Poll: What store would you like to see downtown?

Most people seem to desperately want a grocery store of some kind to come downtown, so much so that I thought it would be worth its own poll question.

But, other than a grocery store, what other types of choices would you like to see downtown as far as retail or commercial uses? The last time we asked a similar poll question, the blog was in its infancy, so maybe this time we’ll have more robust results

Take our latest poll, on the right-hand side of this page, and feel free to use the comments below to make specific suggestions or explain a vote for “other”:

What kind of store would you like to see downtown?
Art/crafts supply
Bakery/bagel shop
Bar/restaurant
Book/news/magazines
Butcher

Coffee shop
Clothing
Furniture
Liquor store/wine shopSpecialty food store
Other

I’m not sure why all the choice seem to start with the letter B or C, but I aimed to provide enough options — within reason — to make it interesting yet general enough that we didn’t have too many. Obviously, the terms are general enough that they could be open to interpretation (i.e., clothing store; well, that could be kids’ clothing store, women’s clothing, hipster haberdashery, etc.). Perhaps a follow-up poll will go into specifics on the top choice(s) from this poll. Have at it!

21 thoughts on “Poll: What store would you like to see downtown?”

  1. rotten,If you have nothing of value to add to discussions on this blog, please go elsewhere. At least make it agood joke instead of your typical sophomoric, spelling-challenged comments. Thank you.

  2. Given the lack of foot traffic or an anchor store in the downtown area, I think some kind of niche specialty shop would be best. Something that is hard to find, or far away. Something like a homebrew supply store would be good: the nearest ones are in West Orange, Red Bank, and Wayne.

  3. Well said Mark. A homebrew supply store would be awesome! However, the odds of that coming to town are slim to none. I really think a coffee shop (not like a deli or convenience store that sells coffee) would be a place for people to congregate. Right now, there is just no where to go, nothing to do, nowhere to meet in the downtown.

  4. First, if Rotten weren't such a PITA I'd love to him the story about us living in the sex club's old space. But alas, I don't tend to bother with internet trolls.Second, I tend to agree about a coffee shop. It would be really nice to have a place to just relax downtown. I can't tell you how many times we're out and around and want a cup of coffee without having to go sit in a diner or Starbucks. And it would be a great way to meet other locals. Aside from that, I like a lot of the others mentioned. Bakery, butcher, bagels (bagels!!!), art supplies (geez if we're supposed to be an "art town" where ARE the art supplies???). Stores which people actually will go to frequently, daily. We don't need stores such as low quality furniture/clothing. We need stores which will nourish people either in body or soul and contribute to the tapestry of the city in a positive way.

  5. This got me thinking…we do have a bagel shop (on St Georges) and a music store (on Milton). But as one of the earlier posters put it, it's not walkable. Nothing is contiguous. We can't simply move businesses around like pieces on a puzzle, so I suspect it is not possible to foster contiguity on it's own. If I'm remembering my Jane Jacobs correctly, it may be that we simply haven't yet reached the necessary population density. But with all the recently opened or opening residential units, perhaps we do soon.

  6. i would love a steakhouse that has steaks priced from 24 to 65 dollars and the service that is expected from a mid to high end steakhouse. or a sex shop…. just kidding !

  7. a bunch of nice bars wouldnt hurt. make it like hoboken. get some more good restaurants and bars and the night life would be the best around. throw a cool headshop in there somewhere and a clean gourmet coffee place. and how about a nice park with a big ass fountain and chess tables instead of a parking lot ? and obviously a legit food store for our nyc people. i grew up here and have to leave town for a decent dinner. i like the railhouse but thats all we have. these restaurants that keep failing are ghetto and fail to attract people who go out regularly. those of us that know a good restaurant would never go to these places.

  8. I would love an Art/Craft supply store within walking distance. Joann's and AC Moore just don't cut it. I really miss Pearl in Woodbridge since it shut its doors. At this point, to get serious art supplies you have to use the Internet or hop the train into Manhattan.I also wouldn't say no to a quality fabric/fiber/knitting/quilting store, but those haven't been successful in the surrounding areas, either.A coffee shop that has live music in the evenings would be welcome, especially for the people who don't want to hang out in bars.

