Aisle One, the first store and anchor of the new Brook Haven Mall in Passaic, opened Tuesday, July 20, with a ribbon cutting event for local government officials. Mark Raider, Brook Haven CEO, said he has tremendous gratitude to Mayor Hector C. Lora, Business Administrator Rick Fernandez and City Council President Gary Schaer for their help in every stage of the project, which began construction in 2017. Aisle One officially opened to the public on Wednesday, July 21.
Aisle One is a beautifully designed market with all the food departments you could want. In addition to the standard dry goods and frozen and refrigerated supplies, Aisle One currently has a huge section of fresh whole and packaged cut produce, fresh meat and poultry, sushi, baked goods from their in-house pareve and milchig bakeries, and a coffee bar. The Aisle One theme carries through each department: Ready One, Grab One, Bake One, etc. The fresh fish, ready-to-eat prepared food and take-out food departments will open soon; seating is coming to the coffee bar.
Raider said every aspect of the design and hiring process for Aisle One has been meticulously planned toward the goal of providing unmatched quality, pricing and customer service. Each department has its own manager. The meat department is managed by Shea Brull, formerly of Rockland Kosher, which is well known for attention to detail and high-quality superior cuts. Levi Gombo of Gombo’s Bakery, a name familiar to anyone who spends time in Brooklyn or South Fallsburg, is managing the Aisle One bakery. The sushi counter is run by Rollmasters, which has 23 locations throughout the country.
When Raider showed me around Aisle One last week, he surveyed the spotless aisles, gleaming counters and stocked shelves with a mix of awe and amazement. “I’ve been looking at this place on paper for years,” he said. “Now it’s real, with people walking through and shopping.”
And this is just the beginning.
The ceiling of the former industrial site was raised from the original window level to a three-story height. Standing on the floor of Aisle One and looking up to just below ceiling height, you see windows that belong to soon-to-open milchig and fleishig restaurants. Both will offer family-style dining. The milchig restaurant will have a separate, quieter area with waiter service for social and business meals. On the fleishig side, plans are in the works for a fine-dining steakhouse.
On one side of the store, a massive foyer is being constructed that will connect Aisle One and the restaurants, the three-story parking deck and retail stores. Looking across the parking lot from Aisle One, a yet-to-be-renovated building will become a chasunah hall, connected and accessed through the parking deck and foyer or through a separate outside entrance. The hall, with 44,000 square feet total, will have a 12,000-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into 6,000-square-foot spaces for smaller events. And further down the road, 130 apartments will be built for couples and small families.
Raider hopes all the departments of Aisle One will be running at full speed in the next few months, and the roll-out of retail stores will begin. “Brook Haven Mall isn’t just about Aisle One,” he said, “It’s an entire project. We’re looking to create one place where the family can get everything—groceries, clothing, seforim. They can park and all will be accessible.”
By Bracha Schwartz