By JOHN T. WARD
Production of the second, full season of ‘Comic Book Men’ got underway Monday, giving a prominent vacancy in downtown Red Bank something to do for the next 10 weeks while its owners continue trying to attract a more permanent tenant.
The reality show, which had a limited run earlier this year on AMC, is set in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and follows the jostlings of the shop’s employees and customers.
Additional footage, featuring Smith and an Algonquin Rectangular Table of comic book aficionads shooting the breeze, is to be recorded on a sound stage built across the street from the store, at 28 Broad.
That’s the former home of Prima’s Home Café, a furnishings store that vacated back in January, when the building changed hands for $1.175 million, according to property records.
The buyer was a partnership that includes Middletown paving maven Rich Stavola. Word is that he’s hoping to lure a jazz-anchored restaurant to the address.
‘Comic Book Men’ will feature 16 episodes this season, up from six in its first.
In other Retail Churnings:
• After just 18 months, imported furniture retailer Hip & Humble Home has ended its tenancy, adding to a gaping maw at 58-60 Broad Street that also includes the former home of T. Berry Square and a Subway sandwich shop that’s been approved there.
Hip & Humble owner Danny Weinberg says he hopes to reopen elsewhere in about a month, “off Broad but still downtown.”
• Two hamburger joints are still in the works to open around the corner from one another.
At 17 West Front Street, the future Jr.’s Burgers shop is getting a makeover to what might have been the ugliest facade in all of downtown. Owner Mike DeSimone tells us he’s shooting for a late summer opening.
At 20 Broad, the former home of Zebu Forno, Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries principal Perry GraBois says an early August opening is targeted.
• Tony Busch’s RiverWalk Commons, a mixed residential, retail and office project approved in 2006 but never built, is seeking borough OK to change the plan by eliminating the street-level retail office component entirely.
An underground parking garage would also be eliminated. Instead, parking for the 24 apartments would be at ground level beneath the four-story structure, which is located at 24-30 Mechanic, next door to the Independent Engine firehouse.