SHE Boutique offers area a women a taste of contemporary trends on Halsey Street

business cardSurrounded by new restaurants, businesses and ongoing construction, Halsey Street is a microcosm of Newark’s growth potential. The street is located in one of the city’s most desirable locations and serves as a prime area for economic and cultural growth. For SHE Boutique owners Tina Owugah and Lanel Lundy-Pascal, a window on Halsey street serves as an introduction of their brand to the blooming city.  

With a 25 year friendship between them, Owugah, a clinical trial head at Novartis pharmaceuticals, and Lundy-Pascal, a former executive secretary at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are match made in small business heaven. Both women had the itch to start a business, but couldn’t decide on what to do.

“My partner [Lundy-Pascal] and I had been thinking about opening a business for a while, but we weren’t sure what to do, until this opportunity just fell in our laps,” said Owugah.

Prior to SHE Boutique becoming a reality, 83 Halsey street was home to Luxe Boutique, a women’s consignment clothing store. Owugah, who patronized the braiding store below her current location, was intrigued when she encountered the store boarded up on more than one occasion.

“I have been taking my kids to the braid shop here for  years. And one day, I came to visit and I asked ‘What’s going on with the boutique upstairs, why is it always closed?’” said Owugah.

“I asked the landlord to call me, and he said that they were in the process of moving the former tenant out. I said as soon as that’s sorted out, please call me. Just knowing the construction that was going on, with Prudential and the growth on Halsey Street and the growth in Newark, period, especially in the downtown area, the space was perfect,” she continued.

Decorated with a plush zebra skin rug and racks of figure-hugging dresses and custom-made ankara ensembles, SHE Boutique posits itself as the fashion destination for anyone looking for original clothing pieces from local Newark designers, as well as affordable, trend-driven contemporary options.

After a seven-month wait for the former occupant to completely vacate the location, Owugah and Pascal-Lundy were tasked with making SHE Boutique the destination it is now in a very short time.

“It took us literally like two months to kind of get in here paint, do what was necessary, like get some equipment and supplies, get things going, promote, and open.” said Owugah.

In nine months, the location quickly transformed from a space in transition to a fully stocked clothing boutique and fashion destination.

In addition to serving as a boutique, sometimes Owugah and Lundy-Pascal transform the Halsey location into a miniature runway to promote local designers like Anthony Eastwick and Bariel Dean. The owners plan to expand the store, but not in the way most will expect from a fashion boutique. SHE, which is also an acronym for Spiritual Healing and Empowerment, moonlights as a women’s group that aims to work with women “from the inside out”.

According to a statement released by the owners, fashion is only the beginning of SHE boutique’s journey.

“We want to not only be a boutique, but also a very strong presence in the community that offer promotions and special events to help uplift and support all women.”

SHE boutique is located on  83 Halsey St. Newark, NJ. For more, visit their Instagram page.

Newark History Society will hold opening reception for 350th anniversary exhibition

newark celebration 350 cardThe Newark History Society has announced the opening reception for an exhibition entitled Newark at 350: Settlement, Growth, Renewal and the launch of the program series Newark Lifetimes: Recollections & Reflections. The reception will take place Tuesday, January 19th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Newark Public Library.

The Settlement, Growth, Renewal exhibit is curated by Thomas Ankner, a professional genealogist and librarian of the Charles F. Cummings Information Center at the Newark Public Library, and traces Newark’s history from its founding 350 years ago to the present the day.

The Newark Lifetimes series will feature local author and historian Guy Sterling in conversation with several notable Newarkers, including attorney Donald Karp, who also once served as vice chairman of Independence Community Bank and chairman and CEO of Broad National Bank, and Dr. Victor Parsonnet, who pioneered cardiovascular procedures here in New Jersey.

Those who plan to attend the opening are encouraged to RSVP to

Duke’s Southern Table introduces packed calendar of live performances for January and new cocktail menu

things to do cardLook no further than Duke’s Southern Table for no less than three jazz performances per week this January and on an ongoing basis. The upscale restaurant featuring southern cuisine downtown Newark recently published its jazz calendar for the month, and has also issued a call for singers to perform at its open mic night, to be hosted by James Gibbs and the Brick City Soul Collective on the first Wednesday of every month from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

The cover charge for the performances is $5. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday brunch performances begin at 1 p.m. (Pictured above: Lot on 7th Quartet)

And if that weren’t enough, the restaurant has also debuted a new cocktail menu for the new year. Scroll down to see what they’re shaking up.

