Area residents say they’re concerned about the impact of a new Walgreens on local road safety. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Motorists using a shortcut along the Red Bank-Little Silver border may have to find another workaround to congestion soon.
But not quite as soon as area residents had hoped. The Red Bank council tapped the brakes on itself Wednesday night, when two neighbors of a Walgreens store now under construction said a planned order for new stop signs didn’t go far enough.
A longtime fixture of downtown Red Bank died Monday.
Domenick Sama, who owned and operated Domenick’s Barber Shop, on East Front Street, died at his home in Red Bank, according to an obituary posted online. He was 93 years old.
The shop, run by an immigrant from Italy and veteran of the U.S Army during World War II, was “a simple, old-fashioned gathering place, a step back in time, where an excellent haircut could be had and lively conversation could be exchanged in familiar surroundings,” according to the obit.
Well on its way to earning the label “Red Bank tradition,” the fourth annual cancer awareness-raiser Go Naked and Check Yourself took over the Downtown Sunday evening, offering raffles, entertainment and eyecandy for a cause. redbankgreen was there, naturally. We’ve got more photos after the jump… (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
A bit banged up but salvageable, one of the classic neon Rassas Buick signs in Red Bank – seen below in 2013 – was saved from the bulldozer Wednesday by restoration aficionado John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Oakley credits Pete Esposito and crew from Esposito Construction with “going above and beyond” to get the sign down intact. Now, restoration of the open-face letter channel sign “will make a nice winter project,” said Oakley, whose Shrewsbury Avenue shop has become something of a museum of local signage. redbankgreen will let readers know when it’s done.
The former Rassas auto dealership was torn down this week to make way for a new Walgreens pharmacy. (Photo above and right by John Oakley. Click to enlarge)
Demolition began Monday on the former Rassas Buick showroom at 395 Broad Street, opposite the SuperFoodtown market. Monmouth County records show that Aaron Rassas sold the longtime home of his family auto dealership to a company affiliated with Walgreens’ developer Mark Development on July 31for $3.35 million. Information about the store’s expected opening date was not immediately available.
Rassas Pontiac, which opened at 21 Mechanic Street in 1930, relocated to the Broad Street site in 1949 and operated there continuously until it shut down in early 2013. There’s some more history here. (Photo by Michael McMahon. Click to enlarge)
The owner of 39 East Front Street says he’ll replace what he admits is the “ugliest” facade on the block with the conversion to retail. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Are prescription drugs and shampoos displacing pizza, frozen yogurt and cupcakes as the hot new thing in downtown Red Bank?
A new pharmacy and convenience store has filed plans to open on East Front Street near Riverview Medical Center, even as two other drugstores – a giant Walgreens and an independent – move ahead elsewhere on the East Side.
Whether you make your home in Red Bank or make a living here, the free weekly Wednesday evening fitness classes at Riverside Gardens Park are an energizing alternative to rush-hour traffic. (Photo by Peter Lindner)
Yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi and Pilates are the order of the evening — in a setting that’s both attuned to relaxing riverside vistas and plugged into the energy of downtown Red Bank — as a new Wednesday evening series of free fitness classes continues at Riverside Gardens Park.
Conducted by instructors from the Community YMCA from 6 to 7 pm, the free outdoor sessions are presented in partnership with Red Bank Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign — and they’re open to anyone who lives and/or works in the borough.
That feat of hydraulic waste removal and others, including the flushing of a towel, led to a three-day crash of a Red Bank sanitary sewer pump earlier this week that will cost taxpayers at least $30,000, officials said Wednesday night.
Some 215 soon-to-be-married couples and their attendants endured a wet, chilly few hours Sunday for the latest edition Red Bank Wedding Walk, which puts the services of several dozen wedding vendors on display. A trolly and a hot beverage made the going a bit easier for one participant, above.
The event, the first since a Superior Court ruled last October that New Jersey must recognize same-sex marriage, attracted a number of same-sex couples, including a set of grooms-to-be who won one of the event’s prizes, according to officials at Red Bank RiverCenter, the organizer. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Recovering drug addict Dave Dolan, right, spoke of his rapid descent from model student to heroin user during a forum on teen substance abuse that attracted dozens of parents and kids to Red Bank Regional Thursday night. Now a graduate student at Monmouth University, Dolan was part of a panel of health professionals, parents of addicts and ex-users assembled to discuss the warning signs and responses to drug use.
“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Charlie Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which regards an increase in heroin deaths in the Shore region over the past two years an epidemic. (Click to enlarge)
It was nippy outside Sunday evening, but at Red Bank’s Red lounge, it was a place to Go Naked. Dozens came out to the third annual Go Naked and Check Yourself fundraiser and (ahem) educational event held to raise awareness about skin cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer and other detectable ailments. Once again, Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie shops put the bounce in the event, which had previously raised more than $20,000 for health-related charities. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)
Drawing a crowd to Red Bank’s Salon Concrete last Friday night was a show of paintings and other works by Little Silver artist Mike Ciccotello. “Other works’ included customized skateboard decks (see below). One attendee wore Ciccotello sneakers, right.
The show is slated to run through December. Salon Concrete is at 123 Broad Street. (Click to enlarge)
‘Literary Vixens’ Jacqueline Tobacco (left) and Melissa Bartolone flank author Suzanne Palmieri during her reading at Red Bank’s Lambs and Wolves salon earlier this month. (Photos by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)
Not the “pull a rabbit out of a hat” kind of magic. The kind, she told an audience on a recent Friday night in Red Bank, that happened when she learned, while trying to budget her daughter’s college tuition. that an Italian company had bought the foreign rights to her book, ‘The Witch of Little Italy.’ The kind that happens when a fan, who happens to live five minutes away, turns into a close friend.
“I’ve made a lot of friends like that,” she said. “I didn’t know when I wrote the book that it would tap into something bigger.”
Hoping to create that kind of magic for other writers of edgy, sexy fiction is Literary Vixens, a publishing concern that began when friends Jacqueline Tobacco of Middletown and Melissa Bartolone of Red Bank reunited through social media over their love of books.
With Lauren DeVito, Literary Vixens promote, as their tagline says, “smart books for passionate readers.” What started out as a book blog is transforming into a publishing agency, and the ladies hope to hand pick a few marketable authors to work with.
“We knew we wanted [the name] to be a combination of smart and daring,” said Tobacco. “‘Vixen’ means we’re a little bit more edgy in our reading, a little bit more sophisticated.”