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Bischoff's, the beloved near 90-year-old ice cream shop in Teaneck that closed its doors at the end of 2022, is coming back.Owner Steve Mather and three of his friends are set to launch a pop-up at the Cedar Lane location starting May 29, and afterward, if they're able to raise enough money, they will open a completely rem...
Bischoff's, the beloved near 90-year-old ice cream shop in Teaneck that closed its doors at the end of 2022, is coming back.
Owner Steve Mather and three of his friends are set to launch a pop-up at the Cedar Lane location starting May 29, and afterward, if they're able to raise enough money, they will open a completely remodeled Bischoff's with a new chef and new menu.
“I'm nervous, I’m excited, I’m a little overwhelmed," said Mather, the fourth-generation owner of the shop, which has been in Teaneck for 89 years. The original store was founded in Manhattan by Mather's great-grandfather, Albert Bischoff, in the 1890s.
"It's a huge undertaking," Mather said. "After setting my mind on not doing it anymore, I am dipping my toe back into the pool and hoping it’s not freezing cold."
The idea to reopen was hatched by three of Mather's friends: T.J. Quinn, Edward Pierce and Rony Alvarado. Alvarado, chef and owner of Rony's Rockin' Grill, a funky, award-winning 9-year-old burger joint in Bergenfield, is going to be the restaurant's executive chef.
"Even before the store closed, we wondered, 'How could we do something to revive it?' " Quinn said. "This is the plan we came up with."
The plan is to run a pop-up Wednesday through Sunday with a limited menu until Labor Day — and then a full-on restaurant, one without candy counters ("That will be gone," Quinn said) but with a fryer, its first.
"We never had a fryer in the store," Mather said. "We never had french fries or onion rings. The chocolate would have absorbed the grease. We’re going to do french fries, onion rings, hot dogs, hot turkey sandwiches and God knows what else."
For the pop-up, Alvarado is planning to offer at least two varieties of sliders, a cheeseburger and a special slider with a new sauce and frizzled onions.
"We are going to generate a lot of buzz," Alvarado said. "We want Bischoff's to come back up."
Of course, ice cream will be sold at the pop-up, but Mather said fewer flavors will be offered. Yet he plans to provide specials including ice cream sandwiches, an item that the shop once offered but stopped because they "took too much time and energy to make."
He also plans to try out different toppings for sundaes — caramel, perhaps. "We never had caramel," he said. "We always did butterscotch."
Mather said he spent his time off going to ice cream shops because "I wanted ice cream myself" and to learn about his competition.
He learned, he said, that no place "compared to Bischoff's" and that Bischoff's was "grossly undercharging for our ice cream." He said Bischoff's charged $4 for an 8-ounce dish of ice cream but many places charge $5.75.
"We weren't keeping up with the rising costs of everything," he said.
He said that may have contributed to the shop's undoing.
When Mather closed the store, he said the finances just weren't working. The shop implemented changes in hopes of improving business. It even began accepting credit cards in 2019. And then COVID-19 hit.
"COVID just stuck a knife in our back," he said then.
Mather said he was somewhat taken aback by the outpouring of love the shop got when he announced that it would close last year.
"I always knew people loved it, but maybe I didn’t understand just how much. I mean I didn't think that people would wait three hours in line for two pints of ice cream — and do that in the rain.
"One woman — her name is Charlene — would come every single day of our last three weeks to get sundaes," he continued. "On the last day, she showed me her photo books of her Bischoff's experiences over the years, and the last page was a photo of all the sundaes she had squirreled away for after we close."
Mather said he hopes Bischoff's fans return to the store when it reopens.
"I hope Charlene comes back," he said. "I hope she is not going through withdrawals without the ice cream."
3-minute readAfter a two-year, $7 million restoration project that closed much of the park, the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, a 46-acre nature preserve in the middle of suburbia, is open again to the public.The project was designed to slow the flow of stormwater rushing into the creek from the road, remove the invasive species that had become pervasive throughout the park and reestablish wetlands in the Teaneck Creek Watershed.Officials say they are already seeing some wildlife return to the county park wit...
