Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

DOWNTOWN BUSINESS OWNERS ASK FOR HELP

lyristisRed Bank business owner George Lyristis led a plea to the borough council to make changes that would be positive for the downtown Monday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s going to take a team effort for downtown business owners to make it out of this murky economy alive, says George Lyristis, co-owner of The Bistro at Red Bank.

Time to get the other players involved, then.

Lyristis, along with a handful of other merchants, urged the borough council on Monday night to work with them in getting Red Bank back on track as a buzzing, competitive force in the region. The group wrote a letter to the council outlining what it hopes the governing body can do to get that done.

Keeping the downtown a little cleaner, scaling back parking enforcement and adding signs to direct motorists to parking lots will do, Lyristis said.

“We all have to chip in at this point,” said Lyristis, the de facto voice for business owners at Monday’s meeting.

For one, the downtown needs to be cleaner, the letter said. Even though RiverCenter, the borough’s independent agency charged with promoting the downtown, has someone routinely picking up litter, it’s not enough. The letter suggested adding a weekend day for public works to pick up garbage to keep cans from overflowing.

There also needs to be better signage in town, the letter said.

“Half the wayfinding signs are broken or incorrect,” it read. “People who come here have to be shown where to go to find parking and businesses; they can’t here because there’s nothing showing them the way.”

Then there’s the always-hot parking issue.

Lyristis and company are down on the $38 parking ticket. And even if enforcement has been relaxed recently, Lyristis said the perception of Red Bank’s metering needs to change.

He said his other restaurant, Zoe, in Little Silver, is getting clientele who used to come to the Bistro, but have avoided the parking headache in Red Bank by heading a town over.

“I don’t think it was the $38 ticket one time. I think it was the two, three, four, five times,” he said. “The perception is still there. I think we need to change that.”

That all could be changed, he said, with a parking garage.

“We need a parking garage!” the letter read. “If we had a garage, we wouldn’t have to worry about our employees or customers getting tickets.”

Of course, Lyristis doesn’t expect a garage put up with the snap of the fingers. He would, however, like an outlined plan of what the council is going to do about parking in the future.

Councilman Mike DuPont said while the council has made steps to help the downtown economy in the last year, he understands more is needed.

He wants people to know that, “Hey, look, we’re trying to get our groove back and make (Red Bank) more customer-friendly.”

With fierce competition from Asbury Park and Long Branch’s Pier Village, Lyristis said Red Bank can’t afford to lose visitors because of a few broken signs and the fear of losing money on a parking ticket.

“Please listen to your businesses’ needs,” the letter to the council said. “We cover over 40 percent of your property taxes and we need your help.”

Here’s the letter: letter-drafted-to-mayor-council-for-businesses

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...
YAPPY TOGETHER
RED BANK: Look for this cutie pie, named Sacramento, at Yappy Hour on Broadwalk Saturday. He's looking for a new home.
YELLOW RAINCOAT DAY
On a rainy May morning, the only golden sight on Broad Street this morning were the matching raincoats of Eileen and her dog Benny.
STOP. JUST STOP.
RED BANK: For those who don't get the meaning of a stop sign, crossing guard Diane Johnson amplifies the message with some colorful outfits. ...
RECORDS SKIP INTO TOWN
RED BANK: Devotees of vinyl records expected to drop needle at Broad and Mechanic Saturday. Here's why.
Feline fortunes on Monmouth Street
Christopher Russell and feline pal Princess take in some fresh air on a warm May night Thursday in the doorway of Gina’s Psychic Bouti ...
GOING UP?
RED BANK: Public Library will be closed Friday for the start of elevator construction. (Click for more.)
TREEBIRTH
RED BANK: Replacement of nine trees gets underway on South Street, where a wholesale removal angered residents last September. (Click for mo ...
RIVERSIDE FLOW
New Jersey Flow Arts brings together jugglers, poi spinners, hoopers and more weekly in Riverside Gardens Park.
Honeybee swarm carted away
Beekeeper Tanya Ptak of Ptak’s Apiary inspects a swarm of honeybees that chose a flower pot in the courtyard of Red Bank Primary Schoo ...
BELOVED POISONED DOG PHOTO SURFACES
   
THREE ON TOUR
RED BANK: Three borough sites will participate in a weekend of self-guided tours of 52 historic locations in Monmouth County May 4 & 5.
VOLUNTEERS GET INTO THE WEEDS
Toting plastic trash bags, 51 volunteers conducted a walking litter cleanup on Red Bank's West Side Saturday.
“IT’S A PARTY AT WAWA!”
You wish you could vibe like Brian, who lives on the other side of Hubbard’s Bridge. He caught redbankgreen’s attention in Red B ...
POPE OKS ORATORY
RED BANK: St. Anthony of Padua obtains papal approval to establish Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a community of priests and brothers devoted t ...
RED BANK: NEW MURAL BRIGHTENS CORNER
RED BANK: Lunch Break founder Norma Todd is depicted in a mural painted this week on the front of the newly renovated social service agency.
TULIPS TOGETHER
Spring tulips taking in the sunset outside the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank Monday evening.