AGOSTINO, T. BERRY SQUARE PACKING IT IN

Agostino Antique’s home, at 21 Broad, is expected to have a new owner soon. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Downtown Red Bank’s economic recovery is not without its setbacks, as evidenced by two imminent departures from Broad Street.

After months of advertising a clearance sale, Agostino Antiques is planning to pack up its remaining merchandise in the next couple of weeks and shut its doors by the end of June, a principal in the company tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Just two blocks to the south, Jennifer Quinn Payne is winding down her children’s clothing and furnishings store , T. Berry Square, to devote herself to motherhood.

Meanwhile, two doors away from T. Berry, and under the same roof, Hip & Humble Home has a for-lease sign in the window, but they’re not talking.

Owner Jennifer Quinn Payne says she closing T. Berry Square to raise her daughter. (Click to enlarge)

Lou Trupiano, whose family owns Agostino, tells us their 11,800-square-foot building with the to-die-for second-floor display window is under contract for sale, though he’s not permitted to name the prospective buyer. Moreover, for legal reasons he declined to explain, he said an auction of the building must be held, though no offers are expected to exceed the required $2.95 million minimum.

The auction, slated for yesterday at an attorney’s office in New York, was delayed by illness and has not yet been rescheduled, Trupiano said.

Still, Agostino, which has occupied the space since 2004, has already depleted much of its inventory and will depart by the end of June, he said.

The recession all but killed the furniture business in Red Bank, and there’s been no recovery, he said, noting the recent departure of Prima’s Home Cafe.

“We were happy to be here,” Trupiano said. “If we could figure out how to stay here, we would. I think it’s a great town.”

Some local architecture buffs are hoping that the next owner of the building will restore the original terracotta facade, which was painted over and is now in need of TLC.

T. Berry owner Quinn Payne said she’s closing her store simply because she wants to spend more time with her six-year-old daughter.

“It’s been a great nine years, but now it’s time for family,” said Qunn Payne, who grew up nearby and graduated from Red bank Catholic and Monmouth University. She said shoppers might someday find the store resurrected online or “in another little spot, but not soon.”

The space occupied by Indonesian-furniture seller Hip & Humble Home, which arrived just 18 months ago, is for lease, according to a broker’s sign that dominates the window. Store owner Danny Weinberg declined comment, except to say that when he’s got some news to announce, “redbankgreen will be the first to hear it.”

T. Berry and Hip & Humble share ground-floor frontage with a nail salon and a vacant space slotted for occupancy by a Subway franchise at 58-64 Broad. The building is owned through an LLC by Michael Morgan, who last summer paid $1.5 million for the former Ballew Jeweler’s building at 36 Broad. The storefront at that address is also vacant.