Bergen Buzz


Dine with Dad

Father’s Day is coming June 16, and with it your chance to turn the tables on the old man and pick up the check yourself. You’ll enjoy a snack, drink or meal with Dad at these local eateries all the more knowing there’s a father/son duo behind the amazing food and service. Happy Dad’s Day! 

103 Prime at Valentino’s 
As a teenager, Jerry Colella helped out his dad, Angelo, at what was then known as Valentino’s Park Ridge, and eventually became general manager. During a stint at another restaurant, Jerry felt “something was missing” when he and his dad weren’t together, so he returned to help bring a “steakhouse and seafood concept” to the new and improved eatery. Jerry and Angelo are now managing partner and chef/owner, respectively. “The best thing is I get to see my father a lot and we get a lot of time together to discuss food,” he says. “There is definitely some butting of heads and we see some things differently, but I’ve enjoyed being back.”

  • 103 Prime at Valentino’s, 103 Spring Valley Rd., Park Ridge, 201.391.2220

Bite Food & Coffee Co.
Since graduating from college in 2017, Franklin Lakes native Kareem Elzarka has helped his dad, Mike, manage several Manhattan delis. But the father-son pair had dreams of opening their own eatery, and introduced Bite Food & Coffee Co. in Hackensack earlier this year. The hangout serves up breakfast and lunch and appeals to the millennial set with its industrial aesthetic and fun pops of pink throughout.

  •  Bite Food & Coffee Co., 360 Essex St., Hackensack,

This upscale Mediterranean seafood bistro in Fair Lawn is owned and operated by the Panteleakis family. Patriarch Peter, executive chef and owner, wakes up at the crack of dawn each day to select his seafood and bake fresh bread by hand. Meanwhile, oldest son Nikos is officially the manager, but he’s often found stirring up cocktails or taking plates to customers’ tables. Still, as they say, behind every great man is a great woman: the Panteleakis mama helps out her men by managing everything behind the scenes.

  • Oceanos, 2-27 Saddle River Rd., Fair Lawn, 201.796.0546 

Everything Bagel
Elliot Cohen of Englewood worked for 25 years in business and finance, and even owned a few bagel stores in New Jersey with his son Andrew of Edgewater. But in 2018, the Cohens, who also work together in home development, created Everything Bagel in Paramus, a “novelty” breakfast and lunch shop that sells bagels of many kinds, including seasonal ones shaped like ghosts, hearts or even Christmas trees. “Since we owned the real estate on Route 17, we decided to use it for this shop when it became vacant,” says the elder Cohen, who manages day-to-day operations while Andrew handles sales. “The best part about working with my son is that we’re family so there’s trust there, but the worst is bringing the work home.” At family gatherings, he admits, “it definitely comes up a lot.”

  •  Everything Bagel, 483 Route. 17 S., Paramus, 201.599.9999

Barrel & Brew Bar & Liquor
Albert Tirado of Old Tappan already owned a supermarket in New York State, but he wanted to take on another venture with his son, Alfred Tirado Jr. So they turned an old dive bar in New Milford into a tucked-away, industrial-looking speakeasy that sells craft beer and spirits. The elder Tirado handles ordering and admin work, while his son is in charge of day-to-day operations. “Every time we work together on a project I always learn something new,” Albert Jr. says. “My dad has always instilled in me that the details are the most important part of any decision.”

  •  Barrel & Brew, 872 River Rd., New Milford, 201.261.4400

Be Proud

June brings the official start of summer, but it’s also known internationally as Gay Pride Month, when parades, rallies and events worldwide celebrate the LGBTQ community. You needn’t cross the Hudson to join in; here’s how you can take part in Pride right here in Bergen:

JUNE 1: Glen Rock Pride Flag Raising Ceremony and Pride in the Park
Glen Rock’s third annual Pride event starts at noon in Wilde Memorial Park, where community leaders and LGBTQ activists will raise the Pride Flag and unite for an afternoon of music, crafts, poetry, kids’ activities and an art gallery. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal will be the keynote speaker, and Glen Rock mayor Bruce Packer will MC.

