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CHURN: ROOK, GOTHAM, PLATYPUS, NO APPLE

rook 122214 1 Kate Henderson brews one of the first cups at Rook Coffee Roasters Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallClosing out a busy year, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn delivers news of a coffee place and an art-filled nightspot, both in downtown Red Bank, and some churnings in the groves of Shrewsbury, where the perennial rumor of an Apple Computer store is again in the air.

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RED BANK: BLUE WATER TO REOPEN AS CATCH

blue water 091914The new seafood restaurant could be in operation as early as this month, a partner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Upping their stake in downtown Red Bank, the owners of the yet-to-open Gotham bar have acquired the former Blue Water Seafood just up the block, a partner confirmed Thursday.

Joseph Squillaro tells Retail Churn that he and his co-investors, who include a Shrewsbury anesthesiologist, hope to open both Broad Street businesses by the end of October, with the seafood restaurant rebranded as ‘Catch.’

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RED BANK: GREEN LIGHT FOR GOTHAM

gotham 072114A passerby checks out new signage being installed Monday for Gotham, a speakeasy-themed gastropub that won approval from the Red Bank zoning board last week with no objections voiced by onlookers.

The club, which takes over the former Hamilton Jewelers space at 19 Broad Street, is expected to open by October, and will feature regular comedy, jazz and DJ shows, partner Joseph Squillaro tells redbankgreen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: OWNER VOWS ‘NOT ANOTHER FIXX’

rb gotham 060514Gotham Lounge will have a dress code, a partner in the business said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_02By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to head off misconceptions, a partner in the Gotham Lounge, a proposed Red Bank nightclub, promises an “upscale, sophisticated” speakeasy-themed place with a dress code.

Joseph Squillaro tells redbankgreen that the Broad Street club will be respectful of local sensitivities.

“I know how important it is to the town that they not have another Chubby’s there, not another Fixx” he said, referring by the former and current names of a West Front Street bar that authorities shut down for three weeks earlier this year following two street melees within a month last fall.

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RED BANK: NIGHTCLUB EYES BROAD STREET

rb gotham 060414Gotham Lounge would feature bars on two floors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_02By JOHN T. WARD

Vacant for just a month, the former Red Bank home of Hamilton Jewelers could become a swank nightclub if approved by town planning officials.

A Shrewsbury anesthesiologist, Ted Kutzin, has proposed converting the storefront at 19 Broad Street into the Gotham Lounge, a “high-end bar/lounge with tapas food and occasional entertainment,” according to documents filed recently with the town planning office.

Gotham would become part of an rapid overhaul of upper Broad Street that includes half a dozen new restaurants, as well as two that have already failed, and another that’s about to add 200 seats to a competitive dining market. It would also join Red and the Downtown in competing for clubgoers.

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RED BANK: HAMILTON CLOSING STORE

hamilton 050414The Princeton-based jeweler has had its store at 19 Broad Street since 2003.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Hamilton Jewelers is closing its Red Bank store, the company told select customers in a letter last week.

One of a handful of retailers that add high-end sparkle to Broad Street, Hamilton is moving out of 19 Broad Street after failing to come to terms on a new lease, the company said in the letter, signed by President Hank Siegel and Chairman Martin Siegel.

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TEENS BUSTED FOR ROOFTOP GRAFFITI

authorities2bBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Two local teenagers were arrested in Red Bank Thursday after being caught spray-painting a downtown building, police said.

Thomas Ley, 18, of Rumson, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespassing, Captain Darren McConnell said. A 17-year-old male from Red Bank was also arrested and charged with the same crimes, McConnell said.

Police are also looking into whether the two may be involved in increased graffiti incidents within the borough the last two months.

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HOME-GOODS TOUR STARS ‘UNSUNG HEROES’

queen-vaccum_9John and Rachel Decker of Queen Vacuum are leading the charge to highlight Red Bank’s daytime attractions this Saturday. (Photo courtesy Fran Waldmann)

By TOM CHESEK

“Red Bank is really diverse — but it sometimes gets pegged as a nightlife town,” says Rachel Decker of Queen Vacuum and Sewing Machine, the long-running Monmouth Street business (formerly Graman’s) that she and her husband John have operated for the better part of the past decade.

“While the restaurants and theaters are really wonderful, as a ‘daytime’ sort of business we felt a little left out, in that what we do didn’t fit in with a lot of RiverCenter’s events and promotions,” she says.

As the young, stylish and energetic NextGen owners of the 50-year-old appliance retailer and servicer (John, a former employee of founder Gene Graman, bought the business in 2003; Rachel came on board full time in 2006), the thirtysomething Tinton Falls couple admits to having been a bit jealous of the parade of dining, shopping and recreational happenings that passed by their shop like trains from the nearby NJ Transit platform.

As a member of the marketing committee for Red Bank RiverCenter, however, Rachel “knew that other businesses in town felt the way we did.” Acknowledging that the way to address the problem was to “be constructive rather than complain,” the former graphic designer took the liberty of “pitching a few ideas at ’em” — and when the dust cleared, she found herself appointed chair of the first-ever Only One Red Bank Home Event, a promotion designed to prepare the home-oriented “unsung retail heroes and service businesses” of Red Bank for their long overdue close-up.

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FERRARI FEVER RETURNS

img_079120090809They weren’t all red.

In fact, they weren’t all Ferraris, as a half-dozen Maseratis and a trio of Lamborghinis mixed in with about 20 Ferraris at Sunday’s ‘Raduna Eleganza‘ (“Elegant Event)’ on Broad Street in Red Bank.

The gathering of big ticket vehicles was the second in two years organized by Hamilton Jewelers as part of a fundraiser that gave lovers of Italian automotive engineering an eyeful — even if the threat of rain kept the number of cars to less than half the 75 that had been expected.

“These guys don’t like to take their cars out in the rain,” one observer noted.

More pix after the jump…

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