Juan Torres is looking to move his Juanito’s brand to Shrewsbury Avenue, formerly the home of Red Bank Furniture Emporium. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI rcsm2_010508

There’s an appetizing item on the Red Bank Zoning Board‘s plate tomorrow night: Mexican.

The mini-empire of authentically Mexican eateries and retail food outlets, Juanito’s, is looking to spread into a space at a recently shuttered Shrewsbury Avenue furniture store.

Juan Torres, who owns Juanito’s Restaurant, Juanito’s Grocery and El Guero Grocery, is seeking the board’s approval for a short list of variances to open up Juanito’s Market at 197 Shrewsbury Avenue.

It isn’t clear if the application means Torres will close the doors of El Guero, which is at 162 Shrewsbury Ave. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

juanitos-sketchIf approved, Torres said in his application to the zoning office that the market will provide a large variety of fresh foods, prepared foods, meats and dairy “to a local user base which is underserved for this type of use.”

Torres would make a handful of visual improvements to the two-story, 7,000-square-foot space at the corner of Shrewsbury and Catherine Street, most recently the home of Red Bank Furniture Emporium, the application said.

One of the variances the board will need to consider is parking. Because of the size of the space, 17 spaces are required. Only three, which are on Shrewsbury Avenue, exist, leaving a 14-space deficit. However, Torres said in the application that most customers would get to the store on bike or foot.

If he gains approval, Torres said the market would likely be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The board has a pretty light agenda otherwise. It will vote on a few resolutions of approval before getting to the Juanito’s app. Here’s the downloadable agenda for Thursday night’s 6:30 meeting at borough hall: 7-7-11zoningboardofadjustmentagenda