GOOD KARMA’S GONNA GET YOU

good-karmaThe gals behind Good Karma: Gail Doherty, left, and Tiffany Betts. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts are back in town. And this time, they’re completely above ground.

As many locals remember, they were in Red Bank for seven years at Down To Earth, Doherty’s award-winning vegetarian restaurant, which operated below street level at 7 Broad Street until 2006.

After Down To Earth went dark, each woman went her own way.

Doherty headed south to Asheville, N.C., where she worked for a vegetarian chain and wrote her second vegan cookbook. Betts, who was Doherty’s kitchen manager, started a family and continued to work in the vegetarian realm at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar.

Now the two are back, and in the same vein as Down To Earth, are getting ready to open up Good Karma, a casual café/juice bar/restaurant that will cater to the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle like no other in the area.

This time, they’re at street level, at 17 East Front Street, the former home of Red Bank Visitors Center (which now shares office space with Red Bank RiverCenter above Zebu Forno at 20 Broad). Workers started last week on the store’s build-out, and the Doherty-Betts duo is shooting for an opening at the end of May.

The plan is to operate from noon to 9p every day.

While the construction is going on, the women are putting the finishing touches on the menu, which will offer a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. They’ll also have an assortment of health-oriented juices, which they expect will be a draw in themselves.

“Nobody’s doing juices around here,” Doherty said. “We’re billing ourselves like a juice bar and café. This will be more intimate.”

The restaurant also will offer catering services and the chefs — Doherty and Betts — will be able to customize just about any desire or health need.

Doherty said she feels that the location, along with its niche offerings, bodes well for her and Betts. And she’s got the benefit of, uh, good karma.

“We were here for six years before, rocking it,” she said. “Once I sold the restaurant I realized I need to be doing this. I feel like I belong here.”