Holiday 2014

Showcase Magazine

Spotlight on Warren

By Susan Baldani

Tucked away in the Watchung Mountains, Warren is a fairly big town of over 19 square miles with a small town feel. Even though homes and businesses abound in the area, there are still many farms scattered throughout.

In the early 1700’s, European farmers settled in this territory, and in 1806 Warren was incorporated as a town. Warren was named after General Joseph Warren who was a hero in the American Revolution during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Of historic note are the Mount Bethel Meeting House and the Kirch Ford House. The Meeting House was built in 1771 on Quibbletown Gap Road. It was later moved to King George Road, where it stands today. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kirch Ford home was built in the 18th century and is one of the oldest homes in the township. It is located on Reinman Road.

In 2013, Warren was voted as one of the best places to live in Central New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. Only 35 miles from New York City, and close to Routes 22, 78 and 287, it’s a commuters dream. It is also close to great shopping centers, and the town itself is filled with a large variety of retail stores, offices and restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, Warren has so many cuisines to choose from that it’s hard to decide where to go first. For example, if you’re craving Asian food, head on over to Chef Chen for some fresh and exotic sushi. Prezzo, “the great taste of Italy,” will satisfy all your Italian cravings. For German specialties such as sauerbraten and schnitzel, Rolf’s is the place to be. Uproot, with its modern American cuisine focusing on bold flavors is an experience you don’t want to miss. After work, Saly G’s can help you unwind with their happy-hour menu.

If you just want a quick bite on the run, Turf n Surf, home of the “inside out burger,” is the perfect choice for that meat on a bun you’re craving. There is also the Country Squire, with a menu that offers a large range of options for morning, noon, and night. Feel like having pizza? Stop in Ciro’s or have them deliver the daily special right to your door. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little different, try the French crepes and healthy pitas made fresh every day at Pita Grille and Creperie. On a chilly day, Warren Deli and Grill can warm you up with some home-made soup; so be sure to order a bowl with your sandwich. A&G Italian Fine Foods is another great place for lunch, or you can pick up some Italian delicacies or desserts to serve at your upcoming holiday get-togethers. They also have gourmet baskets that make great gifts all year long.

Warren is also gearing up for some community fun. The 8th Annual Yuletide Bonfire Family Festival and Fireworks is scheduled for Saturday, January 17, from 5:00 to 8:00. It will be held at the Municipal Complex, and will feature carriage rides, live music, games, ice skating, sledding and more. There will also be free refreshments. Furthermore, make sure your kids drop off their letters to Santa at the big red mailbox in front of the municipal building. And even though he is very busy this time of year, Santa will be sure to send back a written reply.

Of course, with the holidays fast approaching, shopping for gifts is on everyone’s mind. Instead of heading to the nearest mall and dealing with the crowds and parking frenzy, there are plenty of stores in town to find just what you need. Cooper’s Jewelry has designer collections, and carries a large assortment of engagement rings if you’re thinking of giving that special someone a Christmas gift they’ll cherish forever. For original hand-made items, browse a while in Kreations by Ann, where you’ll find unique clothing, jewelry and handbags. Sports Minded Unlimited is where you can find memorabilia, trading cards and apparel for the sports lover in your life. Edgewood Pharmacy has more than just the usual; their gift boutique carries candles, toys, perfume and many more unexpected finds. That’s a Wrap has you covered when it’s time to wrap those gifts. They have a large section of wrapping paper and Hallmark greeting cards, as well as pre-made and custom made baskets. Also, don’t forget, The Wagner Farm Arboretum will be holding their Holiday Boutique from December 5 through December 21. Here you will be able to find some unique and festive gifts.

Looking for something special and affordable to wear to that holiday party? Vested Interest consignment shop is the right place to shop. Find couture fashions at a price you can afford.

Need to get your home ready for entertaining? Warrenville Hardware has a design center with professionals to help you spruce up your home with new paint, wall coverings, window treatments and more.

With all the festivities around the holidays, many of which include eating, we definitely need to watch our waistlines. One way to do this is by signing up for some classes at Mountain Fitness. They offer yoga, youth fitness classes, and adult running groups, to name just a few. Another way to stay in shape and possibly make some new friends is to check out some of the activities the town is offering, such as adult men’s basketball, and adult co-ed volleyball. Having fun and burning calories at the same time is a great way to keep the pounds off.

If you plan on going away for the holidays and need someone to watch over your animal companions, call on Pet Minders. They will make sure your furry friend is well-taken care of in your own home. They even offer housebreaking services for that new puppy.

As you can see, Warren has a lot to offer, from the historic to the contemporary. So come and take advantage of it all. Happy holidays!

Susan Baldani has a MA in Education and a BA in Psychology. She enjoys writing and in addition to writing articles on small town life, is currently working on her first book. You can contact her at


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