WAIT: THERE’S A PATIO IN THERE?

8-monmouth-subs-2An architect’s rendering of the facades of the sub shop and barbershop planned for 8 Monmouth. An “exterior dining patio” would be hidden behind the stairwell accessed by the double doors at left. (Click to enlarge)

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The prospective tenant of a prominent Red Bank storefront wants to build a sub shop with an open-air patio for customers.

Hidden behind a stairwell. Accessible from the sub shop only. Just seven feet wide. Surrounded by walls three stories high.

8-monmouth-subs-1A floor plan shows the patio, upper left, which is enclosed on four sides and open to the sky.(Click to enlarge)

Architect Mike Simpson calls it “a really weird lightwell,” but hey, the client wants it, he says.

Documents on file with the town say property owner Frank Crupi plans to turn the storefront at 8 Monmouth Street, last occupied by Exotic Birds of Red Bank, back into a two-shop address, which it has been in the past.

A barbershop called Red Bank House of Fades has already been greenlighted by the planning and zoning office for the eastern of the two spaces, next door to Frozs├╝rt. Though paper now covers the windows, hinting at remodeling work underway inside, there’s been no info on when the business might open.

But the sub shop, to be called Red Bank Sub Shop, needs a variance. Not for serving food, or for the patio, but because its eight counter stools and three two-seat patio tables require the business to provide two parking spaces, when it has none.

Simpson, of S.O.M.E. Architects on Broad Street, declined to identify the shop owners because he did not have their permission to disclose their names, he said. Crupi could not be reached for immediate comment.

But Simpson said the patio, just over 20 feet long, would be created in unused space hidden behind a stair foyer, and invisible from the parking area behind the building. Or from adjoining properties.

“It’s a dinky little space,” said Simpson.

No date for a zoning board appearance has been set. Plans also identify the shop as “Canio Paradiso.”

The address has had an interesting recent history. In 2007, jewelry and accessory store Margaret went under, and at an auction of its assets, two women met and decided on the spot to become business partners and take over the lease.

Their store, ME, outlasted their partnership, but not by much. Exotic Birds followed after a vacancy period.