January schedule

Wednesday, January 6th, 7 p.m. – Open Mic Night hosted by James Gibbs and the Brick City Soul Collective

Friday, January 8th, 7 p.m. – Vincent Ector

Saturday, January 9th, 7 p.m. – Janet Van Kline

Sunday, January 10th, 1 p.m. – Don Williams

Friday, January 15th, 7 p.m. – Pat van Dyke

Saturday, January 16th, 7 p.m. – Jeff Hackworth

Sunday, January 17th, 1 p.m. – Lot on 7th Quartet

Friday, January 22nd, 7 p.m. – Matt Chertkoff

Saturday, January 23d, 7 p.m – Walter Christopher

Sunday, January 24th, 1 p.m. – Charlie Apicella

Friday, January 29th, 7 p.m. – Andrae Murchison

Saturday, January 30th, 7 p.m. – Craig Brann

Sunday, January 31st, 1 p.m. – Brian Charette

New cocktail menu

drink specials

NJPAC will host an eclectic celebration of Kwanzaa featuring performances and artisan markets this weekend

holiday cardThe New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the schedule for their 2015 Kwanzaa celebration, featuring a day of free activities and family-oriented performances on Saturday, December 19 from noon to 5:00 pm. The celebration looks to honor the rich and vibrant heritage of Newark’s African-American community.

The festivities will include a variety of programming that honor the African diaspora’s traditions of family, community and culture, including an array of no-experience-necessary workshops exploring African dance and music, storytelling, jewelry making, drumming and more for both adults and children. An Arts and Crafts Village will be open all day, and the Artisan Marketplace will offer one-shop shopping for holiday gifts.

NJPAC will also present a lively line-up of performances from talented area youths singing seasonal classics, marches, and gospel, including appearances by The NJPAC Youth Chorus, The NYC Marching Cobras, The Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts Middle School Concert Choir and The National Liturgical Dance Network.

Other highlights of NJPAC’s Kwanzaa festivities will include their annual Tribute to the Elders, honoring three pillars of the Newark community: Earl “Street Doctor” Best, founder of Street Warriors Inc.; Deborah Smith Gregory, retired Newark Public School teacher and NAACP Newark Chapter President; and Stanley Terrell, former Star-Ledger editor, author and journalist.

The day will also feature two performances at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in NJPAC’s Victoria Theatre from the acclaimed Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, joined by their special guest, the acclaimed poet and author Sonia Sanchez.

“Kwanzaa is an African-American tradition that focuses on family, so we are understandably excited to be able to invite you and your family to join us at NJPAC for a Kwanzaa Celebration that serves as part of Newark’s 350th Anniversary Celebration,” said Junius Williams, chair of Newark Celebration 350 and the director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University.

Schedule of Events

Artisan Marketplace
Friday, December 18
Saturday, December 19 – 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sunday, December 20 – Noon to 10:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Prudential Hall Lobby

Kwanzaa Children’s Festival
Saturday, December 19 – Noon to 5:00 pm
At NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education (24 Rector Street in Newark)

FREE Performances in Prudential Hall Lobby

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm: NJPAC Youth Chorus led by NJPAC Faculty, Pastor Chantel Wright

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm: NYC Marching Cobras led by Director Terrel J. Stowers

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Folilaye African Drum & Dance Company; Foluso Mimy, Artistic Director

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm: Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts Middle School Concert Choir directed by Jean James

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm: National Liturgical Dance Network

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre: Kwanzaa Celebration with special guest, poet Sonia Sanchez

2:00 PM & 7:30 PM in NJPAC’s Victoria Theatre

Celebrate Kwanzaa with this daringly theatrical company, which combines the element of modern dance, traditional West African dance, ballet, hip-hop, and even martial arts. Visually inventive and creatively brilliant, the multi-ethnic dancers and drummers of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre perform one-on-a-kind programs that are “sizzling…nothing short of sensational, “ says The Washington Post. For tickets: call 888.GO.NJPAC(888.466.5722); online at; or in person at the NJPAC ticket office.


Newark Museum publishes schedule for the December 2nd Sunday program

The Newark Museum Second Sunday program features lectures, performances, artist-led tours, art and science demonstrations and workshops, music, and a special brunch menu. The day runs from noon to 5 p.m. and all events are free with admission unless otherwise noted.

The December 13 event will celebrate the holidays and the exhibitions The Shape of Light: Gabriel Dawe, Outside the Lines: Color Across the Collections and Chromatics: Minimalism and Color Field Experiments.

