Vacant for just a month, the former Red Bank home of Hamilton Jewelers could become a swank nightclub if approved by town planning officials.
A Shrewsbury anesthesiologist, Ted Kutzin, has proposed converting the storefront at 19 Broad Street into the Gotham Lounge, a “high-end bar/lounge with tapas food and occasional entertainment,” according to documents filed recently with the town planning office.
Gotham would become part of an rapid overhaul of upper Broad Street that includes half a dozen new restaurants, as well as two that have already failed, and another that’s about to add 200 seats to a competitive dining market. It would also join Red and the Downtown in competing for clubgoers.
Gotham plans to acquire a liquor license from Eugene Devlin, who owns two: one for the Dublin House, which he owns, and an unused license acquired after the demise of Ashes on Broad Street.
Devlin confirmed the planned sale, but declined to tell redbankgreen how much he’s getting for it. He paid $395,000 for the license at auction in late 2010, after the controversy-shadowed Ashes was shut down by the state Alcohol Beverage Control division over questions about the identities of undisclosed parties holding interests in it, in violation of state law..
Borough Clerk Pam Borghi said the license is still technically owned by lawyer Bunce Atkinson, the court-appointed receiver for Ashes, and that the borough had only recently received a tax clearance certificate that would enable a transfer. The police department is conducting background checks required before a license can change hands, she said.
Kutzin, the medical director at the outpatient Shrewsbury Surgery Center, did not respond to a message left at his medical office Wednesday afternoon.
His filing with the planning office includes floor plans showing a first floor featuring a 24-foot-long bar and a 14-foot bar on the second floor.
According to planning and zoning officer Donna Smith-Barr, the plan would require a change of use variance. No hearing date has be set.