Please register block parties with the Collingswood Police Department.
You can download the Block Party Application on the Collingswood Police Department page here and scroll to the bottom of the page. Print the application, complete and sign it and return it to the Collingswood Police Department.
You can also find a printable application here.
Five Collingswood businesses were named tops in South Jersey Magazine’s Best of the Best 2012! Read on to see where to eat, shop and even learn from the best!
BEST COOKING LESSONS FROM A TOP CHEF
When Chef Nunzio Patruno took home our Top Chef honors a few years back, many readers wished they could prepare such skillful meals. Thankfully, Patruno is willing to share a few of his secrets during his “Cooking with Nunzio” series at his namesake Italian BYOB in Collingswood. Whether you’re picking fresh ingredients from the farmers market or making your own pasta, Patruno will improve both your culinary knowledge and technique in a way that’s less Hell’s Kitchen and more heaven on earth.
706 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-9840, Nunzios.net
BEST NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
When Zeppoli opened its doors in Collingswood, it generated a lot of buzz, mainly because of Chef Joseph Baldino’s pedigree, which includes stints in Italy as well as Philly’s famed Vetri Ristorante. As it turned out, the hype was more than justified as Baldino’s succinct Sicilian-inspired menu wowed diners, including one of our food critics who awarded the 35-seat shoebox-sized eatery 5 Forks, our highest culinary rating. The food is simple in nature, complex in preparation and exquisite in taste, resulting in not only the best new restaurant in South Jersey, but one of the best restaurants anywhere.
618 Collings Ave., Collingswood, (856) 854-2670, ZeppoliRestaurant.com
BEST REASON TO LICK YOUR FINGERS
One thing South Jersey is not known for is solid, stick-to-your-ribs barbecue. Well, Gerald Dougherty changed all that when he opened up Little Louie’s BBQ in Collingswood in 2011. Since then, locals have filled the space for a taste of his brisket, ribs and chicken, which takes inspiration from the barbecue capitals of the country—Memphis, North Carolina, Kansas City and Texas—but you’ll also find tasty specialty items like smoked duck and spaghetti with pulled pork and barbecue sauce.
505 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 854-0600, LittleLouiesBarbeque.com
BEST WAY TO ORDER OFF THE MENU
Few culinary experiences are as rewarding as the chef’s tasting menu. There’s just something about putting your fate in their capable hands that elevates the evening. At Sapori, this means diners turn to Chef Franco Lombardo for his creativity and deft hand in the kitchen and the result is your choice of a five- or six-course-meal crafted around your likes and dislikes. They’ll be other people in the restaurant, but the attention to detail will make it feel as if you have the place to yourself.
601 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-2288, Sapori.info
RETAIL: Cocktail Dresses -Marlene’s Dress Shoppe
707 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-4777, MarlenesDressShop.com
Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, located in Collingswood, is holding an Operation Backpack back-to-school drive.
A number of school-age children living in the Delaware Valley are in danger of becoming homeless or are already living in a shelter. One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on children's education. Homeless and homeless-at-risk children face tremendous stigmatization; as a result, they are more likely than students living in more stable home environment to be placed in special education classes and to drop out of school.
Operation Backpack is Volunteers of America's back-to-school drive that asks the general public to donate backpacks and supplies to children. In addition to giving the children a sense of confidence and hope, Operation Backpack relieves the children's families of a significant financial burden and helps them begin the school year with a brand new backpack.
Supplies are for students in Kindergarten to second Grade School. These students typically need:
12 #2 Pencils
1 box of 24 Crayons
4 pack of dry erase markers
1 pack of washable markers
1 pack of colored pencils
1 composition note book
1 spiral notebook
2 two pocket folders
1 one inch three ring binder
1 pencil box
1 pencil sharpener
3 large pink erasers
4 glue sticks
1 12 inch ruler
1 pair of safety scissors
1 box of tissues
1 bottle of hand sanitizer
1 back pack (a typical backpack for this grade range tends to be about 12 to 14” x 9 to 12.” Age range is 5 to 8 years old).