Program highlights include:

  • Brunch, catered by David Ellis Events, noon – 2 pm. Reservations are required; admission is $19.75 for full buffet brunch and $9.75 for continental breakfast. For tickets, call 973.596.6553.
  • Creative Play children’s activities, 1, 2, & 3 pm. Children will discover how jewelry comes full circle by visiting Jewelry: From Pearls to Platinum to Plastic then using up-cycling materials to make their own bling.
  • A Season of Miracles, featuring The Pushcart Players, 1:30 pm. A collection of holiday stories from different cultures designed to encourage new perspectives about the true meaning and spirit of the holiday season. Set to music by Tony-Award winner Larry Hochman.  Scenes within the play include O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi,” E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker,” “The Kwanzaa Kite,” an original tale by Ruth Fost, set in Nigeria; and a Chelm story, “The Chanukah Miracle.”
  • Newark Museum through the Eyes of Gallery Aferro Artists, 2pm. Ken Weathersby, Gallery Aferro Artist in Residence tours the Museum and talks about what inspires him and the ways that works in the collection impact his own work as a painter who finely crafts and reshuffles the given parts of painting – surface, stretcher, canvas, linen and sometime collage.
  • The Yuletide Carolers, 3 pm. Dressed in their Victorian finery, nothing captures the magic of the holidays like a performance by the Yuletide Carolers singing traditional carols, children’s favorites and popular Christmas songs.
  • Performance by jazz vocalist Antoinette Montague: 3 pm. Internationally recognized, born and raised in Newark, Montague brings her voice to the halls of the Museum, accompanied by pianist Danny Mixon.
  • Conversation with Artist Odili Donald Odita and Curator Christa Clarke, 4pm. Philadelphia artist Odili Donald Odita, featured in Outside the Lines, discusses his vibrant, large-scale abstract works his use of color in the context of issues of race and  society.

For further information, visit

Newly renovated 494 Broad Street revealed to the downtown Washington Park business district

real estateFidelco Realty Group joined Mayor Ras Baraka, and other county, state and city officials, and community leaders to celebrate the addition of 10 stories – including 650 parking spaces, two additional stories for Cablevision’s call center, 4,500 square feet of future retail space, and a renovated lobby — at 494 Broad Street.

The renovation is the most recent project of Fidelco Realty Group’s ongoing renewal projects in the Washington Park market, which they hope to convert into a vibrant commercial, retail and residential destination. The cost of the new building and renovations of the existing structure totaled more than $60 million and includes participation in the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program through the NJEDA; New Market Tax Credits provided by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, New Jersey Community Capital, City Scape Capital; and financing from U.S. Bank.

“494 Broad Street is a critical location contributing to the ongoing growth and vibrancy of Newark’s downtown Washington Park business district,” said Marc E. Berson, chairman of Fidelco Realty Group. “With the New Jersey Transit Broad Street Station, Newark Museum, Newark Public Library, Rutgers Business School, 1 Washington Park office tower, and multiple light rail stops as neighboring assets, potential tenants from near and far are looking at the North Broad Street area of Newark as an ideal location for their business.”

494 RearThe façade of the existing six-story office building has undergone complete resurfacing – replacing existing marble with black granite panels, and adding black awnings around the bases of the building with additional exterior lighting and signage.

“We are proud of Fidelco Realty Group’s work and the 494 Building Extension project. Fidelco has been an outstanding corporate partner in Newark’s growth and development, and this project will bring jobs and economic strength to Newark,” Mayor Baraka said.

Bordered by the Newark Broad Street station, Riverfront Stadium, Rutgers Business School, Washington Park and Fidelco Realty Group’s flagship property – the 1 Washington Park office tower – the building was originally constructed by Mutual Life in the 1960s, and was designed by the architectural firm Frank Grad & Sons.

“Newark’s Washington Park district is a diverse and flourishing area that is rich in history and filled with cultural, educational and business opportunities. The addition of the newly renovated and expanded 494 Broad Street will further strengthen the area, create jobs and contribute to the vitality of the City,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said.

The building now provides a home to a Genova Burns, Cablevision, Fidelco Newark, Leadership Newark, Martini 494 Bistro, Newark Trust for Education, NJ Seeds, and Rutgers University, among other tenants.

Blaze Pizza will open downtown this Thursday, offer free pies on Friday

Just on the heels of the opening of BURG in Military Park, the new Blaze Pizza location is following suit with its opening downtown Newark this coming Thursday, November 19th. To commemorate the launch, Blaze will be offering free build-your-own artisanal pies on Friday, November 20th from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. to those who follow the restaurant on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Two weeks ago, the same day as BURG’s public launch and President Barack Obama’s visit, Blaze Pizza’s staff could be seen training inside the facility. And beginning last week, the location’s outdoor sign has been illuminated at night, and the flame from its signature oven could be seen from outside.

Now this week, the location will finally open its doors, making it the third “Shoppes on Broad Street” opening in recent months, after the Starbucks and the Nike Factory Store.

As we reported previously, Blaze Pizza is a California-based franchise that features $8 coal-fired pizza pies, plus salads and desserts. The restaurant will offer seating for 80 people. Blaze Pizza is located at 691 Broad Street, across the street from Military Park. It will be the fourth location opened in New Jersey in just one year: Paramus opened last November, followed by Willowbrook in March and Clark in August.

Halsey Street’s Artisan Collective shop looks to community to help boost their business operations

The eclectic, women-owned Artisan Collective shop on Halsey Street celebrated their three year anniversary earlier this year. Now they’re looking for the community’s assistance to help them expand their offerings and connect with more customers.

The shop, founded by four artists and a sommelier, recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a new e-commerce website, expand their product line, and step up their marketing in support of existing products and events, which include gifts, art, wine tastings, craft classes, and open mic events. In addition, Artisan Collective will purchase tools and supplies for each of the shop’s partners that are specific to enhancing their individual crafts.

Artisan Collective offers handcrafted products, including everything from soy candles and bath products to clothing and jewelry. In addition to their commitment to offering quality crafts, the shop’s partners are also committed localists.

The Collective is looking to raise $3,000, and is offering rewards in exchange for various giving levels:

  • $10: Shout Out! You will receive a Shout Out on Facebook and Twitter.
  • $25: Helper. You will receive a 10% discount that can be used toward your total purchase.
  • $50: Friend. You will receive a soy candle and Whatever Sac.
  • $75: Special Someone. You will receive a Whatever Sac and a Sew What Bag.
  • $125: Artisan Collector I. You will receive your choice of an original handcrafted Artisan Collective gift item valued up to
  • $175: Artisan Patron. AC Patron card for admission to ALL Sipper’s Delight and Crack the Mic monthly Wine Tasting and Open Mic events (valid Jan – Dec 2016).
  • $250: Artisan Collector II. Same terms and conditions as Artisan Collector I for merchandise up to $250 in value.

Video: Newark EDC honcho Otis Rolley discusses his urban planning philosophy

video cardIn a recent video produced by cultural news website CivicStory, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation CEO Otis Rolley discussed his approach to urban planning, and the progress he thinks the city will make within the next decade.

“What I love about urban planning is that it provides you with an opportunity to deal with challenges from a comprehensive approach,” he says while seated in Military Park. The end goal of urban planning, he said, is to think comprehensively about “how you can have a successful city.”

And at the end of the day, said Rolley, investment in people provides the greatest return.

“You can spend billions of dollars in a structure, in a park,” he says, amidst shots of Military Park and the Prudential Tower, “but if you approach that investment [by asking] what is the net benefit or return on investment to the humans the families in and around that area, you’re going to see the greatest return.”

He continued: “As we bless and enrich our people, the city [and] the state, get rich as well.”

Rolley then pivoted to discuss the progress he predicts the city will make in the coming years. “In the next five to ten years, we’re going to be a vanguard city,” he said citing educational institutions’, business leaders’, and the arts sectors’ investment in the city’s success as a key indicator. “They all see this as ‘our Newark, our city'” said Rolley.

“It is very much an international city,” Rolley insisted. “That diversity is part of our strength.”

“If you love to eat, if you love art and culture, and if you love entertainment, wherever you live, move. And come here,” he said.

Watch the full video below:

Video reposted with permission from

Newark Museum names Deborah Kasindorf Deputy Director in charge of marketing and fundraising

Newark Museum has brought on a new executive team member to help position the museum as a top cultural institution, and continue raising the money to fund their strategic objectives.  Newark Museum Director and Chief Executive Officer Steven Kern announced the appointment of Deborah Kasindorf as Deputy  Director of Institutional Advancement, effective yesterday.

“I’m pleased to welcome Deborah to the Newark Museum’s leadership team,” Kern said. “I have great confidence that her depth of knowledge in marketing, advertising and fundraising will serve the museum well, as we work to grow support for the extraordinary exhibitions and educational programs that we bring to the community.”

In her new position, Kasindorf will be responsible for the management of the institution’s fund raising and marketing departments, which include development, membership, public relations, special events, public Programs, publications and the gift shop.

“I’m looking forward to joining such an impressive team and helping this prestigious institution continue to grow and serve its communities,”  Kasindorf said.

Prior to joining the Newark Museum, Kasindorf was the Director of External Relations at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. In this capacity, she was responsible for the generation of all ticket revenues, contributed income and marketing programs for the Theatre, which is one of the most prominent venues for young audiences in the country. Previously, she served as a trustee on the theatre’s board before joining the staff.

Additionally, she was Vice President of Hydrogen Advertising, where she led account management and strategic planning for all clients. She also worked in several capacities at Starbucks Coffee Company, most recently as Marketing Director of U.S. Promotions, where she developed marketing strategies and led cross functional teams.

A former Seattle resident now living in New Jersey, Kasindorf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, CA.