SURF TACO SURFING INTO RED BANK

rivers-edge-cafeRiver’s Edge Cafe is moving out, and Surf Taco is moving in to 35 Broad Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Rcsm2_010508Jack Anderson has a saying: “Nothing is a done deal until five minutes after the ink dries.”

The ink dried at 35 Broad Street, at around 4p Monday, so the deal is done. Surf Taco is coming to Red Bank.

“They are officially the tenants,” Anderson, the building’s landlord and owner of Jack’s Music Shoppe, told redbankgreen.

Anderson said the lease with Surf Taco owner Rob Nagel was signed at the 3,000-square-foot space most recently occupied by Bob Guido’s River’s Edge Cafe, solidifying a deal that shows another sign of life in downtown Red Bank, which has seen a sudden boom in businesses moving into town.

“I’m very happy,” Anderson said, “and I think the town is going to be very happy.”

If Surf Taco’s reputation precedes it, the masses will be happy, too. With eight locations throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, the Mexi-Cali chain has amassed a rabid following since launching its first store, in Point Pleasant Beach, in 2001.

River’s Edge, on the other hand, is skipping town to a space in Ocean Township, according to a sign posted on the restaurant’s window. Guido, who was heavily impacted by the economy, told redbankgreen last year that he was hoping for another business to take over the space.

Nagel could not be reached Monday night for comment on his plans for the space, but Anderson said it shouldn’t be long before the doors on Broad Street open back up.

“I think they’re going to start rocking and rolling right away,” he said.

Now that 35 Broad is set to see new blood, there’s still the big vacancy next door at the former hotspot Ashes Cigar Bar, which Anderson also owns. The restaurant and nightclub was shut down last summer by a court-appointed receiver because of legal discrepancies with the liquor license.

Anderson has stayed mum on potential deals for that space, but said there’s a “work in progress” that appears to be close.

But then again, no ink has hit the paper yet, let alone dried.

* * *

In other Red Bank restaurant news, redbankgreen has learned that Sogo Sushi plans to double the size of its spot at the corner of Monmouth Street and the entrance to the White Street municipal lot, taking over space to be vacated by Bath Junkie.

Sogo, which specializes in brown rice sushi, operates mostly as a take-out business, with only two small tables for customers awaiting their orders. Assuming permits are issued, the restaurant will use the additional space for in-store dining, we’re told.

There’s no word yet on whether Bath Junkie plans to open elsewhere in the area.

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