When Starbucks coffee opened in the new Clarus development complex at the former Maplewod Village post office site, some wondered what effect it might have on Village Coffee, the longtime java spot just down the street.

Village Coffee owner Ketan Patel sees no big impact as of yet and a visit to the shop finds the same customer traffic as usual.

One addition, however, is a sign posted at the entrance to Village Coffee that reads: “Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Starbucks.” With “Village Coffee, Maplewood” at the bottom.

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Patel says it wasn’t his creation but a funny gift from a customer.

“A customer came in and asked if he could put it up,” Patel said. “I said, ‘you put in the effort.’ We can’t say no.”

The signage has caused at least some criticism on a local Facebook page with Starbucks fans apparently not happy about the jab at their corporate café chain. Lighten up folks!

“Most people who see it say it’s funny, they take the picture and put it on Facebook.”


As for Clarus, it has taken to Twitter to promote its new creation that will also have a bank, hair salon and 120-seat restaurant -- along with 20 apartment units -- once all is done in the coming months.

The Twitter feed @clarusmaplewood has the feel of a poor public relations attempt to fit into the Village with all the charm of a corporate memo.

A recent tweet urged would-be renters to “shack-up” at Clarus in order to “bring the best of life into focus.” Shack-up? Isn’t that an old term for having an affair or living together in, shall we say, questionable circumstances?

It also claims the complex is a “luxury, cultured community of neighbors.” 

And in one attempt to seem local and connected, a tweet links to an NBC News web story on Toys R Us by writer Ben Popken, stating that it was “one of our Maplewood residents' commentary about tech and toys.”

We reached out to Popken, who said he has no idea why they would cite his work since he grew up in Millburn, lives in Brooklyn and has no plans to move.

And, finally, the much anticipated additional parking behind the new building has opened up, along with a new driveway linking the Village Coffee lot and the Ricalton Square parking.


On the school district front, a few notable changes in staff as per Monday’sboard meeting, which is set for 7:30 p.m. as usual (See agenda HERE.)

Longtime District Building and Grounds chief Bill Kyle is retiring, while Tuscan School assistant principal Kevin Mason is moving up to become an assistant principal at Columbia High School. You may recall Mason was passed over for the Maplewood Middle School Principal post. Glad to see he is getting some recognition now.

Assistant Superintendent Susan Grierson is taking a paid medical leave, while Columbia High School football coach Gary Mobley, currently a P.E. teacher at Rahway High School, moves to Columbia to add physical education teacher to his duties there.