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The big New Jersey bag ban

Effective Wed May 4, the State of New Jersey will restrict the types of bags and containers that retail stores and food-service establishments may provide to their customers.

The goal of the ban, which is the product of years of negotiations and compromises and was approved by the legislature in November 2020, is to cut down on litter that inundates New Jersey’s beaches and riverfronts.


  • On and after Wed May 4, plastic carry-out bags can no longer be given out or sold in any store or restaurant. Exception: Plastic tote bags with stitched handles.
  • Paper bags cannot be given out in supermarkets or big-box stores that have grocery sections.
  • Polystyrene foam food containers, including clamshell boxes and coffee cups, can no longer be given out. Plastic straws? Available only upon request.


Q: I have a stash of plastic bags. Can I take my own plastic bags to shops and restaurants after May 4?
A: Yes (unless the establishment has its own rules).

Q: What if I’m buying clothing or housewares? Will I have to bring my own bags?
A: It depends on the store. The plastic bag ban applies to all stores regardless of what they sell. The paper bag ban applies only to supermarkets. Department stores, clothing boutiques, electronics stores, and similar establishments can still give out paper bags if they wish.

Q: I get my groceries delivered, or pick them up, curbside. What will my groceries be packed in?
A: That depends on the supermarket. (But one thing is for sure: Your groceries will not be in plastic or paper bags.)

Q: Can I pay a supermarket to give me a plastic or paper bag?
A: No.

Q: Will I still be able to buy plastic garbage bags?
A: Yes.

Q: What kinds of plastic bags are exempt?
A: Meat department, produce, and deli bags. Pet store, dry cleaning, pharmacy, and newspaper bags.

Q: Can I put old plastic bags in my recycling bin, for pickup at the curb?
A: No. (Plastic bags can get caught in sorting machines, causing a recycling plant’s entire operation to temporarily shut down while workers remove them.)

Q: Then where can I recycle old plastic bags in Haddonfield?
A: At the Acme. The supermarket will continue to have a bag bin just inside its entrance door, so customers can dispose of old bags.

Q: How will I be able to take leftovers home, after dining in a restaurant?
A: The ban applies only polystyrene foam (“Styrofoam”) food containers, plates, hot/cold beverage cups, meat/vegetable trays, cutlery, and egg cartons. The ban does not apply to hard plastic containers. Environmentally conscious restaurateurs may choose to use biodegradable cartons.


Q: Where can I read the law?

Q: Where can I get more information?
A: Here: [email protected] and 609-984-4250.

Click HERE to link to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection website for this issue.

Denim departs. Wanda waltzes in.

Denim BYOB, a restaurant at the rear of 116 Kings Highway East, is closing. Owner Dave Murray has arranged for Anthony Lipot, formerly of Braddock’s Tavern (Medford) and The Black Swan (Princeton), to take over the space. He will open Wanda BYOB early in April.

READ ALL ABOUT IT — HERE, courtesy of Matt Skoufalos and

Last chance to enter Window Display Contest

Voting in the Halloween Window Display Contest, sponsored by Haddonfield Today, will end at 5pm on Sunday (November 1).

The goal of the contest is to help drive foot traffic to the downtown and into stores and restaurants.

The store that gets the most votes will win advertising in Haddonfield Today. But one lucky shopper (voter) will win as well – a Trick-or-Treat bag filled with $475 in gift certificates from the 19 participating businesses:

  • A Little Whimsy 
  • Ahead of the Pack
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Haddonfield Donut Company
  • Haddonfield Fine Jewelers
  • Haddonfield Floral
  • Haddonfield Theater Arts Center
  • Happy Hippo Toys
  • Home on Haddon
  • Inkwood Books
  • Jay West Bridal
  • Maison Marcelle
  • Melange Boutique
  • Meserall Vision and Hearing
  • Mirano’s Barber Shop
  • Norris Barber Company
  • Pizza Crimine
  • Sweet T’s Bakeshop
  • The Paper Trail

Stop by these stores to check out their window displays. Note that some have embraced the “Haddyween” theme by incorporating dinosaurs into their displays.

To vote, scan the QR code on the poster in the windows of participating stores. (Note that you need to be age 18 or older to participate, and that you are limited to one entry per email address.)

A prehistoric twist on Halloween

A number of Haddonfield businesses and community organizations are working together to provide local residents and downtown shoppers with a new twist on Halloween, and a fun and safe way to enjoy the holiday.

