Rt 4 is a old shop over on Broadway (Rt.4) in Elmwood Park. In it's heyday, Rt. 4 Aquarium was the
place to go. The aquariums were spotless, the fish were great and the display aquariums were awesome! Unfortunately, over time the place became run down, ownership seemed to lose interest in the business and the place became grossly mismanaged. It closed.
I stopped over at Rt. 4 Aquarium tonight with Jay Luto, as the place has reopened under new management. Jay had been in contact with the new owner and he invited Jay to stop by to discuss some ideas for the shop in general, and a plant section in particular.
I have to say, I was shocked when I walked into the place. It was clean again! The aquariums were all new, the place was well lighted, and the clutter was gone. The shop is still a work in progress, but it is much better that it was and seems to be progressing forward!
We spoke for a bit about local NJ politics and how they effect a business, and running a business. Then we talked plants. The owner was keen on starting up a plant section and definitely wants a successful plant business. We exchanged ideas, and are planning on setting up a display aquarium in the shop some time in the near future.
Right now the shop has the basics. African cichlids, common tetras, barbs...you all know. the staples a new business needs to keep the doors open. With time fish and plant selection will grow. In fact, once the shop is completed, I'd encourage growers to drop off clippings to help expand the shops selection and make the place a real "plant destination". Jay and I plan to!
A very, very promising revival in the makings. I'll write a review of the shop in this section once it is up and running on all cylinders. Until then, I would encourage folks in the area to drop by the store and have a look around. Keep an eye out for the new plant section in the months to come, as well as the planted display aquarium! When you get there, ask for Les (the owner) and let him know about your interest in plants. tell him Jay and Mike sent you!