DOWNTOWN RE-OPENS THURSDAY
The Downtown Café as seen from outside Red, its sibling establishment, in late January.
It’s official: nearly two years after shutting its doors for a wholesale makeover, the former Downtown Café plans to reopen this week as The Downtown.
In addition to filling a large void in Red Bank’s nightlife, the return marks a long-overdue revival of music for adults. In the 20-plus months that the Downtown was closed, the live-music scene near the intersection of Broad and Front Streets came to be dominated by all-ages shows at the Internet Cafe, which is now closed, and Chubby’s, whose owners are hoping to turn it into a sports bar/restaurant/reception hall.
Onstage for the Downtown’s official debut Thursday will be Brown, the supersmooth, high-energy soul band led by the club’s music director, Chris Masi.
“We’re starting out with a bang,” says financial controller Laura Gambacorto (who met her husband, Alan, in the Downtown space 23 years ago, when it was called J.P.’s Trolley Stop).
The restaurant, complete with a full kitchen, sushi bar, and two full-service wet bars, is scheduled to begin Tuesday and Wednesday nights with receptions for friends and family.
Then, after an invite-only reception from 5 to 8p Thursday, the doors will open to the public.