After a two-year, $7 million restoration project that closed much of the park, the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, a 46-acre nature preserve in the middle of suburbia, is open again to the public.
The project was designed to slow the flow of stormwater rushing into the creek from the road, remove the invasive species that had become pervasive throughout the park and reestablish wetlands in the Teaneck Creek Watershed.
Officials say they are already seeing some wildlife return to the county park with the restoration of the area’s natural ecology.
“We’ve had red-shouldered hawks show up, rusty blackbirds, egrets, kestrels and bluebirds. It’s constant song in here,” said Kathleen Farley, the park’s executive director. “The wildlife is responding already, and the park is just getting started.”
Don Torino, president of Bergen County Audubon, said many of the bird species that are threatened need access to wetlands to survive.
“It’s so valuable to the wildlife. We’re already seeing birds come back that we never saw before,” he said. “To have this kind of habitat in our area is really special.”
Biohabitats, an ecological restoration firm that worked on the project, installed green infrastructure to slow stormwater coming off Teaneck Road and let it gradually seep into the ground, allowing native plants to thrive. Before, water would wash into the park with such force that it eroded the land and carved a deep V-shaped canyon.
A clay liner was installed when the area was slated to become a dump 70 years ago. That plan was never fully realized, but the liner disrupted the park’s ecology.
To restore the wetlands, 51,000 cubic yards of clay were removed. Much of the material was placed in a berm constructed along DeGraw Avenue. The berm has become a vantage point for birders, and as the plants along it grow taller it will block some of the traffic noise from the road, said Adam Strobel, the conservancy board president and the county’s land management director.
Roughly 18,400 cubic yards of debris were also redeposited into the berm. Some of the clay material was taken to a landfill undergoing closure in another section of Overpeck Park, known as Area Four.
Phragmites — tall grasses that could reach up to 20 feet and grew on either side of much of the trails — were taken out, along with other invasive species. A few dozen trees whose roots were embedded in the clay liner also had to be removed, Strobel said.
Native grasses, shrubs and trees were planted in their place. It will take several years before the plants reach their maturity. As a result, the trails, which were bordered with tall phragmites and trees, are now much more open.
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“You used to walk on these trails and felt almost surrounded by these walls,” Strobel said. “You really couldn’t get an appreciation of what was beyond to the left and right of you. Now that’s not the experience.”
The changes were startling for some of the park’s longtime visitors.
“People were surprised. They came in expecting a forested park, but that wasn’t the intent. This is a wetland,” Farley said. "A park this small, in a community, people feel ownership of it. That made it harder in some ways to see the changes.”
In all, about 20 acres of the conservancy were restored. The rest will be managed to make sure the invasive species that remain don’t overtake the native plants.
Before the conservancy was established, the site served as a staging area when Route 80 and the New Jersey Turnpike were built and was an unofficial dumping ground for trash and debris for decades.
The idea to restore the creek as a nature preserve was born in 2001, when Perry Rosenstein, a co-founder of the nearby Puffin Foundation, worked with a group of environmentalists, artists and educators to rescue the neglected piece of land.
Volunteers worked to clear the park of much of the trash, including old refrigerators, car parts and broken concrete. An outdoor classroom, a walkable peace labyrinth and ecological art exhibits were created along 1.3 miles of groomed trails of the park, which is part of Overpeck County Park.
George Reskakis, a volunteer at the park since its beginnings, is hopeful the park will serve as a sanctuary for the animals that have been pushed out of their habitats by encroaching development.
“Unfortunately, humans are the invasive species, as we’ve proved over and over,” he said. “It’s time for us to be better stewards of the land and the environment.”
The conservancy is holding a series of events this month to celebrate the reopening, including nature walks, a woodcarving demonstration, an outdoor storytime with the Teaneck Public Library, a gardening class and plein air painting.
For a full list of events, visit teaneckcreek.org.
