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RED BANK: MONMOUTH STREET CHURNS

9 monmouth 072915Moving to Red Bank from Spring Lake, Charleston Shops is taking over 9 Monmouth Street, above, former home of Toad Hollow.

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn finds lots of changes underway at the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets in Red Bank.

And a good deal of it is happening at 80 Broad, the former Red Bank Mini Mall building at the southwest corner of that intersection that recently added Toki as a tenant.

 

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RED BANK: WALGREENS NEIGHBORS SEEK HELP

rb walgreens 072315 1Area 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

HOT-TOPIC_03Motorists 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.

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RED BANK: LONGTIME BARBER DIES

domenick sama 061015A 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.

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RETAIL CHURN: EAT, WEAR AND INVEST

jim lin 110314Jim Lin, owner of Oriental Empire, said customers of his Ocean Township restaurant urged him to open one in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got details on these recent developments in ever-churning downtown Red Bank:

• Oriental Empire, a restaurant offering a mix of Asian cuisines, opened last month at 54 English Plaza.

• A former sales associate at the recently departed Nirvana is opening her own women’s clothing store on Broad Street.

• A restaurant called Hansel & Griddle plans to open on West Front Street.

• A nail salon changes hands and rebrands.

• The space formerly occupied by office supply retailer Staples is turning into office space for a securities brokerage.

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RED BANK: CLASSIC RASSAS SIGN RESCUED

rassas sign 091714 2 rassas sign 091714 3A 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)

rassas 1 052213

RED BANK: WALGREENS BEGINS RX WORK

rb walgreens 091514Rcsm2_010508Contrary to speculation in a redbankgreen article back in March, when we reported that Walgreens was “reviewing” whether to go ahead with its controversial plan for a Red Bank store, the pharmacy giant is… going ahead with its plan for a Red Bank store.

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 31 for $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)

RED BANK: ANOTHER PHARMACY PLANNED

39 e front 071514The 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

retail churn smallAre 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.

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RED BANK: WEEKDAY WORKOUTS IN THE PARK

outdoorfit5-fanelli2011Whether 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.

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RED BANK: FLUSHING AWAY TAX DOLLARS

HOT-TOPIC_03Somebody flushed a mop head down a toilet.

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.

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CHURN: PUMPING NEW LIFE INTO FRONT

danielle buccellato 042214Danielle Buccellato in her new fitness studio, Renaissance Pilates. Below, the facade of the long-empty Love Lane Tuxedos is about to get a makeover. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

25 w front 3 050214Pretty much equidistant from the northern end of Broad Street in Red Bank, two new businesses are revitalizing long-dormant storefronts on East and West Front Streets.

To the east, Renaissance Pilates has taken a chunk of space in what used to be Kislin’s Sporting Goods.

And on West Front, a decade of disuse and dilapidation is being reversed for the Red Bank Design Center, a furniture-and-finishes showcase to serve the interior design trade.

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RED BANK: WEDDING WALKERS BRAVE CHILL

rb wed walk 033014 5rb wed walk 033014 2Some 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)

RED BANK: WALGREENS RETHINKS STORE PLAN

rassas 032214The former home of Rassas Buick, at Broad Street and Rumson Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Just six weeks after a series of contentious hearings won Walgreens an OK to build a store in Red Bank, the pharmacy chain is “reviewing [its] options” on the plan, redbankgreen has learned.

So says Aaron Rassas, the retired car dealer who owns the one-acre Broad Street site where Walgreens planned to build a 10,120 square foot drug-and-grocery emporium.

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SEA BRIGHT: FREE BEACH TO GET COSTLY LAV

sb anchorage 1 101313A four-stall restroom with a ramp over the seawall is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb anchorage 2 101313To those in the know, it’s Sea Bright’s “free beach,” and free it shall remain for the foreseeable future, town officials say.

But one of the tradeoffs in visiting the Anchorage Beach – reliance on porta-potties for bathroom service – is finally about to end, at a steep cost.

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RBR SPOTLIGHTS HEROIN EPIDEMIC

rbr drug forum 022014 rb drug forum 022014 2Recovering 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)