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SEA BRIGHT: SEASONAL PARKING FEES DEBUT

sb parking 052616 4sb parking 052616 2With the wraps scheduled to come off new kiosks at the start of the Memorial Day weekend Friday, Sea Bright employees got a primer on the internal workings of the machines from a vendor Thursday.

After a threatened lawsuit by local business owners was withdrawn, the borough council earlier this month set a $1-per-hour rate for parking in municipal lots. The fees are imposed summer-only, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE SET TO WAFT

local smoke 051816 1Steve Raab, right, with partners Loren Raab, his wife, and Eric Keating, left, outside their new restaurant Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEntering a crowded Red Bank restaurant field that seems to grow more packed each week, Local Smoke BBQ stands out.

Why? In part because Steve Raab’s new place is at a highly-trafficked corner, making for a convenient stop. Partly because it has its own parking lot, without a meter in sight.

But mainly because it will be the first purely-barbecue restaurant in Red Bank proper, and is run by a pitmaster with an avid following.

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LINCROFT: $30K IN SCHOLARSHIPS FROM JOCEF

JOCEF 2016winners10Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation scholarship winners include (back row, left to right) Tyler Berman, Chris Ross, Deandre Forman, Ehrich Ballard, Erin Cotterell, Kendall Szpakowski; (front row) Emily Yasi.

Young residents of Red Bank and Middletown were among the recipients, as the Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation (JOCEF) awarded $30,000 in scholarship funds to seven students currently enrolled at the Culinary Education Center, a collaboration between Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Vocational School District.

In an emotional awards ceremony at the Culinary Education Center, students were presented checks by JOCEF board members including Maggie Romanowski, Chris and Debbie Mumford and Karen Farrell.

Proceeds from JOCEF’s third annual “Recipe for Success” gala in March 2016 funded the scholarships. The not-for-profit foundation was established in the memory of Joseph Romanowski, who mentored and nurtured many of the Jersey Shore’s finest up-and coming chefs.

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RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

132 broad 040416The Red Lantern restaurant won clearance to open at 132 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The dizzying transformation of downtown Red Bank into a place to dine, for those who can find parking, got another boost Monday night.

The borough planning board approved a plan to convert retail space at 132 Broad Street to a restaurant, despite a shortfall of 25 parking spots.

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CURCHIN SEARCHIN’ FOR WAYS TO HELP

curchin open 111015 1Faithful readers of redbankgreen know The Curchin Group as the accounting firm that hosts the annual tradition known as “The Curchin Open;” a nine-hole indoor miniature golf tournament that’s raised more than $136,900 for selected non-profit organizations since its inception in 2005. The firm is now accepting essay submissions to determine the beneficiaries of their 11th Annual Curchin Open, with recognized non-profit charities in Monmouth and Ocean Counties invited to enter by writing a 250-500 word essay detailing the mission of their organization, how the funds will be used for the greater good, and why their organization should be chosen as a beneficiary charity. Essays can be submitted now and will be accepted through Wednesday, June 1. The Curchin Group’s partners will select the beneficiaries by June 30, based on the quality of the essay, the reputation of the organization and the proposed use of Curchin Open proceeds. Eligible groups can go here for more details.

A BIG-TENT CELEBRATION ON SANDY HOOK

Brian Kirk and the Jirks 2016Brian Kirk and the Jirks signal the pre-season start of summer on Sandy Hook, as the Jersey Shore Partnership marks a milestone during its gala event on June 6.

Press release from Jersey Shore Partnership

The public is invited to help the Jersey Shore Partnership organization celebrate its 25th anniversary — and kick off summer at the Jersey Shore — at the Partnership’s annual Summer Celebration on Monday, June 6.

Scheduled from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and hosted in a huge party tent overlooking Sandy Hook Bay at historic Fort Hancock, the event offers attendees an opportunity to promote your business and network in an informal atmosphere with 500 guests from Cape May to North Jersey, who share a mutual goal to preserve the future of the Jersey Shore coastline and economy.

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FAIR HAVEN: SKEPTICISM OVER BANK PLAN

fh bank plan 051016 1An architectural rendering of the bank, proposed for the former site of a Sunoco station.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh bank plan 051016 2Like a customer at a balky ATM, a regional bank will have to try again after Fair Haven’s planning board raised numerous objections to a proposed bank branch Tuesday night.

Though the matter didn’t go to a vote, all but one board member cited misgivings about Investors Savings Bank’s plan for a branch on the site of a former River Road filling station.

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SEA BRIGHT: RUM RUNNER RESURRECTED

rum runner 050316 2The bar in a glass-walled room one patron called “the aquarium” offers panoramic views of the Shrewsbury River. Below right, restaurant principal Tim McLoone with an opening-night guest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mcloone 050316Three and a half years after the original was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy, McLoone’s Rum Runner reopened Tuesday night in the form of dazzling behemoth of a “jewel box” beside the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright.

Above the river, actually. Unlike its modest predecessor, which sat barely above high-tide, the new one is elevated to keep all but the lowest part of a stairwell dry even during the worst storm surge, and provide parking underneath at other times, said its designers.

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RED BANK: PAZZO FRIDGE GETS COOL WELCOME

pazzo 050216 1An illegal expansion into a breezeway beside Pazzo Restaurant drew criticism, but won planning board approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank restaurant’s request for permission to keep an already-built extension drew pointed criticism from borough planning board members Monday night.

“I hate it,” board vice chairman Dan Mancuso told an owner of Pazzo Restaurant.

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RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE TO REOPEN

228 drs. parker 042816 2Closed for two years, paperwork filed in connection with the sale of the former Yogi’s Liquors license indicates the store will also offer groceries and deli products. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that’s been closed for two years appears to be gearing up to reopen.

The borough council last week approved the sale of packaged-goods license of Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, and documents on file indicate the new owner intends to reopen the business there.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANTS ON PLANNING AGENDA

132 broad 040416The former storefront at 132 Broad Street is the subject of a request for an Asian restaurant called Red Lantern, which needs a parking variance. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Borough planning and zoning director Glenn Carter tells us the plan for the former firehouse at 40 White Street has been amended to a proposed retail use, from an earlier request for a restaurant. The original version of this story has been changed to reflect that.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for two restaurants and a retail space the agendas of Red Bank’s planning and zoning board meetings this week.

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RED BANK: ICE CREAM VENDOR TO RUN STAND

rb rgpark 090513In recent years, the Riverside Gardens concession booth has been open only during borough events in the park, and managed by borough employees and volunteers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A local ice cream business has won the right to run the rarely open concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park.

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream, which has a seasonal store in Sea Bright and one in Long Branch that’s open year-round, won council approval Wednesday night to lease the borough-owned facility for two years.

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RED BANK: SUBWAY ARRIVES FOUR YEARS LATE

rb subway 031716just_inFour and a half years after it won planning board approval, a Subway sandwich shop finally opened for business at 60 Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday morning.

The debut ends a saga that included years of inactivity, an eviction by the landlord and the signing of a second Subway franchisee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)