There was a lot of activity in our business districts over the past 12 months. Here's a look at 11 businesses that closed, and 11 that opened in 2011:
The Caldwells said goodbye to...
1. —After an unsuccesful attempt to find a business with which to share the 17,000-square-foot retail space in Caldwell, the hardware store closed its doors at the end of August.
2. —Rumors swirled that the 24-7 gym in West Caldwell would re-open after locking its doors abruptly at the start of the year. But that never happened. Instead a whole new club came in called SkyClub (see below).
3. AS&J Paper at 412 Bloomfield Ave. in Caldwell closed and has a For Rent sign in the window.
4. —The West Caldwell video store is still open, but not for long. The store will stop renting on Dec. 26 and then begin liquidating its inventory.
5. Carpet Cottage—Owner Robert Rizzolo received a Green Business Award in December 2010 from the borough's Environmental Commission for offering a selection of eco-friendly carpets. But still the business shut its doors in 2011.
6. Diana's Cuts for Kids—The salon specializing in children's hair closed somewhat abruptly, and owner Luba is now working at in West Caldwell.
7. —After more than 40 years in the neighborhood, the restaurant known for its American classics and ice cream sundaes served its last meal in October.
8. H&K Dollar World closed after several years in downtown Caldwell. opened in its place after moving up the hill from West Caldwell.
9. —Prior to opening at 293 Bloomfield Ave., in Caldwell, six years ago, the Chelius brothers' jewelry store operated in Morristown for two decades. But the economic downturn has impacted sales by 40 percent or better and the store is expected to close at the end of December.
10. —After giving it a go for less than a year, owner Carol Del Viriginia said business was just too slow and the rent was simply too high to sustain the Smull Avenue shoe shop.
11. The Tutoring Club also has a for rent sign in the window.
In 2011, we welcomed...
1. —The family-owned Italian restaurant and pizzeria opened in a completely renovated space on Brookside Avenue in Caldwell over the summer and really didn't seem to have much trouble getting customers in the door.
2. —Offering after-school arts and crafts programs and art-themed birthday parties, The Coloring Room opened its studio doors earlier this year.
3. —The mother-daughter owned and operated bakery opened its doors on Smull Avenue in July and suddenly Caldwell was a little sweeter.
4. moved 2.5 miles west from Verona to the former home of .
5. —A new Mexican spot from the owner's of Tap Room.
6. —The Caldwells have a toy store once again thanks to the opening of the popular store with a well-edited selection of toys, games and other gifts for kids.
7. —Located in the former spot of Diana's Cuts for Kids on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, near the corner of Gould, the salon specializes in children's haircuts and keeps kids occupied with videos and video games.
8. —Caldwell boutique sells jewelry and other women's accessories and gifts.
9. —The shop carries the full-line of Vera Bradley bags and accessories, as well as jewelry, gifts, cards and stationery.
10. —The 24/7 fitness club opened in the former home of Anytime Fitness in West Caldwell with all new equipment and a full schedule of classes. Club features an area for children to play and do homework while parents workout.
11. —The newest of the new, North Caldwell resident Gina Cifelli, who has more than 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, opened this stylish women's boutique in downtown Caldwell in mid-December.