A familiar storefront is reopening in Denville. Mara’s Cafe & Bakery – best known for pastries, gelatos, sandwiches & more – is back. After being open for more than 30 years, the original cafe area shut down in summer 2018. However, the business is reopening January 2019, just half a year later, thanks to one local entrepreneur.

NJ businesswoman Allison Kohler quickly undertook the mission of reviving her favorite local restaurant and bakery. A loyal customer for over a decade, this self-proclaimed “cupcake queen” now owns the new Mara’s Cafe. But longtime customers need not worry, Kohler says she is keeping the same delicacies made by the bakery. Although, she has made quite a few renovations to the interior; “Everything from floor to ceiling is new,” says Kohler. “New tables, chairs, lighting, pastry cases, counters, cabinets, registers, uniforms.” You’ll also notice fewer walls, to make room for more indoor seating.

Not surprisingly, Kohler has always been one of the cafe’s biggest fans. “Mara’s Cafe has been making my tummy smile for over a decade,” she says. “I have a sweet tooth and it’s always my favorite. The ambience is still your comfy local country cafe, just with a makeover.”

Mara's Cafe & Bakery in Denville, NJ Bakery

New Looks, Same Cooks at Mara’s Cafe & Bakery in Denville

But what about the previous owners, Mara and Glenn Magley? Fortunately, they will continue doing what they do best, baking desserts! Top favorites include their peanut butter mousse pie; silky peanut butter mousse on a pie shell topped with decadent chocolate ganache and peanut butter cup pieces. Of course, you can never go wrong with classics like their pecan pie and blueberry pie. Meanwhile, Dave Levey – season six winner of Hell’s Kitchen – will continue his six-year career as lead baker. Levey helps create daily specials and seasonal dishes that keep Mara’s Cafe regulars coming back as often as possible.

Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

The cafe also serves quiches (like cheddar cheese), egg smashers, salads, soup and sandwich combos, burgers, gelatos and more. The bakery is BYOB and offers acoustic entertainment by locals on Fridays and Saturdays. Occasional week nights feature trivia, art shows, karaoke and open mic sets.

Mara’s Cafe & Bakery is located at 25 East Main Street in Denville. For hours, menu info or to place an order, call 973-625-0901 or visit their website.

  • Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Mara's Cafe & Bakery (used with permission)
* * * * *

All editorial content on Best of NJ is governed by our Terms of Service. For details about sponsored content and other promotions, please see our Disclaimer.