An unusual adaptation of taquitos, above, and a glass of made-to-order sangria, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
Gone are the heavy velvet drapes and dark, brooding atmosphere that once decorated Red in Red Bank. Renovated and re-dubbed the Belmonte, the Broad Street restaurant and bar with the panoramic front window is now lighter, brighter and much more inviting.
A cool, marble-topped bar elicits a bit of Old World charm. Banquettes lining the walls promise comfort, while high-top tables arranged down the center aisle of the room offer a variety of seating or standing options: playing off the primarily tapas menu, it’s a mixture of this and that.
At 18 Broad Street, now concealed by scaffolding, the Art Deco foyer seen below will be replaced by one more reminiscent of the building’s 19th-century origins, the architect said. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Accelerating downtown Red Bank’s flight from retail to food, the zoning board approved the conversion of a longtime shoe store to a restaurant Thursday night.
Dominating the two-hour hearing were two issues: whether the new owner of 18 Broad Street should be permitted to have three apartments upstairs, rather than the two allowed under the zoning ordinance, and whether the Art Deco foyer should be saved or replaced.
Barely mentioned: the impact of the 76-seat restaurant on parking.
The foyer of the former If the Shoe Fits store is the last remaining example of Art Deco design downtown, say preservationists. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
[UPDATE: The zoning board meeting on the 18 Broad Street proposal was cancelled. The application was rescheduled for June 18.]
A proposal to turn a former downtown Red Bank shoe store into a restaurant and replace its distinctive curved-glass entryway is slated for review at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting.
Preservationists have raised concerns about the plan for 18 Broad Street, which is located in the historic district, because, they say, it would eliminate the last remaining example of Art Deco design in the commercial district.
Well on its way to earning the label “Red Bank tradition,” the fourth annual cancer awareness-raiser Go Naked and Check Yourself took over the Downtown Sunday evening, offering raffles, entertainment and eyecandy for a cause. redbankgreen was there, naturally. We’ve got more photos after the jump… (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
Gotham Lounge will have a dress code, a partner in the business said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By 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.
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.
The bubbly flowed, hips shook and lips locked as Red Bank bars welcomed the start of 2014 Tuesday night, as captured in these photos by redbankgreen‘s Peter Lindner. Police responded to a number of slip-and-falls, and there was one DWI arrest – but overall, New Year’s Eve was a routine night for the RBPD, according to Chief Darren McConnell. (Photos by Peter Lindner.)
It was nippy outside Sunday evening, but at Red Bank’s Red lounge, it was a place to Go Naked. Dozens came out to the third annual Go Naked and Check Yourself fundraiser and (ahem) educational event held to raise awareness about skin cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer and other detectable ailments. Once again, Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie shops put the bounce in the event, which had previously raised more than $20,000 for health-related charities. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)
Amy Manor is closing off the vestibule to her design studio, above, because of damage she said has been done by nighttime smokers. Below, Manor with cigarette butts left behind the shop. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)
By DAN NATALE
Amy Manor is sick of blood, vomit, and broken windows.
At a cost of about $12,000, Manor is enclosing the vestibule.
The small cubby in front of the shop received particular abuse because of its ability to provide shelter to patrons of nearby bars. Partygoers have been known to huddle in the space during the winter to shield themselves, and their cigarettes, from the harsh elements.
Bars and restaurants are doing their job keeping doors open late, some say, but more merchants must stay open to attract more visitors. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
As Red Bank continues to claw its way out of an economic hole it hasn’t seen since the we-don’t-like-to-talk-about-it Dead Bank days, Mayor Pasquale Menna tends to periodically jab downtown’s retailers with a reminder that it’s going to take work to bring Red Bank back as a top destination in the region and beyond.
Lately, though, he’s taken a firmer approach.
At a council meeting last month, when two requests for car shows on Broad Street appeared on the agenda, he paused from the typical rubber-stamping of such requests.
“This is a chance to tickle, pinch, smack our retailers to stay open on Sunday,” Menna said, and then pointed to Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams, who was seated in the audience. “Get the word out. Tell them to stay open on Sunday. I might start smacking instead of pinching.”
It was another lash at a limp horse he’s been flogging since before Red Bank’s business dipped with the national economy. For years, Menna has been urging merchants to move away from the nine-to-five mindset and keep the lights on after dark and on Sunday, when too many stores, he says, are closed.
Red Bank’s National Night Out celebration, a sun-soaked evening held in the borough hall parking lot, featured many fixings of a community coming together: a walk around town, tours of the police station, games, a handshake with a cop or two and char-grilled burgers.
Cops did it all Tuesday night. They flipped burgers, ran fingerprints, put the “drunk goggles” on golf cart-drivers and monitored the speed of young flamethrowers tossing a baseball.
Images from the evening’s festivities after the ‘read more’ button. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
Kaitlin & Joe Baiata of Point Pleasant Beach took the streets of downtown Red Bank Friday night for some photos before their wedding that night at the Molly Pitcher Inn, and found themselves enjoying a movable feast of champagne, courtesy of a waiter at red, and sweets provided by a passing employee of Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe, right.(Click to enlarge)
Led by Chris Kenny of Shrewsbury and Dave Carr of Rumson, the mostly thirty-something robesmen hit more than a dozen watering holes on both sides of town, eating, indulging in cold beverages and shaking a pail all along the way to raise money for the Monmouth Day Care Center.
Thursday night’s speed daters at Red sitting down for a lightning-fast marathon of acclimation. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Speed dating, at first, is much like a middle school dance, but with a bar. Boys on one end, girls on the other, and somewhere in between, an invisible cloud full of shared thoughts, fears and intentions.
But when the bell rings, the only choices are either to get down to brass tacks or scurry out the door.
From there it’s a sped-up Saturday night on the bar scene: What do you do? Where are you from? Do you come here often? Rinse. Lather. Repeat for about an hour, with a break in between.
Such was the scene at Red Thursday night, where speed dating made a return to Red Bank.