Some old favorites and very new businesses were picked by the staff of South Jersey Magazine as the most outstanding merchants in their categories for the annual Best of the Best issue! See who writers and readers say are Collingswood standouts (and then check them out yourself!).
BEST LAMB TACOS
Oasis Mexican Grill, 498 Haddon Ave, www.oasismexicangrill.com
Meaty leg of lamb gets cooked slow until tender, then shredded and served in plates of three tacos, all on corn tortillas and topped with fresh lettuce, queso blanco, and just a bit of sour cream. They’re proof of what attention to detail and a respect for authentic Mexican technique can do.
BEST FROZEN YOGURT
Frusen Berri, 2 Powell Lane, www.frusenberri.com
Take your pick from a variety of fun and funky frozen yogurt flavors (cinnamon bun, anyone?) then dive into the selection of toppings, syrups, fresh fruit and candies. Grab a seat at one of their outdoor tables or chill out in their upscale lounge space inside, which includes couches, a television and plenty of tables and chairs. There’s even an espresso machine and coffee station for the grown up so you can make it through that sugar high with a bit of energy.
Verde, 4 Powell Lane, www.verdesalon.com
We’ve yet to find a better way to treat ourselves than with a glamorous blowout, and when we’re looking to turn heads we go for Verde’s Express Blowout. You’ll leave with silky, sexy hair that you just need to show off – so be sure you have plans for a great night out.
Upcycle, 688 Haddon Ave, www.upcyclenj.com
This Collingswood spin spot is still young, but is already drawing crowds with their fun and unique class options. Of course there’s the classic 60-minute sessions, but you can mix things up with 45-minute “quickie” classes, or have some fun with monthly classes like their Bikes and Brunch, Gears and Beers and Candlelit Cycle class.
Best Italian Restaurant: Nunzio’s Ristorante Rustico
Seafood Restaurant: L’Oceano
Cocktail Dresses: Marlene’s Dress Shoppe
On July 16 Collingswood will host its monthly auto show - but they’ll be celebrating more than beautiful cars. The July event will focus on honoring veterans for the evening with a series of patriotic performances and surprises to thank those that have served.
Collingswood is partnering with Camden County for the special evening. Veterans will receive free registration for their vehicles. Camden County will provide American flags for participants and guests along with other veteran information and resources. The Collingswood Fire Department will display their impressive 20’ by 40’ American flag held by two ladder trucks at the corner of Haddon and Collings.
Rockabilly band Full Blown Cherry will be joined by Collingswood’s favorite girl trio, Hotsy Totsy (www.hotsytotsygals.com) to entertain crowds. Full Blown Cherry will perform at the Zane School (756 Haddon Ave) and Hotsy Totsy will kick off the evening with the National Anthem and then do sets throughout Collingswood’s historic downtown along Haddon Avenue.
There will be all things red, white and blue on display at July’s Cruise Night. Flags, banners, balloons, dash plaques, trophies will all be patriotically themed. Trophies for the evening’s winning vehicles will be presented at 8:15 p.m. along with some special giveaways courtesy of Mothers Polishes, Meguiar’s, Eagle One, Duragloss and Fanelle’s Auto Repair and Towing.
Cruise Night is July 16. Collingswood’s Cruise Nights are the third Thursdays of every month from April to October. Registration for car and motorcycle owners participating in the show opens at the Collingswood Senior Community Center, 30 W. Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108 beginning at 4:45pm and closes at 6:30pm. Cost is $5 per vehicle (veterans will be free in July). Cruise night is always free and open to the public. The event is from 6 to 9 p.m.
Collingswood Cruise Night is celebrating its 10th season and is still going strong. Cars and motorcycles line Haddon Avenue and folks stroll the Borough’s picturesque downtown shopping, dining and enjoying the sights and sounds of live music and cars from every era. Select restaurants and merchants will offer Cruise Night and veterans specials to crowds.
Kids caught wearing their helmets will be issued a ticket – for a free water ice!
The “Friendly Ticket” program will reward Collingswood children for wearing their helmets while riding their bikes, scooters, rollerblades, etc. this summer with free small water ice coupons redeemable at Cabana Water Ice. Cabana is providing the coupons at no charge in an effort to support the safety campaign.
“We're thrilled to reward safety,” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “Every year, thousands of injuries can be prevented by something as simple as strapping on a helmet. We want to make helmet use a really positive thing and we love to spend time with kids in our neighborhoods as well.”
Officers have been instructed to be on the lookout for helmeted children and issue as many tickets as possible starting when schools let out in June. “Offenders” can just bring their “tickets” to Cabana Water Ice at 552 Haddon Ave and redeem it for a small water ice. The Friendly Ticket program will continue through summer.
