Chubby’s Waterside Café, the increasingly trouble-plagued Red Bank night spot that has been stymied by the economy in its plans for a wholesale makeover, is opting for an interim solution, owner Mike Gilson tells redbankgreen.
The West Front Street dance club for teens and young adults will shut down on Mother’s Day, undergo interior renovations, and open about three weeks later as The Fixx, Gilson says.
“We’ll renovate, clean it up, bring in a new concept” anchored in part on ’80s-themed dance nights, he says.
The change was not entirely prompted by the passage of a recent ordinance banning a mainstay of his business so called ‘college nights,’ Gilson says. Young crowds drawn to the bar have led to dozens of calls to police over a recent one-year span, and in one incident triggered a donnybrook involving cops from several towns.
Rather, the ban “forced the issue” of modest changes even though Gilson and his investors have approval for an upscale restaurant and catering facility to replace the club, he says.
“I never liked to do the 18-to-21 thing,” he says. “I always thought you were playing Russian roulette.”
The Fixx will feature VJs more than DJs hosting “retro dance parties,” Gilson says, and will be “more lounge-y” than the present grubby atmosphere. In that regard, the place would be vying for nightlife traffic with the Downtown and Red, both just a short walk’s distance from Chubby’s.
The Lyristis brothers, owners of the Bistro at Red Bank and the new Zoe in Little Silver, will be partners in the Fixx along with members of the Milano Brothers Builders family in Shrewsbury, Gilson says.
Gilson and the Lyristis brothers last year won borough approval to knock down the building that houses Chubby’s and replace it with The Bank, a combo restaurant and sports bar topped by two luxury apartments.
But the widespread economic downtown has made the project untenable, says Gilson, who plans to spend about $150,000 on renovations instead.
A final weekend under the Chubby’s banner is planned starting May 8, and will feature appearances by some of the DJs who’ve made the place rock over the past 15 years, including Jason McFadden, Tom Josko and Gilson’s sister, Carol Guido.