RED BANK: ANOTHER DRUGSTORE WANTS IN

The proposed Red Bank Family Pharmacy and two retail stores would fill the space formerly occupied by Jade Garden restaurant and Kramer Photography. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Walgreen’s isn’t the only drugstore sensing opportunity in Red Bank’s pulse.

A Middlesex County pharmacist hopes to open a drugstore on Broad Street, almost directly opposite the vacant former longtime home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

Kamesh Patel’s application to open what he’s calling the Red Bank Family Pharmacy landed at the borough planning office Monday, less than two weeks after the giant Walgreen’s chain filed to build a 14,000-square-foot drugstore at the former Rassas Buick location, also on Broad Street.

An architect’s rendering of the proposed drugstore and retail shops. (Click to enlarge)

Patel, of Monroe Township, could not be reached for immediate comment.

Documents filed with the borough state that Patel, who would operate the store, has a contract to buy the building, which formerly housed the Kramer Photography studio and Jade Garden Chinese restaurant. Kramer moved to East Front Street, and Jade Garden folded.

Patel’s plans indicate he would use half the 4,900 square feet for the drugstore and divide the remaining space for use by two retailers who were not identified. Either or both “may be food uses,” the application says.

The plans have not yet been reviewed by borough officials, and no hearing date before the zoning or planning board has been scheduled.

There’s also still no hearing date on the Walgreen’s application. The chain, which already has a store in nearly Little Silver, would take over the property at the southernmost address on Broad Street, where Rassas operated for 64 of its 83 years in business, closing in April.

Still on the market is the former home of Tower Hill Antiques, next door to the former Jade Garden. It’s been closed since the death of owner Raymond Valerio in October, 2010.

In other Retail Churn news…

Kristen Winters, whose family owns the Firehouse Specialty Shop and Jersey Shore Apparel store, plans to open Cabana 19, a clothing and accessories store, in the former Verizon Wireless space at 18 White Street, according to a filing.

Winters’ parents have a contract to sell 24 Broad Street, where Firehouse and Jersey Shore resided for over 30 years, to Joe Romanowski of Rumson, owner of Goldtinker jewelry shops in Rumson and Deal and Poor Cat Designs. Romanowski opened a Poor Cat Design store at 65 Broad last December.