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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BOLI KNOTS AND PASTA

082216mangia6‘Boli knots,’ or bite-sized strombolis, served with a side of marinara sauce at Mangia. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Open just two weeks in the Shrewsbury shopping mall that’s home to Trader Joe’s, Mangia Brick Oven Pizza at first appears to be a tiny pizza joint squeezed into a small store front. In this case, looks are deceiving.

After scanning cases filled with several varieties of pizza, our eyes settle on a large, open kitchen with a massive brick oven before taking in the rustic barn wood-style tables and crafty decor. Not immediately apparent is a dining room with a lovely upscale vibe tucked to the right of the kitchen.

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FAIR HAVEN: A FAIR-THEE-WELL TO SUMMER ’16

The area’s longest-running community carnival returns as the 57th annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair gets underway Friday night. (Photo and video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

fh fair 082413 9Generations on the Greater Red Bank Green have known it as a bittersweet occasion — a last dance with the devil-may-care pleasures of the season before that inevitable pivot to thoughts of “back to school” and “where’s my sweater?”

The Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair is all of that and more, and when this oldest (and, many agree, greatest) of all local carnivals puts down stakes for a 57th annual edition that begins Friday evening, it will hold as many different meanings (and represent as many vivid memories) as there are people who have thrilled to its rides, vied for its prizes and stood in line for an order from its celebrated seafood café.

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COOL INSIDE: TALL AND COOL IN THE SADDLE

CoffeeCorral_081816The Peanut Butter Protein Blast from the Coffee Corral. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

coffee corral extThis week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets its recommended daily allowance of the primary food groups — caffeine, peanut butter and chocolate —all in one cold cupful at a popular Red Bank coffee stop. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BURGERS, FRIES & A VIEW

081216barnacles5Attentive diners can keep a watchful eye on the burgers as they’re grilled at the end of the bar. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?In the shadow of Rumson’s 75-year-old Navesink-River-spanning Oceanic Bridge, Barnacle Bill’s is packed on a Friday afternoon.

“You know it used to be on the pier?” an octogenarian customer who’s been coming to the Rumson perennial asks PieHole.

We do, and locals know also that the waterfront restaurant is the place to go when you’re craving a burger — and that it’s open for lunch from Friday through Sunday only.

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RED BANK: OLD-TIME SODA SHOP PLANNED

FIZZ 081916Fizz Soda Fountain, featuring burgers, shakes and a 1940’s-era soda dispenser, is to replace the Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThrowing in the towel on the increasingly competitive market for subs, a Red Bank eatery is going old-school.

Canio Paradiso’s Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street, which closed for renovations earlier this summer, plans to reopen next month as Fizz Soda Fountain.

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SHREWSBURY: SWIMWEAR, PIZZA & MORE

sbury lilikoi 080916Lilikoi set up shop recently in a Broad Street storefront in the Franklin Commons strip mall. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn takes a spin around Shrewsbury and finds — no surprise — that this retail-centric borough has no shortage of stores coming and going.

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COOL INSIDE: A ‘BOMBA’ OF SUBTLE FLAVORS

BOMBA_081116A Juanito’s ‘Bomba,’ packed with flavor and texture. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanito's bakery 081116This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series sinks a straw into a thick, cold beverage that’s kind of a mash-up of a fruit smoothie and a chocolate milkshake.

It’s called a “Bomba,” and the guy who made it for us swears it’s a great way to start your day. Yes, for breakfast. And we found it delivers a payload of satisfying flavors and textures while cooling us to the core on a sweltering August afternoon.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SHRIMP, WITH BIG VIEWS

080916rumrunner5The roofed deck at McLoone’s Rum Runner. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?On a clear day, Tim McLoone‘s newly rebuilt Rum Runner restaurant in Sea Bright offers bird’s-eye views south along the Shrewsbury River past the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, north toward Sandy Hook Bay, and to the east, beach clubs, interspersed with peeks of the Atlantic Ocean.

Stunning eye-candy aside, PieHole finds another reason to appreciate this back-from-the dead Sandy survivor.

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RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE UP FOR SALE

RB independent engine 93 061016 2The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02

For the second time in little more than two years, Red Bank is looking to unload a firehouse.

On Wednesday night, without discussion, the council unanimously agreed to put the home of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court, up for sealed-bid auction on August 30.

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RED BANK: THIRD NOVEL FOR BARTENDER

brandon zenner 052114the after war coverWhen he’s not pulling pints for the clientele of Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub, bartender Brandon Zenner (seen here in 2014) puts in long hours at his laptop, conjuring fictional worlds. His third novel in little more than two years, titled “The After War,” debuts this week. It’s a post-apocalyptic story based on an idea Zenner had almost two decades ago, when he was a 16-year-old student at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and it’s available as an e-book here. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

COOL INSIDE: PARTY IN A CUP

CHOCO-WORKS_080416Presenting the Candy Wonderland Shake. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chocolate works 080516 1This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series spotlights what may just be the eye-poppingest drinkable treat you’ll ever lay eyes on.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SUSHI DELIGHTS

072616sakura3A specialty at Sakura Sushi is the Floating Island appetizer. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?In what might be the tiniest sushi bar on the Greater Red Bank Green, PieHole finds a lively, amusing, and loyal customer base.

And at Sakura Sushi, located in in the Acme shopping center on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, it’s easy to strike up conversation with fellow diners, with just four sushi bar seats and four small tables occupying the diminutive space.

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RED BANK: FOOD & CLOTHING POWER CHURN

theo 080216Alexander Meder’s women’s clothing store, Theo, opened at 3 East Front Street this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small Two new clothing stores open. A cupcake shop adds a coffee bar as another dessert business prepares to open. One restaurant changes hands while another goes dark. And a longtime barber sweeps up the clippings for the last time.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds the usual elevated level of change in the face and character of downtown Red Bank. Read More »

COOL INSIDE: INSIDE THE BUBBLE

CHILL_072816A Lemon-Strawberry Ice Bubble from Chill Bubble Tea in Red Bank. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chill bubble tea 5This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets a little bubbly and fruity with a cold drink that pops in your mouth.

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