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 Acupuncturists Metuchen, NJ

If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ

Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.

These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.

In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Acupuncture Near Me Metuchen, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ Actually Legit?

One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.

Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.

Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.

During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.

Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ?

There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.

Relief from Chronic Pain

Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.

That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.

When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.

 Fertility Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.

Improved Sleep

For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.

A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.

Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.

 Acupuncture Clinic Metuchen, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

 Acupuncture Treatment Metuchen, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.

The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ, including the following:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

 Acupuncture Therapy Metuchen, NJ

Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.

It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness

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At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.

 Medical Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.

Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Metuchen, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Metuchen, NJ

New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.

phone-number732-526-2497

Latest News in Metuchen, NJ

Edison, Metuchen Among Top School Districts In NJ, New Ranking Says

EDISON, NJ — Edison Township Public Schools and Metuchen School District maintained their high grades in the latest school rankings released this week, according to Niche’s 2024 Best Schools and Districts.According to the latest ranking, Edison Schools ranked 2nd in Middlesex County at rank 1 and was placed 31st in the state, while Metuchen was ranked 4th in the county and 4...

EDISON, NJ — Edison Township Public Schools and Metuchen School District maintained their high grades in the latest school rankings released this week, according to Niche’s 2024 Best Schools and Districts.

According to the latest ranking, Edison Schools ranked 2nd in Middlesex County at rank 1 and was placed 31st in the state, while Metuchen was ranked 4th in the county and 44th in NJ.

These rankings and grades, published annually for the past nine years, compare schools and districts across the United States by combining feedback from parents and students with hard data on schools, teachers, and student performance.

EDISON

Edison School District, which serves about 16,268 students, has an overall "A" grade from Niche.

Here's how they were graded on various metrics:

The lowest grades the district received were in food, resources and facilities. Edison has launched a $100 million project to address the overcrowding in the school district. The project includes adding a classroom to J.P Stevens High School, a gym addition to Herbert Hoover Gym, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, a new auditorium to Edison High School and more.

The district also ranked 23rd in NJ for having the best teachers.

The average graduation rate in the school district is 94 percent, with 64 percent of students proficient in reading and 44 percent in math, according to Niche.

The average teacher's salary in the district is $84,238 and the student-teacher ratio is 15:1.

METUCHEN

Metuchen School District has an overall "A" grade from Niche. The district serves about 2,276 students.

Here's how they were graded:

The average graduation rate in the school district is 95 percent, with 65 percent of students proficient in reading and 44 percent in math, according to Niche.

The average teacher's salary in the district is $71,347 and the student-teacher ratio is 15:1.

The rankings differ from others that rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance in that it also includes input from students, alumni and parents, as well as quantitative data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate teachers, resources and facilities.

Have a correction or news tip? Email sarah.salvadore@patch.com

$150K-Plus Salaries For Edison, Metuchen Superintendent, Admins

EDISON, NJ — School administrators in New Jersey are among the highest-paid in the country and it comes as no surprise they make upwards of $150,000.The state Department of Education recently released data that showed over 3,200 administrators made $150,000 or more during the 2022-23 school year — an increase after 2,556 did so the year prior.This also includes members from the Edison and Metuchen school districts.Patch pulled salary data that includes superintendents, principals and assistant principals, cur...

EDISON, NJ — School administrators in New Jersey are among the highest-paid in the country and it comes as no surprise they make upwards of $150,000.

The state Department of Education recently released data that showed over 3,200 administrators made $150,000 or more during the 2022-23 school year — an increase after 2,556 did so the year prior.

This also includes members from the Edison and Metuchen school districts.

Patch pulled salary data that includes superintendents, principals and assistant principals, curriculum directors and other employees in administrative positions within New Jersey schools.

Since the data is from the 2022-2023 school year, the list also includes former Edison Superintendent Bernard F Bragen, who was among the top 20 highest-paid school administrators in NJ.

The highest-paid Superintendent in New Jersey is Leigh Byron, of Trenton Stem-To-Civics charter school who makes $384,000 a year.

Here are the top earners in Edison and Metuchen, along with their current or most recent position and most recent salary. All data comes from the New Jersey Department of Education:

EDISON:

METUCHEN:

Why Are School Administrator Salaries Rising?

Back in 2011, then-Gov. Chris Christie implemented a $175,000 cap for superintendents. The Christie administration raised the maximum base pay for superintendents to $191,584 in 2017.

Then in 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that eliminated the cap for superintendent salaries but set guidelines for school-executive contracts to limit or standardize bonuses and other perks.