Bischoff's, the cherished near 90-year-old ice cream shop in Teaneck that closed its doors at the end of 2022, officially reopened today as a pop-up with a new look, new menu and lots of aspirations.What visitors will see and experience now is just a taste, albeit an exciting and dramatic taste, of what owner Steve Mather and three of his friends envision for the Cedar Lane restaurant when it eventually evolves into a full-on, permanent eatery next spring.Mather and his friends — T.J. Quinn, Rony Alvorado a...
Bischoff's, the cherished near 90-year-old ice cream shop in Teaneck that closed its doors at the end of 2022, officially reopened today as a pop-up with a new look, new menu and lots of aspirations.
What visitors will see and experience now is just a taste, albeit an exciting and dramatic taste, of what owner Steve Mather and three of his friends envision for the Cedar Lane restaurant when it eventually evolves into a full-on, permanent eatery next spring.
Mather and his friends — T.J. Quinn, Rony Alvorado and Edward Pierce, all Teaneck residents — are hoping to raise enough money (they've set up a GoFundMe account) to make their enduring dream come true.
"Right now, it's a palate cleanser," said Mather. "We want to erase what your thoughts of Bischoff's had been and help you imagine what it could be in the future."
From the appearance of the pop-up, which will run Wednesday through Sunday until Labor Day, the future looks very bright.
"When you walked into Bischoff's, it was plain colors," Mather said. "Now, it's like you fell into a paint can."
The walls have been painted with lots of different colors — teal, beige, purple, red. The paint was allowed to drip down the walls, like ice cream melting on a cone. The floors, too, have been painted with a slew of colors. Even the sidewalk outside the front door sports a bright teal rubber mat in a curvy shape, again mimicking ice cream trickling.
"It's a splashy, colorful design inspired by the bright colors of ice cream," said Pierce, a Tony-nominated Broadway set designer who is responsible for the look.
The candy counter is gone. Many of the booths are gone too.
Today there's a "photo wall" wearing a huge heart, with the words "I Love Bischoff's" on it, where customers can snap photos (consider it your "red carpet" moment). Another wall wears a tapestry of sheets of colored paper on which Bischoff's fans wrote their reminiscences when the store was closing. The restaurant has hundreds of them, Pierce said.
"We wanted to capture stories on pieces of paper, document them," Pierce said. In its final weeks of operation, the shop had a stack of papers and colored markers for anyone who wanted to share their stories.
Pierce was among the hundreds of fans devastated when Bischoff announced it was closing.
"It was like a dagger to my chest," he said.
Wanting to save it, he and Quinn proposed to Mather a new, bold concept for Bischoff's — before the store even closed.
"I've been wanting to build a community space for many years," said Pierce, who has lived in Teaneck for 23 years. But he said he never found quite the right fit. However when Bischoff closed, "a bell went off in my head. Bischoff's had the spirit of what I want to see in Teaneck."
Understandably Mather was too overwhelmed at the time to even consider their idea.
Two months later, however, he sat down with Pierce, Quinn and Avorado, chef and owner of Rony's Rockin' Grill, a funky, award-winning 9-year-old burger joint in Bergenfield, and began to hatch out a plan for a new Bischoff's. Avorado agreed to be Bischoff's new chef.
The plan for the permanent Bischoff's admittedly is ambitious. Not only will the restaurant serve its famous home-made ice creams and, thanks to a fryer (the store's first), French fries and onion rings, hot dogs and hot turkey sandwiches and "God knows what else," Mather said, it will also have a stage. The pop-up is serving ice cream and sliders.
"It will be a place where the community can come and express itself," Pierce said. School kids, local musicians, singers, comedians and poets will be able to perform. Events will also be held at the courtyard next door.
And come spring, the 3,000-square-foot space will be transformed again. This time, permanently and this time to look more like the Art Deco ice cream shop it began life as in the 1930s. The original store was founded in Manhattan by Mather's great-grandfather, Albert Bischoff, in the 1890s. It moved to Teaneck 89 years ago.
"When we come back in the spring, it will be all new, but it will look old fashioned," Mather said. "It will be quietly modern, We will have computer ports so that kids from FDU or the high school can do their homework."
