Business & Finance

Downtown Westfield Returns to Life

November 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ—There is a sense of celebration in Downtown Westfield today as customers pour into reopened shops and restaurants.

Though most businesses are open, many are still without phone service. The Downtown Westfield Corporation is offering to  relay a message or let you know if they are open.  Call them at 908-789-9444 or email s.cronin@westfieldtoday.com.

Urban Outfitters is holding a job fair today and tomorrow at 105 Elm Street.

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Trader Joe’s is open and restocked with perishables and frozen foods.

Starbucks is open and packed with customers taking advantage of the shop’s free Wi-Fi.

Rockn’ Joe reopened today with a full menu. Owner Lance Marvin said he hopes to have Wi-Fi and credit card machines up and running soon.

With cable and phone lines down, many businesses, including Cosimo’s and Wild Greens, are unable to take credit cards. Others, like Savory Spice Shop, are taking them using their cell phones.

At Tinga, General Manager Joshua Silverstein told TAP he was fortunate enough to have a sister restaurant to help him restock quickly.

“We have everything but Caesar dressing and honey mustard,” said Silverstein, who walked to the restaurant each day from his home nearby and drove by each night checking for signs of electricity. “It’s nice to get back to work.”

Tinga reopened Sunday evening and delivery service is available as much as possible. Silverstein said that he is letting his drivers decide if they have enough gasoline to do the job. So far no one has missed a shift.

At Ella Allure, interior designer Daniela Palumbo is happy to be back at work. “It set everybody back,” she said of Sandy. Last week might have been a busy week at the shop. “Everybody’s fixing up their homes for the holidays.”

Palumbo’s family’s interior design shop on Staten Island, Sav-Mor Interiors, was unaffected by the storm and was even able to reopen the next day. Her mother began a collection within the community there to help those affected by the storm, and now Palumbo is extending the effort to her shop in Westfield.

For as long as supplies are needed, Ella Allure (located at 220 East Broad Street) will be a drop point for supplies for those in need, such as non-perishable food, baby supplies, hand warmers and pet supplies.

“People are just appreciative of everything right now. Whatever people are willing to donate,” said Polumbo.

Ella Allure specializes in recovering and refurnishing furniture and has beautiful window dressings such as privacy blinds and curtains. To help those whose homes have been affected by the storm, the shop is offering a 20 percent discount for hurricane-related services.

“We’re willing to step in and help any way we can,” said Palumbo. “Just to get everybody’s life back in order, make everybody feel comfortable again, especially in their own living environment.”

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