The End of an Era: The Fireplace

Over the last year or so, New Jersey has seen many wonderful businesses close for good. Last year I shared my memories of Rosebud’s in Belleville, which closed forever. The independently-owned pharmacy I used for over a decade closed earlier this year. Now, I am sad to share the news of another closure; The Fireplace of Paramus.

The Fireplace, circa 1965. Source: The Fireplace.

The Fireplace has been a favorite of many since the mid-50s. My husband loved this place. He took me there for the first time in the early 90s when we were dating. Family-run since the beginning, it has been a favorite dinning spot for decades.

Sadly, now it is gone.

The constant barrage of pandemic-related issues over the last 18 or so months just wore down the family. They had no choice. A few days before the end of July, the following post appeared on The Fireplace’s Facebook page.

Source: The Fireplace’s Facebook page.

Fans were shocked and saddened to say the least. On the last day of this great restaurant, people lined up early, as they didn’t know how long they would be open. By 3:00 p.m., they ran out of food. The Fireplace was officially history.

News outlets from all over the tri-state area covered the last day. People reminisced about going with family and friends over the years. A Friday night dinner spot. Burgers after a movie. The memories went on and on.

Now The Fireplace itself is the memory.

I’ve said this in the past and I’ll continue to say it. I know it is tempting to just jump on Amazon and place an order with free two-day shipping. Super Walmart’s are popping up everywhere; and while they create a lot of jobs, they can decimate locally-owned businesses. I’ve been making a concerted effort to avoid Amazon and shop local. Will something cost a dollar or two more? Probably. But remember you are supporting your local community. When your town is running a local breast cancer walk, who are the sponsors? When you go to a little league game, who are the team sponsors and pay for the small billboards in the outfield? Amazon? Nope. Walmart? Hardly. It’s your local diner, hardware store, and pharmacy. Members of your community. Your friends and neighbors.

Shop small.

Eight COVID-19 NJ Resources

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow, New Jersey has been hit hard. Thankfully, our beloved state has started to offer a variety of services for those who have been hard hit by this virus and its subsequent economic slowdown. Additionally, private companies have been quick to offer job opportunities and other programs for our residents.

The trick when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is hard to know what information to trust. Presented here are eight resources for New Jersey residents that are fact-based.

  1. COVID-19 Information Hub: This is the first place you should go for reliable information when it comes to the response from the state. This site includes state resources for those who are out of work and testing information.
  2. New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard: If you want to know where the hot spots are in the state, check out the Dashboard. It is a sad reminder of what is going on, but it important to stay up-to-date on what is happening in your area.
  3. NJSBA COVID-19 Resource Center: The page includes guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Education, National School Boards Association and other organizations, as well as model and sample policies developed by the NJSBA School Policy Service on subjects relevant to the current situation. It is updated regularly regarding what the schools are doing at the district level as well as across the state.
  4. COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal: While many have been laid off or let go from their jobs, there are plenty of organizations that are hiring. This is an official location for companies that are looking to hire – NOW. All the information you need is right here; including companies that are hiring, jobs available, salaries, and locations.
  5. Division of Housing and Community Resources: Do you need help with your rent? Home energy assistance? This is a great starting point to see what you may qualify for and how to get started.
  6. COVID-19 Resources for Consumers: While most people in Jersey are quick to help each other get through a tough time, there are some who just don’t get it. Luckily, the Department of Consumer Affairs is available to keep all the knuckleheads in line. Were you targeted with a scam? Did you go to a small store and saw huge changes in prices for toilet paper? Contact Consumer Affairs and they will investigate the issue.
  7. Coronavirus Information for New Jersey Businesses: If you are a small business owner and need assistance, make sure to reach out to the Business.NJ.gov team. This page starts out answering some general questions and you can even start a conversation with a member of the team if you require additional help.
  8. 211: This is a great resource for just about anything related to New Jersey. While this isn’t a COVID-19-specific resource, it does offer a lot of information on a wide variety of subjects. It is definitely worth a review.

It is also worth mentioning if you are still stuck where to begin, reach out to your local politicians. Whether your district legislator in Trenton or your town mayor, it is important to remember these people work for the residents of New Jersey and are there to help you!

Hopefully this will all be over soon. In the meantime, let’s stick together and remember to #WashYourHands!