“A big thanks to Cabana for their support on this. It’s a true community program and a great way to make sure kids stay safe when the bikes are out all summer long,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley.
Free event brings community and officials together for safety festival
Collingswood will participate in the “32nd Annual National Night Out” (NNO) program on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 by hosting the 3rd Collingswood Community Night Out.
On August 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. along West Collings Ave, Collingswood residents, families and guests from around the area can enjoy a festival that features community engagement, giveaways and crime prevention information and demonstrations as part of an effort to inform people and bring communities and their safety officials closer together. The festival begins at the corner of Haddon and West Collings Avenues in the center of town.
Collingswood Police, Fire Departments, Department of Public Works, community organizations and local vendors are pitching in as part of the national campaign which, according to the NNO website, aims to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. In addition to the traditional National Night Out theme, Collingswood’s Community Night Out event will highlight the importance of Community Policing and engagement with the community.
Guests can enjoy a police car and fire truck expo, bicycle safety tips, water safety tips from Roberts Pool lifeguards (still waiting on confirmation), speed pitch machine, water ice, hot dogs, prizes, free NY Life child IDs, banking information, music, mascots, entertainment and ask questions of local law enforcement.
“We’re looking forward to bringing the community together” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “The opportunity to informally connect with the residents of Collingswood is priceless and beneficial to all. We are really excited to engage with everyone and highlight the importance of a community partnership.”
The event is staffed by volunteers from the Collingswood Police Department, Fire Department, DPW, civic groups, government officials and local businesses.
About Collingswood: Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association. For more information visit www.collingswood.com.
It will be tuxes and tails -and flip flops!- for just one evening in Collingswood. The opera is coming to Knight Park.
The show, performed by La Diva Tenors, will stage a “popera” featuring arias from several operas, Neapolitan music and Broadway and pop crossover selections from modern performers like Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli.
The group weaves opera and modern standards together with the goal of reaching all audiences. La Diva Tenors boasts their performance as “a sprinkling of opera and a unique blend of wit, personality and humor.”
Opera in the Park takes place in Collingswood’s iconic Knight Park on July 16 at 8 p.m. and is free to the public. Guests should bring blankets and chairs. Exact location in Knight Park is to be determined. Performance location will be shared on Collingswood.com in June. The event is sponsored by Camden County.
Want to picnic in the park as well? Several Collingswood will offer special take out menus for opera night guests. Call ahead or drop by these eateries to bring a ready-made meal to Knight Park!
The Pop Shop
Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
“We’re bringing a little black tie tshirt to Collingswood,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “Between our family movie nights in the summer, we’ll have an evening of couples and music lovers sprawled out on the grass, enjoying a little Carmen for a change.”
About La Diva Tenors:
The powerhouse quartet features tenors Antonio Buonauro, Thomas Betham and James Gafgen as well as soprano Donna Buonauro. Their careers have reached every continent and touched thousands of international audiences from Carnegie Hall to La Scala.
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust.
Proud Neighbors invite you to decorate for America'sbirthday!
It's Independence Day! Proud Neighbors of Collingswood is inviting you to decorate your home, business or neighborhood block red, white and blue as they present their annual FOURTH OF JULY HOUSE DECORATING CONTEST! Register in advance for Proud Neighbors of Collingswood’s contest by e-mailing July4@ProudNeighborsOfCollingswood.org
All Collingswood homes, businesses and town blocks are urged to participate and show off their Stars and Stripes! Decorations are judged on creativity, originality, appropriateness to architecture, best historic home and overall best look. Your name will be publicly credited for your holiday spirit and “Collingswood Cash” is awarded to winners. Official judging will take place on the morning of July 4. Winners will be announced at the Collingswood fireworks show! You must call in advance to register your address for the contest. Judges will only visit homes that provide address, name, phone and e-mail in advance.
Gather up the bunting, start flying the flags, and get ready for the grandest Proud Neighbors of Collingswood HOUSE DECORATING CONTEST Collingswood has seen yet!
Judging begins at 9:30 a.m. on July 4 at only sites that have pre-registered. You must register in advance for Proud Neighbors of Collingswood’s contest by registering with your name, address, phone and e-mail at July4@ProudNeighborsOfCollingswood.org Please call 609-932-8207 with questions.
The 4th of July House Decorating Contest is a project of The Proud Neighbors of Collingswood, a not-for-profit civic organization established in 1983. Proud Neighbors of Collingswood is dedicated to restoration, raising awareness of historic preservation and working with volunteers, neighbors, Business & Government to maintain the historic character of our town.
For information on all the events in Collingswood in Independence Day, see our Fun on the 4th page here.
