Things to do in Englewood Cliffs: Lattes, shopping, Chinese food
Before Hollywood, there was Coytesville, a Fort Lee community known as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. Thanks to its proximity to New York, film crews could travel to Fort Lee, where they could use the region’s rural landscapes and nearby stockades as spectacular backdrops for their films. In 1909, the first motion picture studio – Champion Film Company, a predecessor of Universal Studios – was built in Englewood Cliffs.
Many studios eventually moved west for better times. But thanks in part to new tax incentives, New Jersey’s film industry has enjoyed a resurgence more than a century later.
Foremost is Phiphen Pictures, which recently opened the state’s first full-service post-production facility, Phiphen Studios. The facility offers production office space, offline editing rentals, sound mixing, mastering, screening room and other options.
“During the pandemic, Phiphen Pictures has moved from Kaufman Studios to Astoria in Englewood Cliffs,” says Phiphen CEO Jane Oster Sinisi. “It was around this time that we came up with the idea for Phiphen Studios. With the launch of the new incentive program and the purchase of production space, we knew the film scene here would really thrive.
The company has spent the past two years building the studio and speaking with the New Jersey Film Commission, as well as studios, streamers and independent filmmakers, to spread the word and encourage projects to shoot here. “We’re really excited to be part of the growing film community here and to help it grow,” Sinisi says. “It was so great to share what we know about New Jersey with so many people. It’s a great place to do movies, TV and everything in between. It’s just a privilege to contribute.
Why Englewood Cliffs
New Jersey has such a rich film history – just look at the Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee. We’re even right next to Van Gelder Music Studio, which itself is legendary. Sure, the tax program being revitalized has gotten a lot of attention, but we know from experience how great the film community is here, and we wanted to support it. In the end, it was really a no-brainer to bring the studio here. This strip is such a big business hub – they call it the Trillion Dollar Mile for a reason. But that said, within minutes you can grab a hot dog from the local store and watch your child’s Little League game. As a new mother who is also passionate about her career, I love that this is a community that encompasses the full spectrum of what that means. It’s such a special place to call home.
Breakfast: I like a smoothie Food for Life Deli at Englewood Cliffs, especially if I’m on the go. Angelique Cafe at Tenafly has the best croissant and latte there. And if people are still convinced that the best bagels in the world come from New York, then they must visit Metropolitan coffee and bagels at Fairview!
Lunch: Lefkes Estiatorio for sure. It’s a little slice of Europe in Englewood Cliffs, and everything on the menu is excellent.
Having dinner: One of my dates is Sofia at Englewood. Such a great steakhouse with a fun and lively vibe, and the staff feel like family at this point.
Go out: by Baumgart in Englewood is a popular choice in my household. After all, what’s a good Chinese takeout worth?
Burgers/salads: I would shout from Houston to Hackensack for it. Just a really great place for gourmet comfort food.
Gito Stores in Englewood is a favorite of mine. If you need a new look for the red carpet, this is your place. Marcia’s attic for children in Englewood has been a frequent stop recently. As a new mom, I apparently always buy a gift for my own child or a friend’s.
I support many area organizations that help promote a safe, happy, and thriving community here: the fire and police departments, children’s holiday toy drives, the Bergen Performing Arts Center, and many more. others. It’s always so important to give back, especially to a place that has given me so much.
Favorite things to do in Englewood Cliffs
Honestly, I’m happiest when, after a long day of hard work, I can grab one of my favorite bites from a local store and cuddle up with my family while we watch Netflix.
Phiphen Studios, 429 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs; (201) 448-4447, phiphenstudios.com; @phiphenstudios on Instagram