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RED BANK: TWO HOMEWARE SHOPS CLOSING

Pickett & White, operating at 15 Broad Street for just a year, plans to close, an employee tells Churn. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Two home-themed retail shops that have operated in downtown Red Bank for only about a year are calling it rolling up their welcome mats, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

One specialized in home decor, while the other staked its claim on marinades, sauces and household tchotchkes with a southern American flavor.

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RED BANK: KEEP A SHIRT AND COAT HANDY

It may have been a winter’s day according to the calendar, but with temperatures in the low 70s, Kai McLeod went shirtless during a workout in downtown Red Bank Friday.

By dawn Monday, however, shirts and coats were once again in order as temperatures hovered in the high 20s, with a forecast of increasing clouds and a daytime high in the low 50s, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WAWA’D YA THINK?

110516wawa5Wawa’s Italian hoagie. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Long before a video espousing a similar message (albeit with coarser language) went viral this week,
several PieHole fans strongly urged us to include Wawa in our eternal quest for superior subs.

One eyebrow raised in deep skepticism, we decided to bite, and paid a visit to the ubiquitous convenience chain’s store on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: PLAN PANNED FOR LOOKS, PARKING

An architect’s depiction of the Element, as seen from the north side side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new round of hearings on the Element, a proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank, began Wednesday night with concerns raised about parking adequacy and aesthetics.

Mayor Pasquale Menna called the appearance of the structure “bulky and not very inviting,” while several residents challenged a traffic consultant’s claim that the project’s on-site parking was sufficient.

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RED BANK: VACANT SITES TARGETED

The council plans to impose fees on long-vacant properties “that may not be decrepit” or abandoned, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. After a change of ownership, 1 Broad Street, above, has remained vacant for two and a half years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Owners of vacant residential and commercial properties in Red Bank could face steeply escalating fees for not renting them under a proposed ordinance up for introduction Wednesday night.

 

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RED BANK: BOWLING FOR FOOD DOLLARS

The scene at the newly opened Playa Bowls last Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has news on three downtown eateries: one that’s doing gangbuster business, one that got a recent makeover, and one that’s calling it quits.

Details follow…

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RED BANK: COAT-FREE IN FEBRUARY

Warm weather made for comfortable busking and strolling in shirtsleeves in downtown Red Bank over the weekend, when daytime temperatures bumped up against or reached 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The outlook for Monday, Presidents’ Day, called for mostly-sunny skies and a daytime peak of about 52. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN RETURNS

A view of the proposed project, as seen from the opposite side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several months of dormancy, one of Red Bank’s more hotly disputed land-use proposals is expected to return next week.

The owners of the vacant downtown lot at 55 West Front Street are scheduled to try once again to win approval for a 35-unit apartment building that the zoning board shot down almost a year ago, triggering a series of measures that split the borough council for much of the year.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SUPER SUB AT ELSIE’S

The #15 Italian sub from the 58-year-old Elsie’s Sub Shop in Red Bank.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

On a visit to Elsie’s Sub Shop in Red Bank back in September, PieHole met Michael Mullins, a retiree from Middletown now living in Arizona. Whenever he returns to his Monmouth County roots, he told us, he makes a point of stopping at Elsie’s.

“In 1959, I’d take the bus down to the Carlton Theater [now the Count Basie Theatre] from Middletown. Back then the bus was ten cents,” he said. “Before I caught the bus to go home, I’d stop at Elsie’s for a number five,” or a turkey-and-cranberry-sauce sub.

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RED BANK: ONE-STOP WEDDING BIZ OPENS

The Wedding Establishment takes over a space vacated by Love Lane Tuxedos 13 years ago. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs the son of a singer in a wedding band, Mike Hernandez Jr. says he “grew up in the wedding business.” He was there when the band came to the house for its weekly rehearsals, and when no babysitter was available, he’d be schlepped to gigs, killing time behind the drummer.

That, and much more, he says, makes him well-qualified to create something he doesn’t believe has ever succeeded before: a one-stop market for wedding services. And in doing so, he’s ended one of downtown Red Bank’s most enduring vacancies.

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RED BANK: SUNRISE AND WEATHER

Thursday’s sunrise on the Greater Green, as seen from Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank: that’s the intersection of Harding Road and Prospect Avenue at lower left.