JUNE TK: The County of Bergen’s LGBTQ Pride Celebration and Flag Raising 
Since 1974, Hackensack has raised a Pride Flag during Pride Month. But in recent years the annual countywide Pride celebration has become a larger and larger production, uniting state officials (including County Executive Jim Tedesco) and activists for a full-on celebration held at One Bergen County Plaza.

JUNE 21: Cresskill Rainbow Lounge for LGBTQ Youth
Every third Friday of the month, Cresskill Congregational Church holds a meet-up for LGBTQ youth ages 13–19 from 7 to 9 p.m. Teens can hang out, play games, make new friends and discuss issues they face as a result of their sexual orientation. 

JUNE 30: Tenafly Pride Day
Beginning in 2018, the borough has officially declared the last Sunday in June Tenafly Pride Day to bring visibility to its LGBTQ community. The second annual event in 2019 includes a parade beginning at Huyler Park, followed by a festive flag raising and ceremony.

Puppy Love

DOG: Milly, 9-year-old Yorkshire terrier
OWNERS: Jennifer and Scott Moore, Ramsey
This petite canine thinks big. She’s always there to guard her owners with her bark, and she follows them throughout the house. And it’s clear Milly is a summer pup, as her favorite 
pastimes include looking out the window and seeking out and then lying in the sunny spots around her home. What are the favorite indoor hobbies of this pooch who’ll hit the double-digit birthday this August? Playing with toy ropes, eating treats and cuddling with her “parents” on the couch. Ruff life! 

Fit for a King!

What do you do when you can’t sell your multi-million dollar mansion? Put it up for rent. NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing’s Cresskill home has been on the market since 2015, but after dropping the listing price multiple times from $7 million to $4.8 million, he’s opted to rent it out instead. The 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom home featuring a gourmet kitchen, outdoor pool and spa and—of course—a basketball court can be yours for a cool $25K a month.

Father's Day Fun

Stumped on what to do for Dad on his day, June 16? These events in the county have Pops in mind:

Westwood Dad Dash, Westvale Park, 8:45 a.m.
The Dad Dash is a mostly flat 5K walk-or-run through shaded park paths and residential areas; there’ll also be a DJ and kids’ activities. Dad’s Day concludes with a barbecue.

Father’s Day Walk, Tenafly Nature Center, 1 p.m.
If your dad is outdoorsy—or just likes to spend quality time with his family—this guided walking tour through nature is something you all can enjoy. Bonus: Dads and kids under 2 are free.

Father’s Day 5K and 10K, Virtual (but based in Jersey City), 1 p.m.
This “virtual” race can be completed anywhere, anytime, at your leisure within June (you just submit your finishing time to get your medal mailed to you). But it’s held on Father’s Day for a reason—proceeds from the $20 run go towards Team Hoyt, an organization that honors Rick Hoyt, handicapped at birth due to cerebral palsy, and his father, Dick, who wheeled him to the finish line of a 5K in 1977 and shared many subsequent races with him.

Elton Johnish: Tribute to Elton John, Mahwah Public Library, 2 p.m.
If Dad is a fan of the Rocket Man, take him to this free concert at Mahwah Public Library, where Andrew Schwarz will pay homage to the award-winning singer by performing some of his early hits such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Crocodile Rock.”

Blow-Dry Bonanza

Most beauty salons do it all—hair, nails, waxing, makeup, the works. But sometimes all you want is a good ol’ blowout so you can look and feel your best for a special occasion or a big day at work. These Bergen spots specialize in and excel at blowouts (and whatever else they do):

934 River Rd., Edgewater
THE DEETS: Besides a slew of blow-dry options, this place also has a Brow Bar, offering eyebrow waxes, tints and faux lash applications. There’s also an in-store pop-up with Glow + Co Spray Tan on weekends, from 12 to 4 p.m.
PRICE: $37 for a 45-minute blowout

LOCATION: 807 Franklin Ave., Franklin Lakes
THE DEETS: You’ll leave this cute spot tressed to impress—lush white chairs and pops of pink only add to Blo’s top-notch salon experience. PRICE: $40–$49 depending on hair type, plus extra if you have extensions, want deep conditioning or prefer a style that’s not on the “menu.”

