By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The Dublin House on Monmouth Street is making a little more elbow room for its customers.
Red Bank’s authentically Irish pub grub spot won approval earlier this week to knock down a wall next to the upstairs bar and extend the area with additional seating and a stairway to the northeast end of the Victorian structure, Dub co-owner Euegne Devlin said.
“It’s just going to be like a little lounge room,” he said. “It’s basically only for the convenience of my customers.”
The addition of 20 to 25 seats in a 400-square-foot room to be done in the same style and colors of the public house’s update four years ago plus a staircase leading directly to it, will eliminate the slightly awkward walk through the upstairs dining area to get to the second-floor bar, Devlin said.
“People were complaining about going through the dining room,” he said. “When you come upstairs, (now you can) walk right into the bar.”
More business news from Red Bank after the jump.
Shaun Gelsomine didn’t necessarily need another job, but these days, when opportunity knocks, you jump to answer the door.
Gelsomine, a Red Bank Regional graduate who runs the eco-friendly housepainting company Pure Painting in Red Bank, opened up Urban Cafe in The Galleria earlier this week along with his stepfather, Ralph Johnson.
The space, on the Bridge Avenue side of the historic building, was most recently home to Tommy Bonfiglio’s Tommy’s Cafe. But seeing how Bonfiglio is opening locations of his Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza brand like a Starbucks, the cafe became too much to handle, Gelsomine said.
That’s when Gelsomine’s chance presented itself.
“It wasn’t working for them, so we saw an opportunity,” he said. “I figured I’d take something else on.”
Little had to be done to the space, where visitors can grab a sandwich and sit at a small bar or drink coffee in a leather one-seater. A new chef was hired, and there are some tweaks to the menu, Gelsomine said.
The hours are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday (for now); and Gelsomine said within the next few weeks the cafe will reopen at 6 p.m. on Friday nights for music.
Sicilia Cafe’s expansion next door is officially done, and owner Vincenzo Sorriso marked it with a private party last weekend. Advancing a long-term vision to help bring the south end of downtown Broad Street into a dining destination, Sorriso also boasts perhaps the largest al fresco spot in town, with seating next to the sidewalk on the corner of Broad and Peters Place.
The two offerings, Sorriso said, are “exactly what I want to do. It’s the perfect spot for that. It’s like a little Italy now.”
Still in a holding pattern to expand is Sogo Sushi.
Owner Irving Chen has gotten most of the work done next door to his popular brown rice sushi nook on Monmouth Street, but is waiting on borough permits to set out the chopsticks.
He told redbankgreen he’s hopeful to have the new dining area, featuring at least 30 seats, open within the next three weeks.
“It’s built-out,” Chen said. “We’re just waiting.”