A school supplies list with labels is attached here. To complete your donation, Volunteers of America asks you to purchase new backpacks and fill them with age appropriate school supplies. Once the backpacks are filled, please attach the appropriate label specifying the grade and drop it off to:
Collingswood Borough Hall
678 Haddon Ave
Collingswood NJ, 08108
Volunteers of America Delaware Valley
235 White Horse Pike
Collingswood, NJ 08107
For more information about Operation Backpack or ways one can help, please call 856-854-4660 ext. 138.
Philadelphia Magazine's Best Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia 2012 list includes two Collingswood eateries. Congrats (and make those reservations!). From the magazine:
Joey Baldino doesn’t cook anything that a thousand other chefs haven’t cooked before him. He just does it better than about 998 of them. Simple Sicilian flavors shine at Zeppoli, his homey Collingswood BYO, where tagliatelli with lemon and bottarga is redolent of a citrus grove perched above a fishing village, and spinach-and-ricotta gnocchi could melt in the warmth of your breath.
Don’t miss: His Sicilian stew—all saffron and swordfish and shellfish—or his whole roasted fish with artichoke hearts, which is unsurpassed on either side of the Delaware River.
Eat at one of the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia: Zepppoli , 618 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, 856-854-2670.
In a town overrun by Italian BYOBs, Franco Lombardo’s Sapori stands out for its dedication to truly Italian cuisine.He offers specialties, primarily from his hometown of Palermo, as though every meal is a lesson in history and geography. All this pride of place and style is evident in the cooking and service, as plates of penne in red wine sauce with smoked pancetta are delivered from the kitchen, and whole fish are expertly filleted tableside.
Don’t miss: The specials, like chicken and pork meatballs stuffed with prosciutto and scamorza cheese.
Eat at one of the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia: Sapori , 601 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, 856-858-2288.
Congrats to the ten businesses and venues named a best in this year's SJ Magazine BEST OF SJ issue! Read on to see who won and why you should be stopping by!
Best Red Sauce – TO GO!
753 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
We had to give an award to Villa Barone for a second year in a row because the delicious, homemade sauce is now being bottled and sold at the restaurant so you can enjoy it at home. Each batch is made from the same recipe that’s been handed down in the Barone family for generations. An SJ staffer says it’s the best bottled red sauce she’s ever had (she emphasized "ever”).
My Little Kupkake
685 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
We can’t stop going here, and for some reason, we feel guilty about that. Since the doors to this Collingswood bakery opened last year, the sweet treats have been making lots of people happy. We love the cupcakes, especially the apple cinnamon, blueberry lemon and white chocolate chip. We can also tell you that even if you eat a cupcake every day for one whole week, you’ll still want to go back for another. Trust us.
Best South American Experience
El Sitio Grill & Café
729 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
It’s easy to take a quick trip to South America – just head to El Sitio! One step inside the door and the enticing aromas, vibrant colors and tropical ambiance will convince your mind you’re south of the Equator. Husband-wife owners Francisco Cabrera and Cecilia Jaramillo import fresh ingredients directly from South America, so you’re guaranteed cuisine you won’t find anywhere else in SJ.
Best Sicilian Cuisine
618 Collings Avenue, Collingswood
This romantic and intimate BYOB in the heart of Collingswood only seats 35, so reservations are a must. Chef Joey Baldino focuses on unique flavors specific to Sicily with simple, yet authentic dishes like Finocchi Salsiccia (homemade fennel sausage served with broccoli rabe), Pesto Trapanese (Sicilian-style fusilli pasta with almond-pistachio pesto from the town of Trapani) and Fisherman Stew (mixed Mediterranean seafood stew with saffron and Moroccan couscous). Be sure to finish your meal with the homemade gelato.
Marlene’s Dress Shop
707 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
Just a short walk across the street from their former location will land you in Marlene’s new fashion mecca. Immerse yourself in wall-to-wall glam – high-end designer dresses (for prom, weddings or simply a night on the town), sparkling jewelry, gorgeous bags, clutches, and even totally cool hats.