There will also be video screens and plenty of spaces for snapping photos to feed your social media accounts.
It will also be taller.
"We found four feet of height hidden behind a dropped ceiling," Pierce said. "There are even old sky lights. It's like an archeological dig."
He added, "Bischoff's is not just a restaurant. It's a place where the community knows to go."
A house in Teaneck that sold for $1.2 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Teaneck in the past week.In total, six residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $678,250. The average price per square foot ended up at $315.The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of June 26 even if the property may have been sold earlier.6. $380,000, condominium at 154 Parkview Drive...
A house in Teaneck that sold for $1.2 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Teaneck in the past week.
In total, six residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $678,250. The average price per square foot ended up at $315.
The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of June 26 even if the property may have been sold earlier.
A sale has been finalized for the condominium at 154 Parkview Drive in Teaneck. The price was $380,000 and the new owners took over the condominium in May. The condo was built in 1974 and the living area totals 1,152 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $330. The deal was finalized on May. 25.
The property at 189 Larch Ave. in Teaneck has new owners. The price was $420,000. The house was built in 1930 and has a living area of 1,320 square feet. The price per square foot is $318. The deal was finalized on May. 23.
The 1,492 square-foot condominium at 15 Carlyle Court in Teaneck has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in May and the total purchase price was $460,000, $308 per square foot. The condominium was built in 1983. The deal was finalized on May. 24.
The sale of the single family residence at 1251 Overlook Ave. in Teaneck has been finalized. The price was $509,500, and the new owners took over the house in May. The house was built in 1950 and has a living area of 1,412 square feet. The price per square foot was $361. The deal was finalized on May. 22.
The 3,125 square-foot single-family residence at 287 Herrick Ave., Teaneck, has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in May and the total purchase price was $1,075,000, $344 per square foot. The house was built in 1910. The deal was finalized on May. 25.
The property at 419 Ogden Ave. in Teaneck has new owners. The price was $1,225,000. The house was built in 1911 and has a living area of 4,392 square feet. The price per square foot is $279. The deal was finalized on May. 25.
Real Estate Newswire is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to generate analysis of data from Propmix, an aggregator of national real-estate data.
Address: 1799 Teaneck Ave, Teaneck, 07666Event Date: 07/01/2023Event Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pmEvent Description:The Red White & Blue Food Truck Festival will take place on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at Teaneck Armory. (A rain date for this event is set for Monday, July 3. This dog-friendly event is from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm. Admission is $5, but kids under 5 can enter for free. ...
Address: 1799 Teaneck Ave, Teaneck, 07666
Event Date: 07/01/2023
Event Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
The Red White & Blue Food Truck Festival will take place on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at Teaneck Armory. (A rain date for this event is set for Monday, July 3. This dog-friendly event is from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm. Admission is $5, but kids under 5 can enter for free. Visit the Just Jersey Fest website to learn more.
Guests can expect 20 gourmet food trucks, live music, activities, and more. Tickets for the event are available on-site. Follow Just Jersey Fest on Facebook for event updates and more details.
Every Just Jersey Fest festival is guaranteed to feature over 20 gourmet food trucks per event. In addition, all festivals are kid friendly and many events are dog friendly as well. (It’s best to check with each event for more info about rules regarding pets.) Other benefits of Just Just Fest Events include craft beer, sangria, and margarita bars. Plus, all events feature either a live band performance or a DJ.
Just Jersey Fest does ask guests to bring their own blankets or chairs, as they do not provide seating. Likewise, they do not permit outside food, drinks, or coolers. (Food and refreshments are available for sale at every event.) Finally, Just Jersey Fest asks all attendees to consider bringing a non-perishable canned or boxed item for donation. These donations are provided to local food pantrys.
Allison Kohler is the president of both Just Jersey Fest and JMK Shows. With over 35 years of experience in event promotion, she is the premier event organizer for food truck festivals. She also organizes the Big Brew Beer Festival, Beer BBQ Bacon Showdown, Taco Palooza, and many other local festivals.
Upcoming Events at Teaneck Armory: