Buonasera2 These four tables on the Maple Avenue side of the Buona Sera were expressly rejected by the borough council last September, says resident Carl Colmorgen, who took this photo yesterday.

When Buona Sera Ristorante asked the Red Bank Council last September for five additional tables for it's outdoor seating area on Maple Avenue, the request ran into some flak.

The burgeoning eatery and catering hall situated across Monmouth Street from borough hall has been the subject of frequent complaints from pedestrians who say there isn't enough room between existing tables and the curb to easily pass.

They're often forced into the street, a stretch of busy Route 35 — a point made last night by resident Ben Forest. "It's very narrow there. If there's a waiter taking an order, it's just impossible" to pass without stepping into the thoroughfare, he said.

Additional foot traffic from the nearby Count Basie Theatre makes the problem worse, critics say.

Last night, resident Carl Colmorgen urged the council to look back into its own actions before approving a request by Buona Sera for a renewal of its cafe license.

Colmorgen claims that four tables on the Maple Avenue side of the restaurant were installed even though the council, citing pedestrian concerns, had unanimously rejected a request last year for five new tables there.

He urged the council, which was mulling cafe license renewals last night, to "don't forget" its own position of last September.

At the suggestion of Mayor Pasquale Menna, the council voted on and approved licenses for three other eateries — Gaetano's, Murphy Style Grill and the Original Soupman — but tabled the Buona Sera request until councilmembers Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, who weren't on the dais last year, could have a chance to review the minutes.

Buona Sera owner Chris Mariani was not immediately available for comment on the matter, a restaurant employee told redbankgreen earlier today.

[Update: Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels tells us Tuesday afternoon that code enforcement was to notify Buona Sera today to remove the extra tables. "He has no approvals to put those tables there," he says.]

Here's what Buona Sera asked for last September, sort of — the resolution doesn't actually say what the restaurant wanted, referring to unattached documents: Download 08-183

And here are the minutes from the meeting at which the request was discussed:Download Council_minutes_090908

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