SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Walking into South Orange’s Village Hall — now a swanky new restaurant — at its grand opening Nov. 2 was like walking into your childhood home after many years away. While the atmosphere had changed, the bones of the building were still there. The room where the South Orange Board of Trustees used to meet retains its wooden banister, high ceiling and dark wood molding.
The new event space features many rooms, just as the old Village Hall once sported many side rooms, and nooks and crannies. There is a large bar area, restaurant seating, room for dancing, space for dinner parties, a beer garden and even an old-fashioned tavern. With both indoor and outdoor seating areas, Landmark Hospitality, the redeveloper, took full advantage of what the site had to offer, all while keeping an eye to the enduring history of Village Hall.
The mood at the grand opening was ebullient and triumphant, with officials and community members from South Orange and Maplewood admiring the new venue. As guests enjoyed food and drink, they were entertained by jugglers, stilt walkers and more, evoking a carnival-esque air.
Photos by Yael Katzwer