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RED BANK: GO FOR POKÉMON GO? GO NUTS

rb pokemon 071916 2morgan o'keefe jonah brewer 071916The Pokémon Go craze that’s gripped America this month continues to bring legions of visitors to Red Bank. Necks craned toward their cellphones, players can be seen wandering downtown in a virtual hunt for cartoon critters at 30 Pokéstops and five Battle Gyms.

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RED BANK: POKÉMON GO’S NIGHT OUT

rb downtown 062016 1A week’s worth of Pokémon Go gets underway in downtown Red Bank Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

hot-topicIf you’re not one of the millions of multi-generational players who’ve bonded in recent days over the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, feel free to go about your business. But if the pursuit of Pikachu, Pidgey, and Bellsprout has found you exploring your surroundings like never before, then the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter have a little promotion that might pump up your Pokédex. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: LAIRD’S GETTING SQUEEZED OUT

budnicks brounley 071116Bob and Rose Budnick outside their store with longtime customer Katherine Brounley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTucked into the corner of a Fair Haven strip mall, marked with minimal signage, Laird’s Stationery is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But locals know it, and know it as a jam-packed emporium of not only paper goods and office supplies, but everything from backpacks to wiffle bats.

“The register never stops ringing,” owner Bob Budnick said early this week, as three customers converged at the front desk to pay for their purchases. “This store is woven into the fabric of a lot of people’s lives.”

But the register is about to stop ringing, here at least, and the business may be doomed, said Budnick and his wife.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP TO PUSH FOR LAW CHANGE

rapcavage tumia 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen last month with Harding Road neighbor Kenny Tumia, above. Below, a detail of Rapcavage’s plan. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Hoping to pave the way for his latest plan for a troubled site on the edge of downtown, developer Ray Rapcavage intends to ask the Red Bank council to amend the borough zoning law.

Rapcavage tells redbankgreen he’ll appear at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council session to ask for a change to allow builders to construct units with up to three bedrooms without having to seek a use variance.

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FAIR HAVEN: BANK HEARING DELAYED AGAIN

fh bank plan 051016 1HOT-TOPIC_03For the second time since it began in May, a hearing on a proposed Investors Savings Bank branch on the former site of a Sunoco station on River Road in Fair Haven has been postponed at the applicant’s request. The matter, scheduled for Monday night, is now slated for July 28.

Meantime, the board is expected to continue its review of the town’s Master Plan, among other matters.

For redbankgreen’s prior coverage of the bank plan, click here.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: FIRE DAMAGES VACANT STORE

rb fire 062716 1rb fire 062716 2Fire damaged a vacant retail building at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Catherine Street in Red Bank at about 8 p.m. Monday evening. The blaze was quickly brought under control by volunteer firefighters. Information about the cause was not immediately available.

The building, located at 203 Shrewsbury, next door to On the Rocks Wines and liquors, was last used as a fish market, but has been vacant since the 1990s. Property records indicate it is owned by Sandyriver LLC of Holmdel.   (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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FAIR HAVEN MAN CHARGED IN BREAK-IN SPREE

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN-2016-v3Middletown police arrested a 38-year-old Fair Haven man last Friday on charges he went on a recent burglary spree in the township, smashing his way into at least eight retail businesses and restaurants since mid-March, they allege.

In each case, David Aochoa, 38, of Third Street, is alleged to have gained entry by throwing a red brick through a glass door, according to a series of MTPD complaints.

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RED BANK: SUGARUSH ADDING CAFFEINE RUSH

amanda porter sugarush 062016Taking over the business from her brother and brother-in-law, Amanda Porter plans to add a café to Sugarush next week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt’s not so much that the block on which her business resides is undercaffeinated, by urban standards, that compelled new Sugarush owner Amanda Porter to open a café at the Red Bank desserts shop.

But add to that the fact that she’s got available storefront space; a bakery out back with the capacity to create a whole new, non-dessert treats menu; and is a self-style “coffee snob,” and well, how could she not?

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RED BANK CHURN: CLOTHES AND ART TRAINING

chris carbone 060216 1Chris Carbone Jr. recently opened a menswear shop at 24 Monmouth Street that blends hip-hop, skating and sports influences. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn heralds the arrival of a new men’s clothing store in downtown Red Bank; plans for a women’s clothing boutique, also downtown; and another women’s boutique just over the town line in Shrewsbury.

Also spotlighted: a highly unusual new art school that’s tuition-free and for veterans only. Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP RETURNS WITH NEW PLAN

Rayrap Site Plan 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen below on Hudson Avenue opposite his properties, including a house destroyed by fire in May, 2012. Above, a rendering of the proposed project, with an English garden fronting on Hudson and 16 condos backing up against Clay Street. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rapcavage 061316 1Seven months after his proposal for homes at the Five Corners site in Red Bank was shot down by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage has filed completely overhauled plans with borough hall.

The new plan reduces the number of proposed homes on the site — fronting on Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue — to 18, from 22. It includes a large English garden of winding paths out front, whereas the last plan had no open space.

And most critically for Rapcavage, the plan doesn’t need any variances, he tells redbankgreen.

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SHREWSBURY: SWIMWEAR IN THE FORECAST

shrewsbury mannequins 061016A pair of mannequins stood sheathed in plastic while contractors prepared a new swimwear shop at the Franklin Commons strip mall on Broad Street in Shrewsbury last week.

After a night of windows-open natural air conditioning, when temperatures dipped into the upper 50s, the Greater Red Bank Green is back into swimwear weather, with ample sunshine and peak temperatures in the vicinity of 80 degrees Monday, according to the Weather Underground. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PHARMACY, APARTMENTS GOING UP

WhatsGoingOnHererb pharmacy 060516224-226 Shrews 040615There’s new construction underway on a narrow, vacant lot on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, where a pharmacist, Ritesh Shah, won approval last year to erect a four-unit apartment building with an independently owned drugstore on the ground floor. An architect’s rendering is at right.

Shah was not immediately available for comment on the estimated completion date of the project, which is next door to Lino’s Mexican Café. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MEMBERS-ONLY CIGAR CLUB OK’D

22-24 w front 060116 2The club, called Le Malt, is to occupy the space previously leased to a gym, and will include a small retail cigar store accessible to the public through the front door. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02A few hundred well-heeled smokers may soon have a swank hangout in downtown Red Bank, following Thursday night’s zoning board approval of a private cigar and bring-your-own-booze club.

To be called Le Malt Club, it’ll be posh, exclusive and “absolutely” odor free to residents of the nine condos above the West Front Street storefront, let alone to passersby, according to testimony.

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