Best Boutique for Any Woman Who Owns a Pretty Dress
809 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
You’ve got the dress, you’ve got the shoes, and you think you’re going to be fabulous on your special night out. But oh, no. If you really want to be a hit, take that dress to Elizabeth’s and this talented artist will make an exquisite wrap to match your dress. She’ll also make jewelry to complete your outfit.
Best Gourmet Gift Baskets
686 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
We’ve loved the gift baskets at Cheese Etc. for years (we named them a Best of SJ back in 2010), but the store’s gourmet gift baskets give us another reason to frequent this Collingswood shop. Owners Gina and Ken personally select their favorite items to create the perfect assortment of gourmet treats like homemade cheese spread, crackers, huge muffins and chocolates. The gourmet goodie baskets are even available in four different sizes.
ODDS N ENDS
Best Community Theater Performance
Collingswood Community Theatre
When we needed a flash mob to perform at last year’s Best of SJ party, we knew who to call – the talented folks at Collingswood Theatre. Under the direction of the esteemed Mary Baldwin, the singers and dancers volunteered their time to put together a surprise performance that wow’d us all. You’ll see some of the same performers appear in this month’s production of "Into the Woods.”
Best Place to Get Creative
Perkins Center for the Arts
30 Irvin Avenue Collingswood (Also located in Moorestown) 856-833-0109
Exercise your creative spirit with a class at Perkins Center for the Arts. The two locations offer an assortment of inspiring classes and workshops for both teens and adults, including drama, dance, painting and pottery. There are options for everyone from novices to experts, so you can show your artistic side.
Best Place to Have a Party
Collingswood Grande Ballroom
315 White Horse Pike Collingswood
Once again, we have to give props to the Collingswood Grande Ballroom. We love hosting our Best of SJ party there year after year – the elegant interior, grand staircase and stellar staff all make your party great from the moment the first guest arrives.
Collingswood Farmers Market teams with town’s chefs to serve up Farm Fresh Collingswood Restaurant Week.
With summer and the Collingswood Farmers Market blooming all around you, there’s only one way to spend one blissfully delicious week in July: hold a town wide Farm Fresh Collingswood Restaurant Week! Collingswood restaurants and local farmers will come together to create menus from July 22 through July 27.
What makes Farm Fresh Collingswood different from any other Farm to Fork Restaurant Week? “The authenticity.” explains Chef Mark Smith of The Tortilla Press. “Restaurants outside of Collingswood may try to establish relationships with a farm here or there, but we have it all, just a couple yards from our door steps – and believe me, it doesn’t get better or fresher than that.”
Restaurants will offer a prix fixe multi course menu full of items from the nearby Farmers Market. Corn and tomatoes will come courtesy of Springdale Farms of Cherry Hill. Flaim Farms will offer squash blossoms. And Jersey peaches will come from Schober Orchards. “I walk over to the market, buy my produce, and walk back.” says Chef Nunzio Patruno from Nunzio’s Ristorante. Patruno routinely takes guests on farm market tours to meet the farmers and sample the wares.
“It’s the kind of Restaurant Week I love to celebrate,” explains Chef Alex Capasso, whose two restaurants, Blackbird and West Side Gravy both grace Haddon Avenue. “There is no place better than Collingswood to enjoy this kind of freshness.”
Restaurant menus and prices are available online at www.collingswoodmarket.com. David Hodges, Farm Market Director recommends checking out the menus and calling for reservations. “It’s a wild week,” says Hodges. “And everyone is going to be trying to get a seat in town.”
Music and movies in the park kick off July 3!
(This information is also on the Parks & Rec/Summer Programs page here)
Summer music in the park
Wednesday evening band concerts return to Knight Park beginning July 11th. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be cancelled.
Knight Park Band Concerts
July 11 - Haddonfield Community Band in Knight Park 7:30PM
July 28 - Haddonfield Community Band in Knight Park 7:30PM
(On June 27, July 25 and Aug 22, there will be Summer Mummers concerts held on Powell Lane. For more information, visit our Summer Mummers page here.)
Movies in Knight Park - Tuesdays and Thursdays!
Muppets, dancers and animals - all on the big screen this summer. Movies in the park are free!
