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.

FROM GARAGE, POP’S PLANS TO HIT THE ROAD

pops-extProduce from the vegetable garden outside Pop’s Garage in the Grove West will be used in dishes. (Click to enlarge)

food

Pop’s Garage, a popular Mexican restaurant on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, opens its third outlet today in the Grove West shopping center in Shrewsbury.

The taqueria is the seventh in a cluster of varied restaurants owned and run by Marilyn Schlossbach, the brains behind Langosta Lounge, another Mexican place on the boardwalk; Trinity and the Pope, offering Cajun dishes in downtown Asbury; the Dauphin Grille, a seafood spot in that city’s Berkeley hotel, and the casual-themer Labrador Lounge, in Normandy Beach, where the third Pop’s Garage is also located.

But this one represents a breakout for Schlossbach, and not solely because it’s located in a highway shopping center. Along with her partner-brother Rich and husband Scott, Schlossbach created the Shrewsbury Pop’s as a prototype for what they hope will grow to into a national franchise.

redbankgreen caught up with 46-year-old Schlossbach – who is also running for state Assembly as a Democrat in the new 11th District – at a pre-opening party in Shrewsbury last Friday for the scoop on her empire-building plan.

schlossbach-2Marilyn Schlossbach at a pre-opening party for Pop’s Garage last Friday. (Click to enlarge)

rbg: So, why Shrewsbury?

MS: Well, Chris Cole [of Metrovation, owner of the Grove and the Grove West] came after us, and I really like him. He’s got a very good vision, not only for retail, but for the world. He’s very environmentally conscious, esthetically conscious. So we kind of did a little partnership. He did all of the green fit-out here. These are solar lights above you, all green equipment, energy-efficient equipment.

rbg: Is there solar power to the whole building, or just for you?

MS: As soon as the town approves it, we’re going to put it up on the roof [for the strip, which also includes women’s clothing retailer Tula and surf shop Billabong].

rbg: Was there a desire to be near Red Bank?

MS: No, we don’t really choose the location so much as we choose the situation. I really like what he’s created here, with the edible garden out front, Billabong. We’re looking forward to getting more involved in the community here, which we do down south, and to doing more gardening. There’s more land in the back that we’ve been offered to do some gardening down the road. So it just seemed like a nice fit.

rbg: Still, it’s a shopping center environment, and that’s unusual for you.

MS: Yes, but we want to eventually take Pop’s national. So this is our first test of trying to do a LEED-certified, sustainable Mexican restaurant.

rbg: Why Pop’s, as opposed to others under your umbrella?

MS: Well, number one, this is the third one –  we haven’t had two of anything [else] yet. This is more conceptual, something we can control. The other ones to me are more one-offs.

We travel a lot – we surf a lot in Mexico – and I’ve not seen much of the more creative atmosphere and real Mexican cuisine done together, unless you go to New York and a very expensive restaurant. Down here, it’s usually the surf concept. That’s not what we’re trying to create. I think this is unique. Even though there’s a lot of Mexican out there, there’s not a lot of what we’re doing.

rbg: As you know, we just got Surf Taco here in Red Bank.

MS: You know, what Surf Taco does is great. I know those guys, they’re customers, I eat in their restaurants. It’s very different from what we do, and I think there’s a lot of room for both.

rbg: How would you describe the difference?

MS: We’re a little more eclectic, more authentic. I mean, you could come in here with a bottle of wine, have dinner and feel relaxed. They’re more kid-friendly, more ‘surfy.’ Maybe we’ve retired from the young surf vibe and gone green.

rbg: So this is the launch pad for a national push?

MS: Yes. We’re tweaking out the menu. We don’t have a set menu, but we’re creating a menu, making sure it works financially, and for the customer, and then the fit-out comes with basically a vanilla box and then the look. It’s all recycled materials. This wood’s all from Jersey. The cans are from the nuts we use in the restaurant.

So we’re trying to let other people that would create a Pop’s go within a framework but keep it sustainable, green and as local as they possibly can, which is very different and very difficult to do when you’re doing a franchise-type concept. Getting the warmth. You want people to walk in an not feel like it’s a McDonald’s, that everything is the same.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
DOUBLE DYLAN IN RED BANK
Trucks for a production company filming what one worker said was a Bob Dylan biography have lined Monmouth Street the past two days with cre ...
AFTER THE RAIN
A pear tree branch brought down by a brief overnight storm left a lovely tableau on the sidewalk in front of Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Pa ...
CONE OF UNCERTAINTY
Asked by a redbankgreen reporter why these cones were on top of cars, the owner of the car in the foreground responded: “That’s ...
RAIL RIDER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of Cooper's Bridge and the Navesink River from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank Tuesday morning.
PUT ME IN COACH!
Red Bank T-Ball kicked off at East Side park on Saturday morning. The brisk weather proved to be no deterrent to the young players, ranging ...
IT’S A SIGN!
Once proudly declaring its all-but-certain arrival in Spring 2019, the project previously known as Azalea Gardens springs to life again with ...
SPRINGTIME MEMORIES OF CARL
The Easter Bunny getup and St. Patrick’s Day hat that belonged to longtime Red Bank crossing guard and neighborhood smile-creator Carl ...
RED TRUCKS AT RED ROCK
A small dishwasher fire at Red Rock Tap and Grill was put out quickly by firefighters overnight, causing minimal damage. Red Bank Fire Depar ...
CREATIVE COVER UP
The windows of Pearl Street Consignment on Monmouth Street were smashed when a driver crashed their car through them injuring an employee la ...
THEY’RE BACK!
Ospreys returned to the skies over Red Bank this week for the first time since they migrated to warmer climes in late fall. With temperature ...
SPRING IS SPRUNG
RED BANK: Spring 2024 arrives on the Greater Red Bank Green with the vernal equinox at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday.
RED BANK’S FINEST – AND NEWEST
Red Bank Police Officer Eliot Ramos was sworn in as the force’s newest patrolman Thursday, and if you’re doing a double take thinkin ...
EASTER EGG MAYHEM AT THE PARK
An errant whistle spurred an unexpectedly early start to the Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, which had been scheduled to begin at eggsactly 11am ...
PRESEASON DOCKWORK
RED BANK: With winter winding down, marina gets ready for boating season with some dockwork on our beautiful Navesink River.
CORNED BEEF AND DISCO FRIES?
It’s Friday, and smart Lent-observing Leprechauns know the pot of gold at the end of Red Bank’s rainbow is actually the deliciou ...
SURFBOARD DITCHED
It’s a violation of etiquette in surfing to ditch your board.  (it could hit another surfer and hurt them). But someone appears to ha ...
ELSIE, TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Soaked by pouring rain with the temperature hovering in the low 40’s, this sign in the window of Elsie’s Subs on Monmouth Street ...
WALK THIS WAY
PARTYLINE: Before-and-afters of a sidewalk cleanup on West Street.
SOGGY NOTION
RED BANK: Breezeway sculpture captured the mood downtown as heavy rains fell Saturday morning.
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.