Morristown may be home to the best downtown in N.J. See why.

The Morristown of today bears little resemblance to what Mayor Tim Dougherty encountered upon moving to Morristown in 1988, at age 30.

“When I first came to Morristown, on Friday nights the carpet rolled up around 7,” said Dougherty, who won a third term as mayor last year.

Back then, the town’s business district was anchored by two prominent stores — Epstein’s and Macy’s. When the Macy’s closed down in the 1990s, so too did several other stores that depended on it, he said.

There were maybe a handful of places where people could go out at night. One was a Bennigan’s, he recalled.

“I don’t think people felt it was a place they wanted to go,” Dougherty said, adding that Morristown at that time “had no energy.”

“It was really kind of a desolate place,” he said.

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