  9. The bagel store on St. Georges is awful. Any NY'er will agree. Try the bagels in Fanwood; that's the kind we need here. The bagels that are passed off as "good" around this area are pathetic; either small hard rocks or large spongy frisbees. Didn't any of these people ever make it into Brooklyn and taste the real thing?Silent Bob – you have some good points there but a head shop? LMFAO. I'd be all for it, but I think you and I are in the minority on that one. Plus, didn't they outlaw those years ago? (now I"m fondly remembering "Smuggler's Attic" in Woodbridge Mall :D)

  10. BTW, mentioning Fanwood reminds me.We really could use a card shop here, a Hallmark. There is nowhere to get someone a birthday card, a small gift anywhere in town other than going up to CVS or Walgreens. The one in Fanwood is one of the best around; even stocking a nice assortment of food gifts in the back. This is the kind of store which would get daily use from our community. Who doesn't need holiday and birthday cards cards, wrapping paper, a last minute gift, balloons, or a little bag of nicely wrapped chocolates now and then?

  11. Our town needs everything…it's up for grabs. We need unique, one of a kind type shops that can do business both brick&mortar as well as on the internet, increasing sales. What we don't need is negativity so I will not give attention to individuals who are more of the problem than the solution. That said. This town needs to be handed over to the GLBT community to do what we do best: make pretty.If you don't like towns like say, South Beach, New Hope, Provincetown,Rohobeth and to a certain degree Asbury Park…neighborhoods like Chelsea, Harlem, Hells Kitchen,Park Slope, the list goes on and everybody knows what I am talking about.This town needs a gay bar, it needs a club, it needs a coffehouse again but I'm not willing to invest my own personal money into it again but would be happy to coordinate once serious investors in the community step up and put their money where their mouth is: Merck, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, TD Bank- you all do business in this town and while Merck does do some stuff, and RSI does it's fair share, the others are totally absent from investing in this town. Rahway can be a very cool place to live and have fun in….the big projects: hotel, parking garage, theater, new theater, condos and apartments are great; now it's time to dress it up…and nobody does it better than the GLBT community. Rahway has the perfect location, the perfect size, the perfect amount of big and small stores. A co op supermarket (i keep repeating this like a fish oil), antique mall, leather goods, body works, make over store, hat store, couture stores (this is what I mean about brick/mortar as well as internet and delivery to people west of RT22 who may not yet be convinced Rahway is a town to come to). I've been hoping this town would turn around in my lifetime, I haven't given up. Nor should anyone else; but get real- if this became a predominately GLBT run community: we'd be jacked.

  12. @ syvaleah, they are not illegal. in fact one just opened across from rockys on west grand ave a year or two ago. thats not what im talking about though. when i envision a headshop i picture a cool place that has lots of clothes and hacky sacks and such. different kinds of goods that people of that lifestyle enjoy. i remember one out in newton i visited when i was a teenager, the place was cool and i grabbed a beastie boys t shirt that i still own. and not for nothing most artists are into that lifestyle at some level. at least the ones im related too are. it is in a sense a modern/trendy thing to do and i think thats exactly what we need. and like mr. levi said we should embrace the gay community. they have excellent fashion sense !

  13. have you ever gone to vintage vinyl ? that place is cool and that is why its still open. cool is key, just look at mark zuckerberg and facebook !i dont think our councilmen and woman have any idea about being cool !

  14. hey joe i was cruising through some older posts and found a reply that i never responded to. @silent bob…i don't think so, I've driven between Broad and St Georges many times and I think I prevail lolol. What I don't understand is there is/was a program in Union County and Rahway for 2 family homes; you could get a $25,000 grant and then a $25,000 loan, at zero interest and you didn't have to pay it back until you sold your house, and I think you had to stay in the house a certain amount of time….well having a four family, i thought I'd be eligible for it too, nope! It was for siding, windows, etc. According to my brain if a 2 family got 25K why wouldn't a 4 family get 50K or AT LEAST the 25. I get charged at commercial rates for everything, fall under state inspections the same as a HOTEL, but I get no benefits. So NOT fair. I could do a lot with that money on that eyesore!!reply= i have a two family that desperately needs siding. rahway has a loan program for such instances but in order to qualify you cant make more than something like %125 of the city average. the city average is something like 50 grand so im shot. what a joke. fixing up old homes is not cheap. people who make 50 or less have no business even attempting such things.

  15. @silent bob,hopefully I'm getting some cash and I can fix up my house. I have a dream lol. If not I'm thinking of going for corporate sponsorship and use my house like Starr Jones used her damn wedding LMFAO!

  16. In order to fix down town you first need to clean out city hall I know you don't trust me bet I'm telling the truth and sometimes the truth you know. its friend and family ridden.

  17. It's odd that in a town with an Arts District has no art supplies retailer. We haul our butts up to Jerry's Artarama in West Orange (usually in conjunction with a Whole Foods run). It's one of those scenarios whereas if I had a million dollars…

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