Essex County News

Public Reacts to Disappearance of Artwork at Livingston's Porto by Antonio

c0a3247b60b0ba1aa649_25443136_10156140689557847_2329034169599888817_n.jpg
A passerby admires the mural at Porto by Antonio
05de46cff33a777d1a39_Screen_Shot_2017-12-18_at_11.19.48_PM.jpg
A concerned resident questions the disappearance of the mural at Porto by Antonio
c0a3247b60b0ba1aa649_25443136_10156140689557847_2329034169599888817_n.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Diners heading to dinner at Livingston’s Porto by Antonio over the weekend were taken aback when they saw that the mural on the rear wall of the building (located at 471 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Route 10) had been painted over in white.

Fans of the artwork took to Facebook and other outlets to express their concerns when they learned that the Livingston Planning Board had asked the owner of Porto to remove it or face a significant fine. Many were also surprised to discover that Porto by Antonio is expected to close in February of 2018.

Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein, who heard about the removal for the first time on Sunday, made it a point to discuss the situation at Monday’s council meeting in order to find out exactly what transpired.

Sign Up for E-News

“I understand that people in the public are upset about this,” said Klein, who added that he was saddened by this news and that it would be a shame to see the restaurant go. “It certainly never came before the elected officials—this was something that was a planning board matter. It was obviously an artwork that meant something to the community.”

The council determined on Monday that the planning board had initially established guidelines that the restaurant did not adhere to as closely as it should have. Councilman Rudy Fernandez recalled that the initial agreement was for the artwork to reflect food (rather than the portrait seen above), and acting township manager Russ Jones added that the restaurant proceeded without a permit.

Over the past few days, hundreds of residents have commented on the mural’s disappearance and the restaurant’s potential closing—many stating that the township should be doing something to save Porto by Antonio.

“I personally so loved seeing the artwork on the side of Porto’s building—what talent, never mind hard work,” said resident Lois Bogwald Vitiello. “I’ve no idea why it had to be removed (via painting over in boring white), but I’m sure there would have been a far better solution wherein this creative and beautiful artwork could have remained. I just simply, but hugely, loved seeing someone’s great expressive artwork/talent each zillion times I drove past.”

Resident Laynie Gershwin, whose family has been a loyal Porto customer since it opened, said her family “loved watching the murals being painted on the building" and was "happy to know something fun and unusual and artistic was happening for many to enjoy.” She added that the food, ambiance and staff at Porto by Antonio made the restaurant a joy to visit.

“Their sister restaurant in NYC happens to be a block from my daughter’s apartment, so she was excited to frequent both outstanding venues,” said Gershwin. “Livingston should be bending over backward to accommodate fresh ideas in restaurants and businesses in our community. As I said in my original Facebook post, shame on the thoughtless decision makers who caused this unfortunate circumstance and caused the sad and unwanted demise of Silverman’s.”

Susie Yoser Heguy was also among those who expressed disappointment in the situation.

“I just think it’s a shame,” she said. “I have lived in this town almost my entire life and it makes no sense that we can’t have something creative and different on a store front. If it was about permits/money, the town could have just fined them without forcing them to paint over that beautiful, creative mural.”

Attempts to contact owner Antonio Dinis were not returned at the time of this report. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

One Free Class at Cycle Bar Livingston

April 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Get a free ride at Cycle Bar Livingston. Livingston’s premium indoor cycling facility invites the public to sign up for their first ride free.

Click HERE to see the full class schedule.

During this week only, Cycle Bar is also participating in the Livingston Fitness Crawl, offering five days of free classes through Friday.  

Cycle Bar ...

Livingston Fitness Crawl: Five Days of Free Classes at 12 Livingston Businesses

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The public is invited to enjoy one free class at as many of Livingston’s fitness businesses as they would like during this week’s Livingston Fitness Crawl, a Livingston Business Improvement District event, beginning on April 23 and continuing through April 27.

For five days, no purchase is necessary at the following locations:

BARRE3 ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit http://cloudcaninesalon.com to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Swimming
Camp
Childcare 
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

April 24, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion on Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ef0d6423aefa47ca7bd5_screen_shot_2018-03-16_at_4.56.35_pm

Thu, April 26, 5:30 PM

West Orange High School - Cafeteria, West Orange

Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Letter to the Editor: Lions Club of West Orange Spaghetti Dinner

April 16, 2018

Dear Editor,

Since 1953, the Lions Club of West Orange has been recognized throughout the township for our service to the blind and visually impaired. A majority of the world’s eye banks, clinics, and eye research centers are established and supported by all Lions Clubs throughout the world.

We are men and women committed to helping provide quality eye care, eye ...

Register for the New Senior Gardening Program in West Orange

April 25, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange residents 60 years or older are invited to register for a new gardening program at the Orange/West Orange UNICO Chapter Nicholas Vecchio Garden in Degnan Park.

Beginning on May 10 and continuing every Thursday afternoon, seniors will be able to prep, plant and harvest their own garden beds.

For more information or to register for this new program, ...

Lock Down Initiated After Stray Bullet Found at Morristown High School

April 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Morristown High School was on a school-wide lock down as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a stray bullet was discovered on the athletic fields of the school. 

Police were on the scene and currently investigating the incident. The school initiated a "shelter in place," which means instruction continued as students stayed in their ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...