With some exciting new changes, travelers worldwide can now enjoy a taste of Trenton at the Newark International Airport. As the airport rolls out a variety of new restaurants, installations, and more, several Trentonians have been selected to be a part of the new venture. So now, flyers from near and abroad can get a first-hand glimpse of all the Capital City has to offer.
The first Trentonian featured is Abelardo Montano, a local architect, and artist. His photography has been selected to be digitally exhibited at the Newark International Airport Terminal A. Montano stated, “An architect by profession and an avid photographer for most of my life, it was not until 2014 that I started creating my art in its current form. Since then, my work has been part of numerous local and international exhibits. My artwork is inspired by my Mexican heritage, where color, texture, and composition are the main components. My art is part of numerous private collections, including the New Jersey Taxation Building and now the new terminal A at the Newark International Airport.”
Continuing to discuss how the opportunity came about, Abelardo noted, “The open call for art and photography occurred a year before the airport’s terminal opening, and it was during this call that my photo ‘Azul’ was selected to be digitally exhibited at the new terminal. Opportunities like these allow me not only to represent my Latino community but to bring light to the vibrant arts community that exists in Trenton.”
Another exciting change coming to the Newark Airport is the unveiling of 1911 Smokehouse’s second location. Travelers from all over the world will indulge in world-class barbeque from one of Trenton’s favorite eateries. We had the opportunity to speak with owner Maurice Hallett regarding the opportunity and what it means for Trenton.
Hallett noted how the opportunity came about, “In early 2019, one of my fraternity brothers got a notice that they were looking for minority vendors for the Newark Airport. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity because he’s a contractor, so he forwarded it to me. Most restaurants in airports are owned by multi-state operators, so [the process] entailed New Jersey-based business owners doing an elevator pitch to several of the operators. During my pitch, they liked it so much that three different multi-state operators were interested in carrying my brand. I got to choose which multi-state operator I wanted to go with. I went with Midfield Concessions, they ended up winning the bid, and now they’re going to have it!”
In discussing his hopes for the Smokehouse and what the opportunity means for Trenton, Hallett stated, “I’m hoping, as far as myself, to get national and international exposure of 1911 Smokehouse. As far as the city, I hope this brings more awareness to the history of Trenton.” As he continued to discuss how surrounding cities like Philadelphia have taken advantage of their historical past, he noted, “we need to do a better job of promoting the American history that we have.”
If you’re wondering how you can best support 1911 Smokehouse during this exciting time, Hallett said, “The best thing they can do is support us at the Trenton location as we’re still suffering with the ramifications of COVID-19.” As he discussed how post-pandemic changes in work schedules impacted his business, he stressed the importance of supporting the small businesses in our Capital City. “Support the businesses downtown; that’s what we need. In addition, we need additional support for the families we’re employing and to lessen the negative effects of the changed work schedules.”
Hallett also noted that if you have significant holiday events or office parties on your calendar, one of the best ways you can support 1911 is by utilizing its catering services. 1911 Smokehouse also has a food truck available, so be sure to check them out for any upcoming birthday parties, graduations, or celebrations you may have coming up.
If you want to learn more about Abelardo Montano and his eye-catching art, you can check out his website here: AMO – Home. Likewise, if you’re looking for a fantastic bite to eat in town, you can check out 1911 Smokehouse’s website here: 1911 Smokehouse.