RED BANK STORES SHINE IN MAG’S POLL

downtown-rbA recent view down Broad Street in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In addition to Democratic bent and hyperlocal news sources, Red Bank and Maplewood can add one more item to the list of things they have in common: garnering the most attention from New Jersey Monthly’s readers in the magazine’s annual “Best of Jersey” poll.

Red Bank businesses came away with three No. 1 votes in the shopping category, but also showed well in other classes and earned a bunch of nods as runners-up. Maplewood, in Essex County, dominated the poll, getting the most votes for six shopping categories.

Overall, Red Bank and the redbankgreen coverage area had a strong presence in the magazine’s feature story this month.

Jack’s Music Shoppe, Red Ginger Home, Antiques Center of Red Bank, Little Silver’s Sickle’s Market and Kidegories, on Broad Street in Shrewsbury all took a top shopping honor in the poll. There were five general categories, with 68 subcategories, and more than 4,000 readers were polled for the feature.

Middletown resident Jon Bon Jovi was recognized by the mag as one of New Jersey’s “best” people for his work building affordable homes in Newark.

Jack Anderson, owner of Jack’s Music Shoppe, the top vote getter for best place for musical instruments, said it’s difficult in today’s age of downloading and file sharing to keep his store CD store, relevant, let alone popular. So, yes, he’s happy with the recognition.

“We’re sort of a throwback. We’ve been here for a long time,” Anderson said, but added, “we’ve got great customers and we’re still hanging on.”

Red Ginger Home co-owner Rob Amend says the poll results for his business were a welcome gauge of how well his home furnishings business is doing. The Monmouth Street store has received other honors in publications before, he said, including mention in NJ Life Magazine‘s A-List in 2009.

“It’s great when you get a list chosen by the editors, but it’s much more enjoyable when it’s chosen by the readers and the public,” Amen said. “It’s a little more democratic that way.”

Considering Red Bank and the surrounding area received the most attention of any other town in Monmouth County, Amend added it’s a validation of what the borough has to offer.

“It says a lot about Red Bank when so many stores are voted in,” he said.

You can check out the complete “Best Of Jersey” list here.