LOCATION: Garden State Plaza (next to Shake Shack), Paramus
THE DEETS: Each style here is named after a drink—try a “Straight Up,” an “Old Fashioned” or a “Shirley Temple” for the kids. Despite its name, Drybar also serves champagne or mimosas free of charge to customers, which certainly ups the relaxation factor.
PRICE: $49 with a wash included; add $10 for a scalp massage or a braid or $20 for extensions.

74 E. Ridgewood Ave, Ridge-wood; 25 Promenade Blvd. #16, Fair Lawn; 20–30 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Mont-vale; and 27 N. Dean St., Englewood
THE DEETS: Moxie does a little bit of everything, from eyelash tinting to manicures to waxing and threading—haircuts and coloring included.
PRICE: $29 for a basic blowout or more for a “Bobbi Pin Blowout,” which uses bobby pins to make the look last longer.

LOCATION: 830 Kinderkamack Rd., River Edge
THE DEETS: Roller Dry offers the traditional blowout, but sets itself apart by setting hair in rollers before drying, which results in an even bouncier, longer-lasting look.
PRICE: $35 for a traditional blow-out, $40 for a blowout with rollers

LOCATION: 70 E. Main St., Ramsey
THE DEETS: Runway is a one-stop shop for a haircut, a smoothing treatment, color or makeup application, but the salon’s bread and butter is the “Runway Signature” wash, blowout and style.
PRICE: $40 for the Runway Signature; $30 for a bun or pony, dry styling without the wash or clients under 10.


In a few years you may recognize the name Clara Kim. The high-achieving student at Westwood’s Primoris Academy is one of 100 recipients of Amazon’s first-ever Future Engineer Scholarship, given to the next generation of leaders in computer science. Thanks to her academic achievements, extracurricular activities and other factors, Kim received a $10,000-a-year scholarship to the college of her choice and a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon after her freshman year of college. 

Bergen County is often lauded for its amazing public education, and now the entire state is taking note. Edward H. Bryan School in Cresskill (#1) and School No. 1 in Fort Lee 
(#5) ranked in the top five of the 50 best public middle and elementary schools in the state. The ranking isn’t a complete picture, as the numbers were based primarily on standardized test scores, but it’s still good to be recognized.

We’re not too shabby in athletics either. In’s rankings of the state’s best high school sports programs, Pascack Valley, River Dell and Ramapo nabbed the third, seventh and ninth spots, respectively.

Culinary Corner

That new pizzeria in Edgewater is hardly your typical pizza place. Rasco’s features larger-than-average slices, all baked in a Marsal pizza oven for an extra-crispy crust. There are also calzones and a full-on salad bar.

  •  Rasco’s Pizzeria, 4 Main St., Edgewater, 201.917.5115

Ridgewood has a plethora of cuisines; now it can tick the “vegetarian and vegan” box too. Green Fusion, a new eatery located across from the Graydon Pool, offers a variety of salads, sandwiches and entrees, as well as vegetarian dishes like General Tso’s cauliflower and Masala tofu. Check out our review on page TK.

  • Green Fusion, 22 Oak St., Ridgewood, 201.670.7502

Go Green

With a nickname of The Garden State, it’s not a shock that New Jersey is green, but just how green are we? According to a new WalletHub study, which looked at factors such as environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors and climate change in each state, New Jersey is the 16th greenest state in the U.S. of A. Our Northeast neighbors Vermont and New York snagged the top two spots on the list.

Upward Dog

Dogs are pretty much shut out from public places in Ridgewood—furry friends are not permitted in Citizens Park, Graydon Park, Pleasant Park, Twinney Pond Park, Memorial Park at Van Neste Square and Veterans Memorial Field. But this puppy ban will be lifted if success greets a proposed ordinance that would allow collared, leashed dogs to be walked in most parks. Fido still won’t be allowed on public playing fields, playgrounds or public tennis courts, but hey, one step at a time.


Hackensack Hole-in-the-Wall

White Manna in Hackensack is undeniably one of our area’s most lauded restaurants, and it just nabbed another honor. The legendary burger shack has been dubbed one of The Daily Meal’s 75 best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in America. The old school store is aesthetically unimpressive, but it’s the food that matters. White Manna’s famous burger, cooked on the grill, smashed between a potato roll and accessorized with pickles and onions, was dubbed one of the best burgers in America—even better when paired with crinkle-cut fries and a shake.

Categories: Bergen Health & Life, Homepage Features