Groov Café and Juice Bar: 127 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07042
Groov Café has been in town now for a little more than a year---and it has carved out a niche among cafe-groupies, vegetarians, musicians and lots of people who simply want reliable wifi and a good cup of coffee.
Groov Café is a nice complement to Trend Café and Coffeehouse downtown, Java Love uptown and the two major Starbucks locations. And now folks who live on Midland and environs (as well as everyone at School of Rock) have a walkable coffee destination besides Starbucks---which feels like a schlep when you’re coffee-deprived.
Groov Café is like a breath of fresh air in a town that values coffee, community and culture. This centrally located café (with parking in the back!!) has all of that on top of a vegetarian menu featuring mega-burritos, ramen, quinoa wraps, muffins and bowls of steeping hot pho that are so large you need a ladle and a very strong slurp-muscle.
How about the café/juice bar offerings. This is when the options get interesting. First the juices: There is every imaginable combination of fruit and vegetable juices available (name a fruit!), along with an almond milk or banana base.
And in what can only be considered an act of grace, the owner, Greg Williams, has put a special item on the menu---the Espresso Blast Super Smoothie, made with almond milk, espresso, banana, honey, cacao and maca. Imagine the perfect synergy between espresso and maca---a watercress-like vegetable with an earthy, nutty taste.
And if you're feeling toxic, Groov has a special juice cleanse regimen for you!
Need any more energy?
At its core, Groov is a café. The coffee is as good as it is straightforward. Self-served via carafe, it’s reliably hot and brewed with locally roasted beans. Espresso-based drinks are available upon request.
As interesting as the menu are the people. With Greg Williams, long-term Montclair resident/computer genius/entrepreneur/mentor at the helm, Groov is staffed by musician/chef/activists and fire-throwing/hula hoopers of international acclaim.
There is music everywhere---ranging from folk, to funk, jazz, indie, rockabilly and a lot of groove-rock a la the Grateful Dead. Almost any night of the week, there’s an open mic, or a musical event, or just people hanging out in this beautiful space.
Feeling inspired yet?
So what does it feel like to sit down at Groov? Good. Really good. Groov is a refurbished storefront on Valley, with high tin ceilings, stolid wooden furniture and eclectic art featuring a painting of Satchmo, sculpture, objets d’art, numerous tchotochkes and a Civil War map.
Dozens of bottles of hot sauce
That’s right. It’s here. Hot sauce and coffee---coffee and hot sauce. Talk about a metabolic boost. On top of the mantel in the main café space there are literally dozens of bottles of hot sauce, ranging from sweet chili, to burning hot. Greg picks up hot sauce wherever he goes. Why? Because people love hot sauce, and it’s perfect for dousing a homemade empanada.
Light literally pours into Groov during the day, and at night the streetlights and ambient sounds waft in to create a sense of adventure, which is heightened by all of the creative, interesting people around. Sometimes it’s evocative of the 1970’s, or the 1990’s, or 2016---with a hint of the future thrown in.
If you answered yes, to any of the above, Groov is your spot. See you there!