The Police Department has responded to an increasing number of dog related incidents around town and in Knight Park caused by unleashed dogs. There are no off-leash dog areas in Collingswood.
“The gazebo at Browning and Grant Avenues in Knight Park has become an unofficial dog park in Collingswood. It’s not legal or safe to have dogs off leash anywhere in the park,” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “We’ve gotten more and more incidents and calls about people and animals getting bitten. Some incidents have resulted in serious injury to humans and other pets. In order for everyone to be safe in the park and around town, we have to have owners complying with leash laws and in light of these incidents the PD is going to begin strict enforcement.”
Borough ordinances regarding leash laws are as follows:
§ 105-21 Dogs running at large.
Any person owning, keeping or harboring any dog, whether the dog is licensed or unlicensed, who shall suffer or permit said dog to run at large in or about the streets, highways or public places of the Borough or to run at large upon the lands and premises of any person other than the owner or persons in possession of said dog without permission of said landowner first obtained, in writing, shall be guilty of a violation of this Article.
§ 105-22 Leashing of dogs.
No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit the same to be upon the public streets or in any public places of the Borough unless such dog is accompanied by a person over the age of 12 years and of such mental and physical capacity that he or she is able to control said dog by leash, provided, always in any case, that there shall be control of such dog by an adequate leash with not more than six feet thereof extended between the person in control of such dog and the dog itself.
“As the weather warms up, more people and their pets will be spending time outdoors. The safest way to enjoy our public spaces is to keep pets leashed,” said Carey.
Collingswood Book Festival organizers have announced the 2015 Collingswood Town Read. A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, by Lev Golinkin, is a darkly comic story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you.
In 1990, Mr. Golinkin came to the U.S. as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv). A graduate of Boston College, he resides in New Jersey. His op-eds and essays on the Ukraine crisis have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and Time.com, among others. Mr. Golinkin will appear at the Collingswood Book Festival on Saturday, October 3, 2015. For more information, please visit www.collingswoodbookfestival.com.
Collingswood Reads: A New Book Club Sponsored by the Collingswood Public Library
Enjoy summer reading and a group discussion about selected titles with the Collingswood Public Library’s new book club! Each month, book lovers will gather to share thoughts on a different read.
2015 titles and schedule:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: Thursday, June 25, 7pm
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline: Wednesday, July 29, 7pm
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Thursday, August 27, 7pm
Several copies of each book and ebooks on 3M and Overdrive are available at the Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave. Meetings will be held in the Peter P. Childs Community Room. Light refreshments will be served. Contact Kelly Castle at (856) 858-0649 or email@example.com if you have any questions.
Collingswood officials are drafting an ordinance to allow craft breweries in the Borough. The Borough’s ordinance would stipulate that breweries could not serve food, even if state regulations change to permit food.
These preliminary steps come after months of meetings, feedback and interviews with residents, entrepreneurs and experts in the craft brew field. In early 2015, officials were contacted by several brewers interested in opening a craft brewery and tasting room in Collingswood. The brewers cited a 2012 state law that eased restrictions on microbreweries, allowing them to manufacture and sell directly to consumers without a liquor license. Since Collingswood is a dry town, there were no restrictions on this type of establishment. The Borough placed a temporary ban on craft breweries to research how a brewery might fit in to the fabric of Collingswood’s community and business districts.
Officials spent the better part of spring gauging interest in having a brewery and tasting room. Polls were taken at town meetings and feedback was requested through a letter in the Town Crier and social media.
“The overwhelming response from residents has been in favor with a firm expression that breweries would be a great complement to our business district,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley.”There was little to no concern that this would affect the family-friendly nature of Collingswood or cause an unruly bar scene. Most people love that they can shop locally in Collingswood and it turns out good craft beer is no exception.”
The only major concern came from the town’s restaurateurs, who feared that craft breweries would eventually be given permission by the state to serve food, giving them an advantage over their BYO establishments. The new ordinance will tighten restrictions to prevent any impact from future changes in state law from affecting the Borough’s local zoning laws prohibiting food.
“We learned a lot in the past few months. Craft breweries don’t typically keep late hours and they’re restricted from having TVs or bar games. They’re limited in what they can serve. Most of the brewers are only interested in making good beer; they don’t want to entertain people or be involved in running a kitchen,” said Maley. “After learning more about the business model, we felt it could be a good fit and our merchants and residents agreed. The consensus was that people would visit a Collingswood brewery to grab beer before heading to restaurants or even just visit regularly as a new destination in town.”
The first reading of the ordinance is expected to be introduced at the July 6 Commission Meeting.
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association. For more information visit www.collingswood.com.