Cranford Community Comes Together for a Local Business


Last week, local organizations and residents came together to stain the doors and fix up the exterior of Downtown Cranford mainstay Avenue East. We want to thank those businesses and residents that donated their time and talent to this special project.

Cranford FMBA Local 37 is the labor union that represents the Firefighters of the Cranford Fire Department and is a community organization that promotes the interests of the members and the community they serve. Wesley Ditzel III, Firefighter/EMT stated, “Local 37 is always trying to get involved in our community and give back. When we heard about this project it was clear we needed to get involved and help out. Restaurants everywhere had a tough time during the pandemic and yet they still were kind enough to donate food to us while we kept working. What makes Cranford great is when you hear somebody needs help, there is always someone willing to lend a helping hand.” Wes and members of the FMBA generously donated their time to sand and stain the doors.

Thank you to John Costa of Kylan Inc for donating his time by fixing the concrete that needed some patching. Kylan Inc is based in Kenilworth and was the contractor for the 20 North Union building.

Ryan Cooper is a partner in Cooper, LLC – Counselors at Law, a full service business law firm representing small to mid-sized businesses in NY & NJ. Ryan was kind enough to donate the supplies needed for the project. Ryan stated, “It is important to remember we’re all one community. As a resident and local business owner, I appreciate the DMC and FMBA’s efforts to support our downtown. I’m glad I could be a part of giving back and supporting a neighbor. Projects like this are what sets Cranford apart.”

Special thanks to Cranford resident, Ron Mola, who helped with the painting of the trim and staining. Ron enjoys keeping busy now that he is retired from his career with Con-Edison.

Thank you as well to Rafi Namroud of Old City Cafe & Grill who provided lunch for our volunteers and helped oversee the project. Rafi told us that “John, the owner of Avenue East, is the older brother that I always wanted to have. He is always there for me and I’m happy to be there for him.”

Avenue East owner, John Hsu, was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. He said “I would like to thank the FMBA and all the volunteers that helped restore the façade of Avenue East. This is one of the reasons Cranford is such a great town, the people that live and work here.”

Avenue East is open for take-out Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30am-3pm and 4-10pm. They are located at 16 North Union and can be reached at (908) 272-7258. Their menu can be found at