It’s “Haddyween” and it will offer a variety of activities and events from Saturday, October 10 thru Sunday, November 1. Many will incorporate not only traditional Halloween imagery but also the town’s beloved Hadrosaurus foulkii sculpture, “Haddy.”

Haddyween will kick off on Saturday (October 10) at the Farmers Market, where Haddonfield residents will be able to pick up supplies for making scarecrows. During the following week, members of the Markeim Arts Center will set up scarecrow displays throughout the town, with a goal of having all displays in place by Friday, October 16.

Haddonfield Today will sponsor a window display contest for Haddonfield businesses, from Friday, October 16 thru Sunday, November 1. Downtown shoppers will be able to vote for their favorite Haddyween window display, and one lucky shopper will win a Trick-or-Treat bag of gift cards contributed by participating businesses. The business that gets the most votes will win free advertising in Haddonfield Today.

Two Halloween-themed scavenger hunts are under way, one sponsored by the Historical Society and the other by the Allison Nagle Team of RE/MAX One Realty. Information and materials will available at the Farmers Market on Saturday, October 10, 9am to 12n. Note: This will be the last day of the Farmers Market’s 2020 season.

Toys and Books: Happy HippoToys will have a wide variety of dinosaur-themed toys on display and available for purchase. (Stay tuned for news of an appearance by a friendly dinosaur on the corner of Kings Highway East and Haddon Avenue.) Also, visit Inkwood Books for dinosaur and Halloween-themed reading fun.

DiBartolo’s new European-style patisserie – opening soon right in the center of the downtown — will be baking up something special for Haddyween.

Special photo opportunities for families will be available at the Haddy sculpture throughout the period of the promotion. On October 31, the sculptor himself will be in attendance. From 11am, John Giannotti will share personal stories about the creation of the bronze sculpture.

King’s Road Brewery will feature a Haddy-themed beer for the occasion. “Hadrosaur Hop Giant” will be released on Saturday, October 31. After the sun goes down, King’s Road will screen Jurassic Park on the wall of their outdoor beer garden (weather permitting).

Haunted Haddonfield Tours: A local authority on haunting and the haunted will lead the Historical Society’s Haunted Haddonfield Tours this October. Bill Meehan will conduct tours on Fridays, October 16, 23, and 30 and Saturdays, October 17, 24, and 31. A rain date is planned for Sunday, November 1. Tickets are $15 ( $10 for children 12 and under). Proceeds benefit both the Historical Society and the Public Library. Tickets must be purchased online, HERE.  

Learn more about Haddyween and other fun events at Open South Jersey.

New business open; others move, expand

“While 2020 hasn’t quite turned out the way we anticipated,” the Partnership for Haddonfield noted in a recent news release, “it has not stopped businesses from locating and expanding in Downtown Haddonfield.”

The Partnership’s retail recruiter, Remi Fortunato, commented: “Earlier this year, we welcomed new businesses and expansions of current businesses in our Downtown. I am thrilled to announce that, even with the challenges of 2020, we are continuing to see new businesses choose Downtown Haddonfield as their home and some of our existing tenants announce the expansion of their spaces.”

The Partnership, which is the management corporation for the Haddonfield’s business improvement district, provided the following list of businesses that are new (some yet to open), have moved to new locations, or have expanded at their existing locations.


A Little Whimsy 136 Kings Highway East — A children’s boutique.

A Pair of Jacks Collectibles 9 South Haddon Avenue — Offering antiques and collectibles – something for everyone!

All Smoke and Mirrors Hair Studio 69 Ellis Street — One of Downtown Haddonfield’s newest self-care salons.

BodyBlast Personal Training 7 North Haddon Avenue — BodyBlast Personal Training gives clients the right mix of strength, power, and functional training to achieve a specific goal. Even while you’re stuck at home, you can get BodyBlast Personal Training’s easy-to-follow training and nutrition programs and online coaching.

Button Shy Games 6½ Kings Highway East — Button Shy is an independent, family-owned, small publisher of wallet games that does things a little bit differently.

The Creative Shutter Photography 138 Kings Highway East, Suite 103 — Specializing in family, children’s portraits, custom cake smashes, engagement, weddings, and boudoir.