The day began with temperatures around 30 degrees, and under mostly cloudy skies, with the expected daytime peak around 40 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. But the outlook for Friday through Monday, Presidents’ Day, called for mostly-sunny skies and daytime peaks well into the 50’s. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of , 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

2017_authorities_cherrytop_rb3CRIMES

Criminal Mischief: On 02-07-17 in the area of Prospect Ave it was reported that a driver’s side mirror on car was broken off. The damage did not appear to be from another motor vehicle. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Theft: On 02-11-17 in the area of Bank St the victim report a surf board to be taken from the driveway. The board is described as a blue and white Hap Jacobs 9” valued at $1100.00. The bag is a heavy gray canvas worth $250.00. Ptl. George Travostino.

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RED BANK: FEDS TAKE ON ‘SEGREGATION’ CASE

The Red Bank Charter School, on Oakland Street, hotly disputes allegations that the borough schools are “segregated” as a result of its enrollment practices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03As requested three months ago by two advocacy groups, the federal Justice Education Department is investigating allegations of segregation leveled at the Red Bank Charter School, correspondence obtained by redbankgreen on Tuesday showed.

The decision by the department’s Office of Civil Rights to open an investigation “in no way implies that the OCR has made a determination with regard to its merit,” a government letter to the complainants said.

But the revelation set off a fresh round of sniping in a bitter battle over the charter school’s existence.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? PAZZO SANDWICHES

Grilled chicken pesto panini, served with a side salad. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Keeping track of how many years it’s been in Red Bank is easy at Pazzo MMX. Architecturally defined by its red brick facade and bound between an office building and a parking garage on West Front Street, the start date is in the name, which translates from Italian to “crazy 2010.”

PieHole stopped in at lunchtime this week to find a bustling dining room and the aroma of garlic wafting from the open kitchen, where you can keep an eye on every dish delivered.
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RED BANK: ONCE AGAIN, IMPROV IN A JAM

Audience members twist the limbs of Improv Jam members Chris Rearick and Mike O’Keefe during a recent skit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

They’ve been evicted so many times it’s almost funny, and the comedians who brand themselves as Improv Jam are about to lose their current home, in Red Bank.

But they haven’t lost their sense of humor, and comedy lovers — including those willing to surrender their cellphones to the cause — can catch them at their antic best every Saturday night, for free, on Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: ADD SOME LOVE TO ‘EPIC’ POEM

For the past week, a team from Red Bank’s Project Write Now, a nonprofit dedicated to helping community members tap into their creativity through writing, has been handing out forms around town, inviting recipients to share a few words about what they love, and then pass the form to someone else: a friend, a family member or even a complete stranger.

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ON THE GREEN: HOW MUCH WHITE STUFF?

A coming snowstorm that’s closed schools and government offices is expected to be brief but intense Thursday. As of 6 a.m., with heavy snow reported in northern New Jersey, the rain had just changed to sleet in Red Bank. But the white stuff is expected to begin falling on the Greater Red Bank Green at around 8 a.m. and diminish by early afternoon, with a “most likely snowfall” forecast of 5 to 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: PARK, VACANT SITES ON AGENDA

The council may authorize the creation of a concept plan to turn the former landfill at West Sunset Avenue into a park.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council has a packed agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, including possible progress toward a long-dreamed-of new park on the West Side and some bad news for landlords who neglect vacant properties.

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ON THE GREEN: UNUSUAL WARMTH, THEN SNOW

Snow’s coming. Yes, the peak daytime temperature Wednesday is expected to hit 56 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. But that could be followed by “heavy” snow falling at the rate of up to two inches per hour between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday.

“The snow should be wet in consistency and therefore will tend to stick to trees and power lines, possibly resulting in some power outages,” the weather service said in a Wednesday morning briefing. “North-to-northwest winds will increase late tonight and Thursday, with gusts in the 30-35 mph range.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: PARKING FORUM OPENS ‘DIALOGUE’

Red Bank “is losing its position as a walking community” in part because of a lack of parking, said Joel McFadden, a White Street jeweler who served as event moderator.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to get a “dialogue” going with residents about the need for a downtown parking garage, Red Bank merchants hosted a town hall meeting that drew dozens to the borough middle school Monday night.

There, members of the Red Bank Business Alliance served up their perspectives on what they see as a longstanding problem that’s worsened in recent years under a changeover from a retail economy to one driven by restaurants and entertainment.

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