TOMMY’S GETS READY TO FIRE UP THE COAL

tommy-logoOwners of Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza say it’s likely the restaurant will be open in a week or two. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It looks like we have a leader in the race to bring coal-fired pizza to Red Bank.

Within a week or two, Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza owner Tommy Bonfiglio says his family-style restaurant, located in the Galleria where 2Senza held residence for 15 years, will be ready to open its doors before the holidays, as promised.

Workers have been spending long days getting the space into shape, two-dozen people have been hired and completed their first training, and the Borough Council approved the liquor license transfer from the New Union House last Tuesday. It’s beginning to look a lot like coal-fired Christmas.

“It’s not quick enough for me,” Bonfiglio said.

Bonfiglio, of Monmouth Beach, is one of two restaurateurs opening coal-fired pizza places in town, and likely within months of each other. Owners of Pazzo’s Coal Fired Oven Restaurant, which will be located inside the Red Bank Corporate Plaza on West Front Street, expect to open sometime around Valentine’s Day.

Bonfiglio has a leg up on the folks at Pazzo’s, who have to do a full buildout ┬áinside their West Front Street space. At Tommy’s spot in the Galleria, all he had to do was move his equipment in, as 2Senza owner Jill Green basically “took the pictures down and that was it,” Bonfiglio said.

Shortly after Tommy’s opens, Bonfiglio anticipates his new gelato shop down the hall to open up. Tables and freezer cases are sitting in the space at the east end of the Galleria, formerly a nail salon, waiting on plumbers and electricians.

“It just needs to be plugged in,” he said.