Crepe N Shake 472 North Haddon Avenue — Delicious crepes and shakes are making their way to Downtown Haddonfield!

Crust N’ Fire 51 Kings Highway East — Offering authentic brick oven pizza, burgers, salads, health bowls, and more!

Diana Alexis Dance Academy 421 North Haddon Avenue — Providing instruction on current styles of dance along with the classical training that is needed to thrive as a dancer. Also offering a variety of ballet classes for every level.

DiBartolo Bakery 115 Kings Highway East — DiBartolo Bakery, founded in 1969, serves the finest cakes & pastries while specializing in modern cake creations, and delivers old-school customer service. They also offer a full line of gluten-free and nut-free products.

Endless Smiles Photography 12 South Haddon Avenue — Portrait photography studio specializing in newborn, maternity, first birthday, family, and milestone sessions.

Mia’s Meals Falafel Bar 3 South Haddon Avenue — Mia’s Meals is a home-based meal prep service.

Morgan’s Cookie Crush 123 Kings Highway East — Discover a love for cookies at this new food/beverage boutique!

Norris Barber Company 53 Kings Highway East — Offering a line of clothing, accessories, jewelry, hair and beard products, home décor, and of course, haircuts and straight shaves.

Pizza Crimine 139 Kings Highway East — Pizza this good should be a crime!

Sugarlove Studio 40 Tanner Street, Suite 1 — Photography studio specializing in newborns and mamas-to-be, as well as children and families. Work can be done either in Downtown Haddonfield studio or on location using natural light.

William Heritage Winery Tasting Room 127 Kings Highway East — Wine tasting room offering an intimate version of the William Heritage Winery estate tasting room. The entire portfolio of award-winning wines will be available for purchase on location.

The Bread Board Plus (Expanding) 605 North Haddon Avenue, Suites A, B, C — Proudly serving Haddonfield for 35 years, The Bread Board Plus is expanding! A charming café offering cold and hot sub sandwiches plus all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar. The family-friendly shop will now occupy Suites A, B, and now C at its location on Haddon Avenue.


Haddonfield Theater Arts Center 33 Kings Highway East — With the need for social distancing, Haddonfield Theater Arts Center is going to necessary lengths to ensure the safety of its students and staff, and thus will be expanding to a larger location within the Downtown for this upcoming season.

Inkwood Books 106 Kings Highway East — Downtown Haddonfield’s full-service, independent seller of new books has moved across the street to an expanded location. Offering online orders with choice of curbside pickup or delivery.

Meraki Market 140 Kings Highway East — Offering affordable and unique home decor, gifts, plants, and crystals. Design services also available.

The Nail Café 413 North Haddon Avenue — The Nail Café moved to a new location on Haddon Avenue in Downtown Haddonfield!


Garaguso Classical Martial Arts 16 North Haddon Avenue — Haddonfield’s premier classical martial arts academy is expanding!

In The Kitchen Cooking School 10 Mechanic Street — In its original location, In The Kitchen now offers event rental space, and incubator space for small business start-ups.

Valente’s Cucina 7 Kings Court — Valente’s Italian Specialties is transforming from an Italian market into an Italian Restaurant – Valente’s Cucina. Still in its original location, Valente’s Cucina will be transforming into a BYOB restaurant offering outdoor dining.

The Partnership for Haddonfield thanks all who have shown support to the businesses by shopping online, purchasing online gift certificates, taking part in virtual experience classes, or choosing curbside pick-up, take-out or delivery from our business establishments. 

For more information visit

Villa Rosa to close

The owners of Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant at 51 Kings Highway East announced on Friday (August 14) that they will close their business on Sunday.

The restaurant operated at the top end of Kings Highway, adjacent to the Speedline, for several decades, before moving to its present location two years ago.

“After 33 years of serving our amazing communities,” the owners wrote on their Facebook site on Friday afternoon, “we are saddened to announce that tomorrow, Saturday August 15, will be our last day in business.

“Due to the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close. This Pandemic has really hit our business hard, and as hard as we tried to stay afloat, some things just aren’t meant to be. Thank you to all of our guests for your loyalty & for keeping us in business for so many years. You have all become family to us! We will miss you all! But it’s time to search for new horizons & see what the future has in store for us. We appreciate everyone’s support during these hard times.”

