RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”

072114rbdiner vitelloWaitress Lisa Vitello outisde the diner Monday afternoon. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

The Monmouth Street eatery ended an 18-year run owning to the death last February of Bob Russo, Amy’s father, and a restructuring of the business, said Rocky Coviello, the partner who’s being bought out.

From the Sun:

Russo said she had long wanted to open a restaurant in Red Bank, and her father thought eventually she would take over the diner.

“My Dad and I were going to do this together — transition the diner into Toast,” she said.

Russo launched Toast, a breakfast and lunch spot on Cookman Avenue in 2011, four years after opening her first restaurant, also called Toast, in Montclair, according to the Sun.

The closing “blindsided” some 40 employees at the diner, which operated seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Kim Kurcanick, works, hostess called her this morning and and told here, “nobody works here anymore.”

“I burst out crying,” she told redbankgreen.

Lisa Vitello who would have 11 October, said the waitresses are shocked.

“Do they not realize what they did to their employees?,” she said, adding they were told, “come get your pay on Wednesday between 11 and 5.”

Erica DeRobbio, who lives in a second-floor apartment next door to the diner, called the place her “extended kitchen.

“It was our go-to spot when we didn’t feel like cooking,” she said. “Easily once a week” she’d have dinner there, often ordering her favorite dish” fettucine alfredo with chicken and broccoli.

“It’s sad,” she said of the closing.