20° Partly Cloudy

LITTLE SILVER: VOTERS SAY ‘BOTTOMS UP’

ls booze 110115 2Referendum proponent Matt Kelly had suggested booze be allowed in the vicinity of the train station.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Little Silver is ready to wet its whistle.

Voters said “cheers” in Tuesday’s election to a referendum that would end the borough’s dry spell dating back at least to Prohibition, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: BOOZE Q ON THE BALLOT

ls booze 110115 1The town hasn’t allowed alcoholic drinks to be sold by the glass at least since Prohibition. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Is Little Silver ready for a stiff drink?

For the second time in 39 years, voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow the creation of the town’s first-ever on-premise-consumption liquor license.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER MULLS FIRST LIQUOR LICENSE

ls council 111714Residents packed Monday night’s borough council meeting, many in support of a referendum on the license question.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Little Silver voters may face a non-binding referendum next year on whether the town should issue its first-ever license for on-premise consumption of alcohol.

That possibility appeared to gel into likelihood Monday night on the heels of a builder’s request, backed by a 500-signature petition, asking the borough council to make allowance for a family-style restaurant that serves alcohol.

Read More »

RED BANK CUTTING FARM VENDOR FEE

RB farm mkt 1 051213Red Bank officials introduced an ordinance amendment this week that will allow food vendors at the Farmers’ Market to obtain yearlong health department licenses for $350, instead of paying $50 per week. A vote on the measure, which Mayor Pasquale Menna said would also reduce paperwork at borough hall, was scheduled for April 23. Here’s the amendment: RB 2014-10

The Farmers’ Market, based in the Galleria parking lot, returns on Mother’s Day, May 11, and runs into mid-November.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIXX GETS 20-DAY SHUTDOWN

fixx 102113The settlement of charges calls for the West Front Street bar to meet a list of conditions involving security. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank nightclub Fixx, the scene of two sprawling street melees earlier this year, will close for 20 days next month under a deal approved by the borough council Wednesday night.

When it reopens, on or after January 21, the West Front Street bar will have to beef up security, report monthly to the police chief and hand over a list of the names of banned or ejected patrons, among other measures, Mayor Pasquale Menna said shortly before the council unanimously approved the deal.

“This demonstrates the seriousness, the severity and, pardon the pun, the sobriety with which the council is looking at this,” Menna said.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIXX SETTLEMENT EXPECTED

fixx-ext-082411A tentative deal to settle allegations arising from recent melees has tentative agreement, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fixx, the troubled Red Bank nightclub that was facing a license suspension hearing this week, has negotiated a tentative settlement with the borough, redbankgreen has learned.

Mayor Pasquale Menna confirmed on Monday that the deal has led to the cancellation of a trial-like hearing by the borough council that was scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIXX LICENSE HEARING POSTPONED

fixx 2 102113A pair of melees involving Fixx patrons prompted a borough move to suspend its liquor license. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Troubled Red Bank nightclub Fixx has bought itself a little more time to work on a legal strategy to prevent a suspension of its liquor license.

Borough attorney Dan O’Hern tells redbankgreen that the bar’s lawyer has requested and been given a postponement of a hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, at which the town council is to conduct a trial over charges related to a pair of closing-time melees in September and October involving the club’s patrons.

Read More »

RED BANK: TRIAL ON FIXX LICENSE SLATED

fixx-ext-082411Fixx faces a possible 40-day suspension for two recent brawls. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s governing body is scheduled to decide next month whether to suspend the liquor license of the nightclub Fixx for up to 40 days for two recent closing-time melees, Mayor Pasquale Menna announced Wednesday night.

In addition, the borough was planning to notify the West Front Street bar’s owners on Thursday that they owe the town $33,000 for a tardy response to a fire code violation earlier this year, Administrator Stanley Sickels told redbankgreen.

