Ave., Chatham; 973.665.8200; quartetdecor.com

SUBURBAN SHOP SHOES
Casual shoe, sneaker, and tote brands like Asics, Birkenstock, Capezio, Liliana Kai, and Sperry, for men, women, kids. 5 Waverly Pl., Madison; 973.377.2115; suburbanshoes.com

THE CHATHAM BOOKSELLER
Forty years selling literature, art and scholarly books, rare books, first editions, classical and jazz CDs. 8 Green Village
Rd., Madison; 973.822.1361; chathambookseller.com

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Dining

Dig In!

BEAN CURD Chinese restaurant in a quaint building with a menu of traditional fare. 275 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.5333; beancurdnj.com

BLOSSOM ASIAN BISTRO
Making non-believers believe that Japanese cuisine is the new comfort food. Beautiful atmosphere; second location in Mt. Arlington. 641 Shunpike Rd., Chatham; 973.377.8880; blossomasianbistronj.com

CHARLIE’S AUNT – Family-owned bar and grill, named for a Jack Benny movie, in the business district. Homemade desserts! 810 S. Passaic Ave., Chatham; 973.635.6772; charliesaunt.com

D’ORO – Local white tablecloth favorite for Northern Italian specialties. 219 Main St., Chatham; 973.701.6990; dororistorante.com

GREGORIO’S – Incorporating a healthy Mediterranean diet into classic Italian cuisine. 225 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.2777; restaurantgregorios.com

HEALTHY ITALIA COOKING SCHOOL & CATERING Cooking demos, private events, products, and more. 55 Main Street, Madison; 973.966.5200; healthy-italia.com

McCOOL’S ICE CREAM & FROZEN YOGURT PARLOR
With a Best of Jersey Milk Shake award and a prime location, this is the place for custom ice cream cakes and smoothies; there’s also a coffee bar. A second location is in Summit. 26 Main St., Madison; 973.301.0303, mccoolsicecream.net

MITSUBA JAPANESE CUISINE
BYOB restaurant with a sushi bar and an extensive menu of fresh dishes. 237 Main St., Chatham; 973.635.3888; mitsubachatham.com

NAUTILUS DINER – Delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night options served with style for more than 50 years. 97 Main St., Madison; 973.377.8484; madisonnautilusdiner.com

Waverly Summer

RESTAURANT SERENADE
Hand-selected seasonal and regional ingredients in refined American cuisine presentations by Chef Laird, with an extensive wine collection. 6 Roosevelt Ave., Chatham; 973.701.0303; restaurantserenade.com

RIVER GRILLE – This family friendly venue combines a horseshoe bar and elevated American pub food with live music, plus 10 wing flavors. 34 River Rd., Chatham; 973.701.1125; chathamrivergrille.com

SCALINI FEDELI – Located in a 260-year-old farmhouse, Chef Michael Cetrulo’s Zagat-rated New Jersey location features modern Italian cuisine with a French flair. The original location is in Tribeca, in New York City. 3 Main St., Chatham; 973.701.9200; scalinifedeli.com

SHANGHAI JAZZ RESTAURANT & BAR – This special spot, celebrating both American jazz and Asian-inspired cuisine, was named “One of the Top 100 Great Jazz Clubs in the World.” Featuring live music six nights a week. 24 Main St., Madison; 973.822.2899; shanghaijazz.com

THAI PASSION – Original, authentic, and inventive Thai cuisine in a family environment. 225 Main St., Chatham;
973.635.6600; thaipassionnj.com

YO LOTTA LUV – Specialty frozen yogurts, sorbets, crepes, waffles, soups, cakes, parties. 258 Main St., Chatham;
973.507.9554; yolottaluv.com

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Lights Out

Where to Stay

ARCHER HOTEL FLORHAM
PARK New, industrial chic with an independent vibe, boutique feel, and indoor pool. ”Archer’s Den” rooms are luxe modern suites, some with balconies. 130 Park Ave., Florham Park; 855.437.9100; archerhotel.com

HILTON SHORT HILLS
A dependable, never-fail option. 41 John F. Kennedy Parkway, Short Hills; 973.379.0100; hilton.com

HYATT REGENCY MORRISTOWN – Contemporary hotel near Headquarters Plaza in the downtown district. Qube Lounge and Qube Terrace offer indoor and outdoor drinks and fare. 3 Speedwell Ave., Morristown; 973.647.1234; Morristown.regency.hyatt.com

MADISON HOTEL – This historic property, which is home to both Rod’s Steakhouse and the Red Dog Tavern, offers classic style and modern amenities, including a fitness center and an indoor pool. 1 Convent Rd.,Morristown; 973.285.1800; themadisonhotel.com

THE SUMMIT DEBARY INN
This charming boutique hotel, set in a remodeled Victorian home, offers a range of accommodations, from rooms to
suites, with some including fireplaces. Just one mile from the Short Hills Mall. 265 Springfield Ave., Summit; 908.277.0005; thedebaryinn.com

THE WESTIN GOVERNOR MORRIS INN – A landmark property that combines a rich history, chic decor, and
modern amenities to offer a singular lodging experience. Home to the outstanding Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar. 2 Whippany Rd., Morristown; 973.539.7300; westingovernormorrisinn.Com

WYNDHAM HAMILTON PARK
175 Park Ave., Florham Park; 973.377.2424; wyndhamhotels.com

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