By JOHN T. WARD
Downtown Red Bank could be getting a sizable new restaurant.
Dubbed Patrizia’s, the family-style eatery would take over the space at 28 Broad Street vacated almost two years ago by Primas Home Café, according a fresh filing with the borough planning department.
Retail Churn also has news about plans for a large greengrocer and 20 homes one block east of Broad Street; a planned relo by a downtown florist; and a seller of high-end used cars revving to come back to town… all after the ‘READ MORE.’
Giacomo Alaio, a chef from New York who has five restaurants named Patricia’s or Patrizia’s in Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx (two) and Stamford, Connecticut, is one of three principals in the venture. The others are Louis Maschi of Manasquan and Dean Christodoulo of Brick.
“We see an opportunity there,” Alaio tells Churn. “We love the space.”
Built as the Merchants Trust Company and later the longtime home of Carrolls Stationers, the building has a high, vaulted ceiling and a mezzanine.
“It’s an unbelievable space,” said Alaio.
The filing also calls for wine bars, but Alaio said there are no immediate plans to acquire a liquor license. Instead, local wines will be offered as permitted under state law.
All his restaurants, he said, “have a family atmosphere, a model that has been so great for us for 25 years.”
He said he expects the approvals and build-out to take up to seven months.
In other Churnings…
• Ray Rapcavage has filed his ambitious plan to transform nearly a whole block at the five corners confluence of Harding Road and Branch and Hudson avenues into a three-building complex anchored by an old-fashioned fruit and vegetable market. The project also calls for 20 townhouses and condos along Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.
Rapcavage owns the one-acre lot, which includes a handful of houses he rents out to tenants. He detailed his plans to redbankgreen in August.
Borough planning officials said Rapcavage’s submission is incomplete and that no determination had been made about what if any variances it would need.
• Tina Bulwin is slated to go before the Red Bank zoning board next Thursday with her plan to relocate her two-year-old Flowers on Front florist shop to 59 Maple Avenue.
She needs variances for a change in use from furniture retailing – the space was last occupied by furnishings store Root – to retail florist. She’s also short of the parking required. The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Once Flowers on Front is gone, the new Muang Thai restaurant next door plans to expand into the shop’s space at 5 East Front.
• Frank Sala, owner of Auto Exoctica in Atlantic Highlands, was in the borough planning board office Tuesday to file paperwork on a plan to open a high-end used-car dealership at the onetime Budget rent-a-car spot on Newman Springs Road, near Broad Street.
Sala tried out the Red Bank market with a pop-up rental about a year ago at the point of Maple Avenue and Broad Street, just feet away from his proposed new location. He hopes to open in January, selling his stock of pre-owned Rolls-Royces, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and other top-dollar drives, he tells Churn.