Fans of the restaurant responded in droves, with the result that the restaurant ran out of dough to make pizza. “We want to thank EVERYONE who came out today or called in to show your support! We’re sorry if we couldn’t take care of all of you today; we got slammed with orders, BUT we will be open all day Saturday from 11am-11pm.” the owners wrote on Facebook.

One fan – Alex Kadar – set up a GoFundMe site, with a goal of raising $100,000.

READ MORE: “Last Bites: Haddonfield Bids Farewell to Villa Rosa After 32 Years” by Matt Skoufalos for

Gracie’s owner seriously injured in fall

A GoFundMe campaign was launched today to provide financial assistance for the family of Anthony Maniscalco, co-owner with his wife Nancy of Gracie’s Water Ice & Ice Cream, in Kings Court.

The appeal states: “Anthony Maniscalco, husband of Nancy and owner of Gracie’s Ice Cream in Haddonfield fell down the stairs and has brain damage. He is currently on life support. We are raising money to support the family through this very difficult time.”

The campaign was set up by Marcello De Feo who owns and operates Valente’s Cucina, next to Gracie’s. Its goal is $5,000.

Just six hours after it was launched, the total stood at more than $1,800.

To contribute, go HERE.

Summer Sale: From sidewalks to the street

The following is derived from a statement sent to members of the business community by the Commissioners and the Partnership for Haddonfield on Wednesday, July 22.

The Board of Commissioners and the Partnership for Haddonfield are excited to announce that the 2020 Super Summer Sale will be held Thursday, August 6 through Sunday, August 9.

In celebration of this inaugural event, which builds on the success of our historic Sidewalk Sale, Kings Highway will be closed to vehicular traffic from PATCO to Haddon Avenue on Thursday, August 6th, and Friday, August 7, from 11am to 7pm.

In order to maintain the health and safety of our community, no retail merchandise will be permitted on the sidewalks between PATCO and Haddon Avenue. Instead, Borough officials are working to provide a specific plan that will permit merchandise to be displayed and sold on the Highway by each retailer, with direction as to the placement of displays in order to maintain social distancing and provide for an adequate fire lane in the event of emergency.

Outdoor dining will continue to be permitted on existing, designated sidewalk areas. Dining tables are not permitted in the street during the Sale.

We hope that this “new” event will promote Downtown Haddonfield as the wonderful destination that it is! Please join with Borough officials in adhering to State-issued guidance: masks and social distancing are to be encouraged and we hope to do so in a friendly, positive manner that is both welcoming and celebratory.

Your safety and that of our entire community, as well as our visitors, is of the utmost importance. Where possible, arrange for contact-free payment options, provide access to hand sanitizer and disposable masks, and frequently sanitize high-touch points. Remind customers to touch only what they intend to purchase as you welcome them back for shopping this summer!

On Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, the Super Summer Sale will be in-store only. Sales on the sidewalk and in the street are prohibited on those dates, as the road will be open for vehicular traffic. We are grateful for your continued presence in our Borough, and hope that the Sale is a huge success!

Last chance to order tees

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a devastating impact on small businesses in Haddonfield. Many have closed temporarily; others are operating at greatly reduced levels. 

To help keep some cash flowing, several business owners created “Haddonfield Here For Good!” It’s a way for residents and others to support and show appreciation for their favorite businesses.

The concept is simple: Go online and purchase a $20 tee-shirt. All shirts have the “Haddonfield Here For Good!” graphic on the back, while each participating business has its own logo on the left chest. (Haddonfield[dot]Today is one of the participating businesses. Order our shirt HERE.)

If you can’t decide which business you want to support, order the generic “Haddonfield” shirt, or make a donation. 

The promotion will end on Tuesday, June 30.

$10 from each sale goes to the business. The more shirts sold, the more money the business gets. 100% of proceeds benefit the small businesses of Haddonfield and all monies collected in the general fund will be divided equally among participating businesses. 

As of June 10, more than $30,000 had been raised for Haddonfield businesses.

When Downtown Haddonfield gets back to normal and retail returns, there will be special events where everyone will be invited to wear their Here For Good shirts. 

Shirts can be purchased online at

Online business chat

Members of the board of the Partnership for Haddonfield – the management entity for the business district – will host a Zoom “chat” on Thursday, June 11, starting at 8:30am.

The purpose is to enable business owners to discuss “anything and everything” that’s on their minds.

The meeting ID is 862 7462 3319 and the password is 511650.