BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
The town may have approved a liquor license for the MC Hotel this week, but residents will have to wait a little longer to catch a drink on the much-anticipated rooftop bar.
Despite breaking ground in April 2016, the opening of the 120,000-square-foot, 159-room boutique hotel at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Orange Road has been pushed back according to hotel representatives.
Meanwhile, residents anticipating the reopening of Orange Road, which has been closed during construction, will also have to wait a bit longer.
Scheduled to open July 18, hotel officials are now looking at an August date, said a representative from The Door Idea House, the public relations firm representing the hotel.
The August opening date has not been confirmed, the rep said, and the MC Hotel web site is still not booking rooms.
The hotel’s water line installation, which began in June, is still under construction under Orange Road. Once that is finished, the street will then need to be repaved before it can reopen.
“The road opening depends on MC Hotel construction and infrastructure improvements progress,” said township communications director Katya Wowk. “[There is] no estimated time on when paving will take place because it depends on when infrastructure work is completed.” Although township officials said hotel officials were looking to hold a “soft opening” on July 18 for just the ground floor, the representative denied those claims.
“The hotel isn’t opening — soft or otherwise — until August,” she said.
The MC Hotel is part of the Marriott’s Autograph Collection — a collection of independent upper-upscale to luxury hotels within the Marriott International portfolio of brands. The Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group will run the MC Hotel, according to a press release by the PR firm.
The hotel will include over 8,500 square feet of meeting and event spaces, a rooftop bar with Manhattan views, a “locally driven” restaurant, and a curated lobby market featuring wares from community artisans and makers, according to the web site.
The group has hired Montclair native Emily Wittman as Director of Lifestyle, and announced Oscar Fontana Roos as General Manager; Jennifer Varua as Director of Sales; and Amin Deroui as Director of Food and Beverage. The restaurant will have Chef Daniel Kill to oversee restaurant operations.
Kill honed his skills in Germany at the two-star Michelin Tantris Restaurant, before moving to New York City to cook at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Wallsé, Café Sabarsky and The Upholstery Store Food & Wine.
“At The MC Hotel, [Kill] plans to introduce light Mediterranean comfort foods, small plates and communal dining to the hotel’s food and beverage outlets. He stresses the importance of cooking seasonally, changing menus daily in order to keep up with the local supplies of produce, seafood and more available from Montclair and the neighboring communities,” according to the press release.
In December, the township planning department dispatched a memo to Pinnacle stopping work after a discovery was made that rooftop mechanicals were being placed above the rooftop bar, which was inconsistent with the approved site plan for the eight-and-a-half story hotel.
The town approved a rooftop bar, green space and mechanicals for the top floor. The mechanicals were being built above that top floor; and the planning board considered those mechanicals as an additional floor, in violation of the agreed-upon limit.
The MC Hotel is being built by Pinnacle Cos. and Hampshire Cos., who are also developing the Lackawanna Plaza site.