NJ Town Ranked Best Main Street in America

by Laura DeSiena
downtown metuchen

Located within the heart of Middlesex County, Metuchen, NJ, has been named a 2023 Great American Main Street Award Winner. This recognition places it amongst two other winners: Danville, Virginia, and Florence, South Carolina. Downtown Metuchen offers a diverse collection of walkable restaurants, shops, and entertainment for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

The Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) is a volunteer-based organization that is dedicated to maintaining and advancing the business district in Metuchen. It has worked diligently to breathe life back into the downtown area, as this town was not always a local staple. 

Just seven years ago, downtown Metuchen experienced a 20 percent vacancy rate as it faced departing businesses and a declining appearance. Today, the two-block streets fill with thriving businesses, annual celebrations, and a loyal community thanks to eager volunteers. “Shop Local” is its motto, encouraging visitors to support the hard-working residents of the town.

When taking a stroll down Mainstreet, visitors can indulge in classic Irish fare and live music at Hailey’s Harp & Pub or stop in for a cold, frothy refreshment at AKIHI Bubble Tea. Its historical support of culture and the arts is evident through vibrant displays of art projects throughout the town. Created by Public Art volunteers, the heartbeat of Metuchen reveals through murals and other mediums. 

 

Special events happen multiple times each month, gathering people of all ages to enjoy together. These events have included the Lunar New Year, Juneteenth, and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. Downtown Metuchen aims to represent a diverse and inclusive culture while also maintaining its small-town charm.      

To celebrate this honor, Metuchen is hosting Downtown FunHouse 2023 on June 10. The celebration features axe throwing, Coney Island performers, and other fun surprises. Additionally, other events this month include their Juneteenth Celebration and Kids Takeover. With the focus on growth and expansion on the agenda, Metuchen will undoubtedly continue to be an integral part of New Jersey’s best.

About the Author/s

Laura DeSiena is a certified Jersey Girl with a passion for music, playing the guitar, and binge-watching 90’s sitcoms. As an aspiring writer and author, she hopes to publish a book someday. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble in search of her next read.

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2 comments

Susan zatonski June 8, 2023 - 3:17 pm

Love and live in metuchen

Reply
Janet Znyski June 9, 2023 - 11:06 am

I love Metuchen! Worked there for many years. Attended all street festivals and Christmas parades. Loved their art shows, beautiful handmade items from jewelry to activities for the children. Many decades ago, they had a fantastic little pet shop with a big red macaw. You could win gold fish during the fall festivals. So pretty with fall foliage, beautiful weather. I make a point to visit. Brought my son often. They even have fireworks on the 4th! I hope it stays the same!

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