School executive pay has long been a controversial subject in both local school district budgeting and state policy. While administrative salaries are often a flashpoint for criticism in school policy, many districts struggled to maintain experienced superintendents when the position's pay was capped, according to a 2019 analysis from NJ Spotlight.

Superintendents, principals and other school leaders throughout the nation have faced intense scrutiny for COVID-19 management and from politically charged movements to overhaul or eliminate certain subjects and topics from the curriculum. But those obstacles have also fallen to teachers and other rank-and-file school employees. And New Jersey has faced a shortage of teaching candidates that preceded the pandemic.

(With reporting from Michelle Rotuno-Johnson, Patch Staff)

Have a correction or a news tip? Email sarah.salvadore@patch.com

Chinese-inspired restaurant, retro arcade coming to Metuchen, NJ

Metuchen’s Mayor Jonathan Busch sounded like a proud dad at a meeting last week when he was gushing about some new businesses coming soon to the Middlesex County town."Soon, the former pastry chef at Heirloom Kitchen will be opening Ram & Rooster, a Chinese-inspired new American eatery, and the retro video game arcade, Yestercades, will open here later this month,” the mayor ...

Metuchen’s Mayor Jonathan Busch sounded like a proud dad at a meeting last week when he was gushing about some new businesses coming soon to the Middlesex County town.

"Soon, the former pastry chef at Heirloom Kitchen will be opening Ram & Rooster, a Chinese-inspired new American eatery, and the retro video game arcade, Yestercades, will open here later this month,” the mayor told mycentraljersey.com.

On their Instagram the owner of Ram & Rooster says the concept is “an homage to my parents and a tribute to their heritage. We will be serving unique Chinese-inspired dishes in a multi/course tasting menu format.”

No word yet on a hard opening date, but soon. You’ll find them at 83 Central Avenue in Metuchen.

Then there’s Yestercades, which should be like a beacon to all 70s and 80s kids everywhere. If you hung around the arcades waiting with your quarters for Space Invaders to be free, this is your place.

It’s all the retro style cabinet video games, ones like Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, Pacman, Asteroids, Frogger, etc.. But it’s more than that. You may come across air hockey tables, pool tables, pinball machines, and the last time I was in the Somerville location they had leather sofas where you could sit and play the more modern home console games. They also have locations in Red Bank and Westfield.

You’ll find the new Yestercades at 442 Main Street in Metuchen. They told me they’re hoping to be open late this month or early February and that it will be announced on their Instagram.

That’s not all for the so-called Brainy Boro. Metuchen is also getting a Starbucks. Construction has already begun on a Middlesex Avenue location right across from Trailhead Park.

Mayor Busch reports their downtown is thriving.

A number of our retail establishments have become recognized as some of New Jersey’s best. Our downtown is the place to be…our downtown vacancy rate remains at a record low.

Sometimes it’s good to be the mayor.

Pac-Man Facts: 40 Easily Digestible Bits of Arcade-Game History

From his arcade-game fame to his own TV show and appearances on all kinds of collectibles, a look back at Pac-Man.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Metuchen Previews Downtown Pocket Park on Main Street

Senator Patrick Diegnan and Assemblymembers Robert Karabinchak and Sterley Stanely are honored to secure state funding as part of New Jersey’s annual budget process for the construction of Metuchen’s newest park space.Metuchen is using the funds to convert the former Manasquan Bank drive through on Main Street into a pocket park on property the bank generously donated to the borough.A temporary space has already been created on the repurposed grounds, which have been landscaped, painted, sealcoated and augmented wit...

Senator Patrick Diegnan and Assemblymembers Robert Karabinchak and Sterley Stanely are honored to secure state funding as part of New Jersey’s annual budget process for the construction of Metuchen’s newest park space.

Metuchen is using the funds to convert the former Manasquan Bank drive through on Main Street into a pocket park on property the bank generously donated to the borough.

A temporary space has already been created on the repurposed grounds, which have been landscaped, painted, sealcoated and augmented with tables, chairs, and string lights.

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Borough officials and committee members will collaborate in the coming months on a design plan for a permanent space, which will be known as Thomas Mundy Peterson Park.

“With the help of a portion of a $250,000 grant from this year’s state budget made possible by our state legislative delegation, we will be engaging our planner to put together a comprehensive and collaborative plan to build the permanent iteration of this park, which will include input from the public,” Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch said Thursday during a ceremony formally opening the borough’s newest park space.

