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Anne-Marie Caruso, NorthJersey.com
Sugar Tree Café, an innovative brunch spot in Nutley that opened in May, has become a hot spot for celebrity sightings.
The latest was by Paterson artist Fetty Wap, who stopped by unexpectedly last weekend for a coffee and a sandwich. The “Trap Queen” rapper has been known to pop up around his home turf. (In 2015, he tossed thousands of dollars to unsuspecting shoppers at Garden State Plaza.)
Jack Bermeo, who owns Sugar Tree with his wife Sophia, said Fetty and his dining partner ordered a latte topped with a customizable image.
The latte machine is one of the most buzzed-out features at Sugar Tree. Guests can send a picture to the baristas, they’ll upload it to the machine, and the image will come out as latte foam art on top of your drink.
Other celebrities such as Teresa Giudice and Margaret Josephs of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” DJ Envy and professional boxer Edgar Berlanga have also made trips to Sugar Tree Café.
“It’s the vibe and culture the Tree has produced. It brings people together,” said Bermeo, who lives in Nutley and works in the wedding industry. When COVID caused most weddings to be canceled, he developed the idea for Sugar Tree.
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Sugar Tree is BYO and offers a limited menu of brunch foods such as lobster tostadas ($16.50), garlicky sticky wings ($10.75) and deep-fried cinnamon toast with mixed berry jam ($14.50). Most popular, said Bermeo, are the curry chicken sliders with cayenne ranch ($14) and the Big Crunch chicken sandwich with a sweet and spicy glaze and cucumber vinaigrette ($16).
“The food isn’t just paninis,” said Bermeo. “It has the feel of a café in the city.”
Along with coffees and lattes, Sugar Tree offers loaded milkshakes.
It’s not uncommon, said Bermeo, to see moms from the community come in for a meal, touting champagne and wine.
The design of the café is unlike anything in the area. A huge tree sprouts from the center of the room, branching off into purple flowers that drip from the ceiling. This area includes the custom wooden bar complete with a “Lamborghini style coffee maker.”
In the back is a homey space with big leather and velvet chairs, a TV and a digital fireplace display. Another area, called the Babe Cave, is covered in lavender flowers.
“I wanted to bring people together,” said Bermeo. “It’s a place to socialize.”
Sugar Tree Cafe is located at 358 Passaic Ave., Nutley; 971-437-2300, sugartreecafe.com.
Rebecca King is a food writer for NorthJersey.com. For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.
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