Zod Arifai, Executive Chef/Owner of the much-loved and lauded Restaurant Blu, has confirmed that both Blu and its sister-restaurant, the more casual Next Door, will close forever on Sunday, August 30th. Blu’s reputation far exceeded its modest size and sensibility, receiving kudos and rave reviews from local, national and even global journalists and critics.
“Montclair has been wonderful to me for the past 10 years,” said Arifai. “We have some great eaters here who truly enjoy food and it’s been a pleasure cooking for them.”
His unconventional, exciting and wholly unique world-influenced New American cuisine — coupled with his iconoclastic personal style and great sense of humor — has made Arifai and his restaurants consistent favorites among consumers and critics alike.
Cited by New Jersey Monthly early on as “Montclair’s temple of exceptional food at everyday prices,” Blu left a lasting impression on all who visited. And when Arifai launched Next Door, The New York Times reported, “You might have thought there no way to improve on Blu … but Zod Arifai … had what seemed like an even better idea” — to create a resto that was smaller, more casual and even less expensive. Acclaimed for its unparalleled burger with caramelized onions and aged Vermont cheddar, Next Door offers sandwiches, salads and simple fare at extremely gentle prices.
The restaurant closures will enable Arifai to travel throughout Europe and Asia for three months and to finalize plans for a new concept that will open in NYC in Spring 2016. He’s also considering offers for projects outside the U.S. as well as in Montclair.
Right now, “business as usual” is the plan for Blu and Next Door. Watch for future announcements of possible special celebrations as the closing date approaches.
554 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042