All movies begin at dusk. The screen is located by the Browning and Collings intersection, near the gazebo. This event is BYOC - Bring your own chair.
Movies in the Park Schedule:
July 3 - Muppets
July 10 - We Bought a Zoo
July 17 - Kung Fu Panda 2
July 24 - The Zookeeper
July 31 - Footloose
July 5 - Happy Feet 2
July 12 - Mr. Popper's Penguins
July 19 - Prom
July 26 - The Perfect Game
August 2 - Soul Surfer
August 9 - Beauty and the Beast
August 16 - The Lion King
August 23 - Diary of a Wimpy Kid
August 30 - Tangled
Collingswood will use the $5000 winnings from a Reader’s Digest contest for new artwork in Knight Park. The artist will be selected from local submissions collected during a contest held by the Borough and a public online vote will determine which art submission is built in the park.
“We’re proud to be named one of the best towns in the country and our fans and residents made that happen,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “We thought the winnings should go to something everyone can enjoy and since they cast those votes the public will pick the new art installation at the park.”
Borough has issued a call for entries to accept ideas from local artists and will narrow down submissions to the top three to five entries. The public will vote on the artwork they’d most like to see in Knight Park. Deadline for sketch submissions and artwork ideas is July 30 and must include sketches, locations, description, cost, etc. Public voting will begin in late summer 2012. An official call for entries with forms and details is available below.
From the call for entries: The Knight Park Art Contest is open to artists in all disciplines. The selection committee is looking for artwork that is interesting and possibly, but not necessarily, functional. Theme is loosely based on the community of Collingswood. A broad interpretation, from history, family, parks, events, etc., will be considered.
After months of voting Collingswood was named the #16 town in the nation in the Reader’s Digest 2012 We Hear You America campaign. Eighteen winning communities, as voted by residents and fans, received funding and promotional support for civic initiatives to better their communities. Collingswood’s fans racked up more than 660,000 votes to win $5000 for a public art project.
Collingswood Mayor Maley was invited to speak at the Bond Buyer Conference (The Bond Buyer is the news source of public finance and municipal bonds) regarding the Moody’s issue. Maley was included as a part of a panel of speakers at the Bond Buyer's 2nd Annual Tri-State Area Public Finance Conference in New York City.
From the article: Mayor Maley late last month compared the junk bond rating assigned to his city a gigantic nose pimple, because it ‘doesn’t really affect how you operate, but it makes you look really bad.’
The Bond Buyer featured the Borough’s upgrade in the June 4 issue. You can read the entire article below, which features Maley on the front page and continues on page 5.
Moody’s Investors Service issued a report in late May 2012 that restores the Borough of Collingswood’s credit rating to an investment grade rating of Baa3. The rating agency downgraded the Borough to “junk-bond” status in September 2011.
“We’re happy to have an appropriate rating again but it was a frustrating and unnecessary roadblock. We have always been confident we’d be back at investment grade and we will continue to move forward as we have been,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “We’ve taken the same steps on this project as we announced last August, not one fact has changed. Moody’s original reasons for the downgrade are now factors in the restoration of our credit rating. There is nothing different today from eight months ago except Moody’s conclusion.”
Moody’s based the 2011 downgrade on a Borough guaranty of debt for the LumberYard Condos development. Despite pointing out numerous factual errors in Moody’s report, the rating agency maintained its downgrade of the Borough. The report’s errors included misstating the amount of the Borough’s guaranty by double and misconstruing the Borough’s home improvement program that paid $150 annually to every property owner for four years from profits of the Parkview redevelopment.
In taking the downgrade action, Moody’s cited concern that the Borough would not be able to sell its notes; the Borough sold its notes in September 2011 and again in May 2012 even with the downgraded credit rating. Moody’s downgrade also relied on what they perceived would be the Borough’s inability to reach agreement with the project lenders; the Borough reached agreement with the project lenders on the identical terms announced in August 2011, before the Moody’s downgrade.
“We made no changes to the LumberYard project or our Borough finances to convince Moody’s of our viability. We just kept moving along as scheduled and Moody’s had to come to the realization that we are not, and never were, at any risk that would justify junk-bond status,” said Maley.