Busch expressed his deep gratitude to Manasquan Bank Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer Jim Vaccarro for donating the property. Manasquan Bank has relocated its Metuchen branch from 442 Main Street to 429 Main Street.

Borough Administrator Melissa Perilstein and Borough Director of Special Projects Jay Muldoon were among many members of the mayor’s staff who Busch thanked for turning the pocket park vision into a reality.

Busch said Perilstein “navigated so many complications with grace and determination” and that Muldoon’s “perseverance with the variety of legal issues kept us all on track.”

The mayor also thanked Metuchen Downtown Alliance Director Dawn Mackey and the eight-member Pocket Park Advisory Committee for their vision, as well as the borough’s Department of Public Works for its enthusiastic efforts on the project.

“Downtown spaces like this help define communities,” Busch said. “People come to intimate spaces like these to get some shade, have meals or coffee with friends and, of course, they are places to have events. Whether you’re here during the day or you decide to enjoy your evening under these lights, this place is now a downtown focal point, a meeting area, a place to relax.”

Busch said Thomas Mundy Peterson Park will be named after Metuchen’s “most famous resident.”

Peterson was the first African American to cast a ballot in a U.S. election, exercising his right to vote on March 31, 1870, one day after the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Peterson was born in Metuchen in 1824, two decades after New Jersey became the first state in the union to end slavery.

“He eventually moved to Perth Amboy where his historic vote was cast,” Busch said. “It is incredible to think that Peterson lived through the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, he witnessed reconstruction and its ultimate demise, he watched Jim Crow laws ravage our nation and the Supreme Court’s shameful ‘separate but equal’ decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.”

With the naming of the park after Peterson, Busch said Metuchen honors his courage, patriotism, and everything for which his first vote stands.

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NJ Town Now Has One of the Best Main Streets in America After ‘Incredible' Turnaround

A Main Street makeover for a New Jersey town has caught the eye of the rest of the country.It's a big honor for the small town of Metuchen, which was just named among the winners of the Great American Main Street Award. The prize caps off a big turnaround for the town, which just seven years ago saw one in every five storefront vacant, victims of the Great Recession that left the downtown area on the ropes.Downtown Metuchen’s Main Street is just two blocks long, but it's now vibrant and booming. Pastry Lu’s is one o...

A Main Street makeover for a New Jersey town has caught the eye of the rest of the country.

It's a big honor for the small town of Metuchen, which was just named among the winners of the Great American Main Street Award. The prize caps off a big turnaround for the town, which just seven years ago saw one in every five storefront vacant, victims of the Great Recession that left the downtown area on the ropes.

Downtown Metuchen’s Main Street is just two blocks long, but it's now vibrant and booming. Pastry Lu’s is one of the new businesses that have filled nearly every empty space, and the co-owner said they are "absolutely" there to stay, and are planning on doing more locations with different businesses.

Ever since the town created a special improvement district nearly seven years ago — with an extra tax on downtown property, typically of maybe $1,000 a year or so — the downtown has seen a revitalization.

"When we say proud, we’re proud of who we are and we’re proud of our community for helping us get to where we’ve gotten," said Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch, addressing how the town has gotten the 22 percent vacancy down to just 4 percent in 2023.

Even he was caught by surprise by just how much the town was able to turn around in a relatively short time.

"I bet we could improve things, but the idea of going from 22 [percent] to 4, think about that. It’s just incredible," Busch said.

The town was one of three winners of the award, along with Danville, Virginia, and Florence, South Carolina.

Leaders especially praise the volunteers who help stage a dozen events a year at a plaza a block off Main Street, which is flanked by brand new apartments that bring more life downtown.

Borough workers put up the award signage on the marquee of the truly dusty and long-abandoned Forum Theater, which was once a vaudeville showcase. Now there are hopes to make it the center of a new arts district two blocks from the business district, thinking the water-stained walls can give way to a playhouse.

And across the street from the theater sits another small business that the town bet big on seven years ago, Angie Restaurant. That risk clearly has paid off, as new restaurants have popped up on side streets.

"You look around you — the bones are excellent. You’ve got a 100-year-old theater, Victorian homes and we’re at the hub of activity here," said Dawn Mackey, the executive director of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance.

Especially with a major mall just two miles away, the small town of just over 15,000 people is clearly punching above its weight with a great American Main Street. So how do they plan on celebrating? With a street party, of course, set for Juneteenth weekend — a week after downtown pride and a week before the Juneteenth celebration.

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