Because the council will act as the equivalent of a jury at a hearing on alleged violations of state Alcohol and Beverage Control laws relating to brawls on September 22 and October 6, Menna and borough Attorney Dan O’Hern advised council members not to comment on the case.

But that didn’t stop neighbor Tony Busch Sr. from teeing up the bar, which has been the scene of two wide-ranging brawls in the past month. The most recent, early Sunday morning, required 25 cops from towns as far away as Keyport and  Long Branch, as well as eight Red Bank cops, to quell.

“What’s going on here is tantamount to a terrorist attack,” said Busch, one of five homeowners living above the Work Out World gym next door to Fixx. “This is getting worse by the day. And it’s very tough for the town, because we’re not set up for a terrorist attack.”

Read More »

MENNA: FIXX OWNERS ‘THUMBING THEIR NOSE’ AT RED BANK, WILL FACE SWIFT LEGAL ACTION

dogs-of-pavlov-fixxA 2009 view of the interior at Fixx. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Legal action against Red Bank nightclub Fixx could come as early as Wednesday in the aftermath of the second closing-time melee in two weeks early Sunday morning, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

Menna said he had ordered borough departments to report on “all incidents and violations” involving the West Front Street club since January 1, with an eye toward a possible announcement of legal action at Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the mayor and council.

“I’m prepared to take action to ending this completely unacceptable business model,” Menna said Monday. Unruly behavior by bar patrons “is obviously being condoned” its owners, he added.

“The owners have been thumbing their noses at the municipality,” he said. “They can’t control their business. It’s time for the state to step in and control their business.”

Read More »

RED BANK: THE DOG NIGHTS OF SUMMER?

Dogs at last month’s Red Bank Street Fair. Mayor Pasquale Menna says he’s working on a recurring dog-friendly event for this summer.  (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Red Bank’s elected officials had canines on the brain Wednesday night, as dog-related issues came up several times during the course of the bimonthly council meeting.

Mayor Pasquale Menna said that he and Councilwoman Sharon Lee had recently attended a meeting at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital to plan an event he referred to as the “Dog Days of Summer in Red Bank,” a creative endeavor looking to pair downtown nightlife and dog-friendly activities.

“I consider it a very cool, progressive idea, based somewhat off the European model of including pets in life,” Menna said.

Read More »

WOMAN HAS A BONE TO PICK OVER DOG LAW

delynn-mehrlanderDelynn Mehrlander with Henry, the yellow lab pup she got after the death of her last dog. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

When Little Silver resident Delynn Mehrlander got a notice in the mail earlier this year reminding her to re-license her dog, Jode, she tossed it away.

Jode, a 10-year-old yellow lab, had been put down with cancer five months earlier, so there was no dog to license, she reasoned.

About a month ago came a summons, telling her she’d violated the local animal licensing law.

Read More »

GLOVE, ID LEAD COPS TO ALLEGED BURGLAR

manuel-cortezAn alleged serial burglar who authorities say left a glove behind at one house and used his real ID to sell jewelry taken from another was arrested by Middletown police Tuesday.

Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, the department spokesman, says in a news announcement today that Manuel Cortez, 50, was busted on charges of breaking into three township residences over the course of six months.

Here’s the full text of the statement:

Read More »

CABBIES OPPOSE LICENSE CHANGES

taxiCab drivers in Red Bank are opposed to a proposal to raise fees and increase the number of cars allowed to operate in the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A proposal to increase the number of taxis allowed to operate in town and to hike the license fees has Red Bank hacks riled up.

About a dozen taxi drivers and dispatchers who believe the current rules work just fine came to take up a few rows in the council chambers Monday night, when the ordinance change was introduced.

The council had decided to amend the ordinance to curb what it sees as a hording problem in which larger companies buy and sit on licenses without using them, thereby squeezing out competition.

That just isn’t the case, says Gary Damanti, who represents Red Bank Yellow Car Company.

“I think a lot of the steps in this ordinance really address problems that don’t exist,” he said.

Read More »