An architect’s rendering shows spaces for three yet-to-be identified stores and a restaurant on the former site of Memory Bowling in Shrewsbury, which was destroyed in a June, 2009 fire, below. (Click to enlarge)


Four years after a devastating fire reduced the Memory Bowling alley to ashes, Shrewsbury may be getting new businesses on the rubble-strewn site.

Metrovation, the Seattle-based owner of the Grove and the Grove West shopping centers nearby on Broad Street/Route 35, is seeking approval to build three stores and a restaurant on the one-acre property, at 89 Newman Springs Road.

The site has been a vacant, debris-strewn lot since the fire. (Click to enlarge)

There’s no indication if Metrovation has lined up tenants for the spaces, which range in size from 3,000 to 3,400 square feet. There’s also no immediate word on whether site owners Alex and Zhanna Melamudov intend to sell the liquor license that allowed them to operate a bar in the 80-year-old bowling alley.

Metrovation executive Chris Cole declined comment.

The plan requires variances because a restaurant is not a permitted use in the zone in which the site is located, according to documents on file with the borough planning office. A proposal to continue allowing Red Bank Volvo, located across the street, to store new cars on a portion of the site also requires a variance, according to borough Engineer David Cranmer.

At Metrovation’s request, the borough zoning board has scheduled a special hearing on the plan for May 29.

Zhanna Melamudov told redbankgreen Thursday that she and her husband, who bought the bowling alley nine years before the fire, had hoped to rebuild.

“But we incurred a lot of debt because of the fire, and just have to move on,” she said. “We’re very sad, but what are you going to do?”

Metrovation, a redeveloper of key properties during downtown Red Bank’s recovery from economic doldrums in the 1990s, is also building the West Side Lofts project in Red Bank, which is to comprise 92 residences, a parking garage and a a Triumph Brewing Company restaurant at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue.