Arts & Entertainment

Harry Prott, Newark Club's main man, joins the Robert Treat Hotel

Harry Prott, a well-known fixture at the now shuttered Newark Club, has joined the Robert Treat Hotel as director of catering sales. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
Harry Prott, a well-known fixture at the now shuttered Newark Club, has joined the Robert Treat Hotel as director of catering sales. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo

Harry Prott is one of Newark's most irrepressible and irreplaceable personalities. 

"I love working with people. For me, it's all about relationships," said Prott, born and raised in the city's Ironbound neighborhood and who has worked in Newark for more than 30 years. "Everyone knows who I am. When you're good to people, it comes back to you 100 percent." 

With his quick wit, salt-and-pepper beard, and constant bright smile, Prott positively lit up the gone, but not forgotten Newark Club for years. The club's Metropolitan Room, ringed by tall and wide windows, provided a panorama unique in the metropolitan area. Prott worked at the club from its inception in 1992 and served as its general manager until the club closed in February.

Sign Up for E-News

However, the now-closed club's pain is the nearby Robert Treat Hotel's gain. Prott has returned to being Brick City's host with the most, recently joining the more-than-century old historic hotel as its new director of catering sales. In his new role, Prott will now concentrate more on sales, as well as booking and running parties. 

"It's still dealing with the same type of clientele, and now I don't have to do everything like I did at the Newark Club," Prott said, a wall sign from his old venue positioned behind his new desk. "It's going to be a little more fun, and I still have all of my relationships." 

Prott was compelled to make the move by the continuing changes in downtown Newark. The Newark Club was a double victim of rising property values that made the location, 22 floors above downtown Newark atop One Newark Center, highly valuable as office space.

The club also suffered from a change in culture. Long a private club, the sought-after spot used to be the scene of long lunches, accompanied by perhaps a few cocktails, where local politicians, lawyers and judges networked in style. Now, the time of the warm handshake deal has diminished, beaten down by the cold time pressures of the digital age. 

However, Prott's inimitable human touch will now live on at the Robert Treat. The hotel is owned by Miles Berger, the CEO of The Berger Organization, a privately owned diversified real estate company involved in the development and management of residential, commercial and hospitality properties throughout Newark, the rest of North Jersey, and New York City. 

Prott is not the only Newark Club alum to make the transition to Robert Treat. Artie Wassif, another well-known fixture from the Newark Club, became Robert Treat's director of sales. 

Prott's plan is that the former Newark Club clientele will now become current customers at the Robert Treat. The hotel's recently-refurbished Crystal Room will be the scene of most his events, as will the Tri-State Ballroom, which can hold more than 1,200 people. 

"I have the old-timers and the up-and-comers ready to come over," Prott said. "Nobody is really supporting private lunch clubs anymore. But I think people are ready for a new beginning here. And I'm back in the business." 

Prott's well-known skills as a professional photographer have been showcased in local galleries, and will soon be featured in a coffee table book sponsored by the Newark Downtown District. 

Prott, who spent the last few months working behind a camera, made it clear about what makes a good photograph.

"All photography is about recording light," Prott said as he looked at the rays of sunshine streaming through the Robert Treat lobby windows. "Even color is how light reflects off of something."

Prott, undoubtedly one of Newark's most colorful characters, reflected on how his change in jobs is part of a rapidly reviving Newark.

"There's a lot happening down here right now," said Prott, pointing to all of the new businesses and new residents coming into New Jersey's largest city. "A tree grows in Brooklyn. But real growth is now happening here in Newark. We're already on the rise, and we're going to take it to the next level. We're going to be great." 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


He Grew Up In James Baxter Terrace. Today, He Ushers in a Newark Condo Complex

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Hassan Keith grew up in the city’s James Baxter Terrace public housing, and now he's come back to unveil a 24-unit condominium complex on Clinton Avenue he helped build. 

Keith teamed up with the NFL's Mike Adams to form the Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance development company along with two others. Today, they cut the ribbon on the new Lofts at ...

Mothers Mobilize in Newark to Protest Trump Family Separation Policy

June 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - A group of New Jersey mothers took time to come to Newark with the kind of loved ones recently taken from other mothers: their children.

"It's unconscionable that our government is stealing children from their parents and locking them up in cages," said Christina Liu, a Montclair mom holding her baby daughter, commenting on President Donald Trump's recent ...

Market Street Patrol Building May Be Named After Late Undersheriff

June 28, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The death of Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan on June 20 was a "devastating loss" for the department and for the county’s sheriff, Armando Fontoura.

“He was like a son to me. He was always the first one on the scene. He was always there to help. It’s just devastating. There is not much more I can say," Fontoura said in a ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Opens Camp DeWitt Conference Center and Activity Building

July 2, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – If you don’t know by now, Girl Scouts is much more than cookies, crafts, and summer camp.

In fact, the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey say they should host your next professional business conference, special event, or any other big celebration in which you are looking to seriously impress.

Look no further than Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, the site of ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Lincoln Park, Newark

Lincoln Park Music Festival Sustainable Health ...


Thu, August 16, 5:00 PM

Branch Brook Park, Newark

Movies Under the Stars

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

A Statewide Solution on Disposable Bags Aids the Fight Against Litter

June 29, 2018

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) just released the results of a year-long visual litter study that shows that nearly 10 percent of all litter on our roadways and highways is in the form of plastic and paper bags.

There is no doubt that these bags are of significant and ongoing environmental concern, creating an even more difficult job for our clean communities volunteers across ...