Slow and steady wins the race and that’s just fine as changes are starting to take place in Suffern’s business district.
Malandra's Martial Arts is now a martial arts studio and an art gallery as owner Michael Malandra poured more than $12,000 into transforming the front of his location into a high-end gallery showcasing his landscape photography. Malandra hosts Saturday evening meet and greet events in his new space.
2 Anny’s a popular consignment shop has renovated and updated their store in recent months. Business is increasing as shoppers flock to find brand-name bargains at up to 70% off retail.
Taita, which means ‘father’ is a Peruvian restaurant that has opened their doors. After a ribbon-cutting, proprietor Jose Luis and his family served Canchita which are deep fried corn kernels, Jalea which is fried seafood including calamari, Papa a la Huancaina which included a hardboiled egg, potato and a tasty creamy sauce. The food is fresh and is very different with South American roots and Asian influences.
The Lodi, NJ family used to live in Suffern and jumped at the opportunity to take over the former Dona Maria location in order to take advantage of the opportunities that the village offers. In addition to Taita’s Peruvian cuisine, the Village of Suffern now boasts regional Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Continental, Greek, Indian and pub food, all within walking distance.
The Hines Playhouse is slowly being transformed into a collaborative arts space. Beginning in February, Tasiana Nichols, a speech therapist at R.P. Connor Elementary School and a certified Zumba instructor started by offering one class each week. It quickly grew in popularity and she’s up to two classes each week and on the verge of offering more.
World-class guitar builder Chihoe Hahn of Hahn Guitars has relocated from the GAGA Arts Center to a space in the Hines Playhouse. One of the deciding factors was proximity. An Airmont resident, Hahn is thrilled that he can ride his bike to work and become a part of the community with a vibrant downtown.
The Playhouse will be adding Music for Aardvarks classes for children as young as a few months old in June, and has managed to attract other small businesses to use the space periodically.
“In this economy, things are tough and there are many available spaces” said Handy Hardware and Hines Playhouse owner Bill Tarantino, “working with the Chamber president and Ramapo Times owner to bring people into the village and into the space is good for me and good for the village.”
The Rolling Tumbleweeds will be playing acoustic Americana, bluegrass and country on Saturday evening, May 12th at 8:00pm. Admission is $5.00 and for the first time out-they expect it to be a low-key event in order to gauge the response and to see if it’s worth bringing other bands in. The goal is to appeal to a slightly older crowd in order to have people come to Suffern for dinner and then see decent local bands perform.
B-Balls Meatballs, finally opened after a long wait while dealing with various government entities and other delays finally held their grand opening this past Sunday with a band, free hotdogs, t-shirts and glitter tattoos. They feature a deli, pizza and their soon to be famous meatball sandwiches. Try the disco ball hero.
The Suffern Chamber of Commerce is also involved in bringing additional signage into the business district to point visitors and residents alike toward parking and other attractions. The sign locations are being finalized and should be installed within the next few months.
The Chamber is also set to debut their new brochure that promotes the Village of Suffern at their monthly meeting scheduled for 6:30 this evening in the Community room at Village Hall.
“We have worked very hard behind the scenes with business owners and with the Suffern Chamber of Commerce to make meaningful changes” said Deputy Mayor Jo Meegan-Corrigan, “Rome wasn’t built in a day and Suffern won’t be transformed overnight either, but we are making steady progress in the right direction.”
Corrigan has been instrumental in working with Lonergan Drive residents who are still recovering from Hurricane Irene and has headed up many of the Façade program negotiations.