THE RACEWAY RACE AND THE PIZZA PUZZLE

racewayThe pumps at Raceway gas station are gone, but the landlord says a new dealer will open within weeks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sometimes there are no last-minute deals or neon signs signaling a business’s end. It’s like, one day you’re gassing up the car and the next, the pumps are gone. Or you go for a slice and the doors are locked.

And you wonder, what happened?

Such is the case in Red Bank.

rb-pizzaRed Bank Pizza’s closing is still a mystery. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

In recent weeks, two Bridge Avenue businesses have quietly closed shop, leaving many to wonder why. redbankgreen only has the answer to one of them: Raceway gas at the tip of Bridge Avenue, just before the Navesink separates Red Bank and Middletown.

The property’s landlord, who did not want to give his name for this story, said the lease with Raceway ran out and was not renewed. The company, which operated in Red Bank for 20 years, pulled its pumps out last week, leaving only two gas dealers within the town’s borders — both at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Newman Springs Road.

A new gas retailer is in line to move in, gunning to resume pit stop ops by next week, he said.

A sudden departure down the street is still a mystery, though.

Bobby Chiafullo, after a two-year hiatus from the Red Bank pizza party, returned in late October with great expectations to resurrect his family’s pizza business, and added a bistro element to the upper floor, giving the idea that he was back for good. But within days, the business was gone, without explanation.

Phone calls to Chiafullo’s other business, Chiafullo’s Navesink Pizza, have not been returned.