RED BANK: LET THERE BE TRUCK FOOD!

cin-snail1The vegan magnet Cinnamon Snail will have a temporary home beside Teak, thanks to a little help from PieHole. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoAs the final Sunday of this year’s Red Bank Farmers’ Market wrapped up in November, Cinnamon Snail food truck entreprenuer Adam Sobel was confident  he’d be able to continue serving his vegan truck food to loyal followers, telling PieHole that he’d remain at the Galleria parking lot every Sunday through the month of December.

But earlier this week, Sobel put out this urgent message on Twitter:

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Now, thanks to the intervention of PieHole, the Snail appears to have found a temporary Sunday home – in downtown Red Bank, a place not seen as friendly to four-wheeled purveyors of fine cuisine.

Is this the breakthrough truck food fans on the Green have been yearning for?

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RUMSON: MURPHY’S RETURNING TO ITS ROOTS

The repeal of Prohibition on December 5, 1933, made Murphy’s Tavern legit, but owners Robb McMahon and Heather Vena, below, plan to take the Rumson bar back to its speakeasy days.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mcmahon vena 111413Eighty years to the day after the repeal of Prohibition, a Rumson bar that got its start as a speakeasy is turning back the clock.

Heather Vena and Robb McMahon, who’ve owned Murphy’s Tavern for seven years, plan to shut the watering hole down for one week next month to give it a bit of a makeover.

Still located in the basement of a house in a quiet residential area, Murphy’s will undergo minor cosmetic changes, including the removal of some television sets, a paint job and the installation of whiskey-barrel tables.

Those will be the most visible steps in a repositioning that’s largely about offering whiskeys and bourbons more conducive to sippin’ than slammin’, and a vibe to go with it.

“We’re going to focus on the era in which we were born,” Vena tells PieHole.

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RED BANK: ANIME FANS GET CREATIVE

anime 1Librarian Stephanie Chadwick with participants in last month’s meeting of the anime club. Below, details of some mangas. (Photos by Isabel Halloran. Click to enlarge)

By ISABEL HALLORAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

anime 3Four teenagers – Angela, Monteleone, Sam, and Alberto –  gather in a small room at the Red Bank Public Library and sit at a long table.

Across from this table is another lined with manga (pronounced MAHN-guh), Japanese comic books that often have a fantasy or sci-fi theme to them. These books are read from what we in the United States consider back-to-front.

Stephanie Chadwick, teen services librarian and group leader, welcomes the participants to the monthly meeting of the Anime Club and introduces the activity for the day: playing a game she calls “anime-opoly.”

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RED BANK: A DAMPER ON THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

rb fog 120513Thick fog settled on the Green Thursday morning, enshrouding the Christmas tree at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank. The Weather Channel forecasts the haze will lift by late-morning, replaced by gray skies, and temperature peaking in the low-60s. (Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: LINGERIE PINCHED FROM GROVE

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of November 23 to November 29, 2013.

call-in-the-authorities•Report of Theft in the area of Thornbrook Drive on 11/24/13. Victim reports unknown subject(s) removed jewelry from residence. Damages totaling $3,000.00. Detective James Ramsey investigating.

Report of Vehicle Burglary on 11/25/13 in the area of Dorchester Way. Victim reports items removed from unlocked vehicle by unknown subject(s). Ptl. Mary Ellen Jennings investigating.

Report of Theft at Anthropology, Broad Street on 11/26/13. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $1,246.00. Ptl. Mary Ellen Jennings investigating.

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FROM MEXICO TO DENMARK, VIA PIEHOLE

la esquina1Red Banker Brian McCourt gets it city style at La Esquina. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoIn case you missed it on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page…

• At Red Bank’s La Esquina, the tacos, tamales, tortas and more aren’t just Mexican – they’re Mexico City-style Mexican. Elias Ayala, who owns the shop at the corner of Bridge and Oakland with his father, explains the difference.

• The owners of Red Bank’s Danish Café, always striving to introduce denizens of the Green to the culture of Denmark, host a Danish Breakfast with Santa this Saturday for kids who like a bit of chocolate and some ho-ho-hos with their morning meal.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

 

PARK, THE DOWNTOWN ANGELS SING

Free_parking_shotParking in municipal lots and numbered street spaces is FREE from December 12 through Christmas Day, with the return of a holiday promotion from Red Bank RiverCenter.

Leave the quarters in your pocket — and don’t lose precious shopping seconds double-checking street-space numbers, or squinting at kiosk display screens. Red Bank RiverCenter has announced that parking in municipal lots and metered streets in the downtown business district will once again be free of charge for the final two weeks of the shopping season, Thursday December 12 to Christmas Day, December 25.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer this great program to all visitors to the downtown,” said Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director, James Scavone, in a statement thanking the Mayor and Council for approving what has become a welcome tradition in the borough.  “Red Bank has so much to offer the holiday shopper, and we hope this gift gives shoppers yet another reason to shop local and shop Red Bank.”

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RED BANK: LUCKY BREAK BILLIARDS TO REOPEN

lucky break 102113Lucky Break was closed for more than two months as the owner struggled to find a way out of red tape over BYOB rules.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lucky Break Billiards, the Red Bank pool hall that shut itself down after becoming entangled in bureaucratic red tape over beer and wine consumption, will reopen Thursday.

Hall owner James Hertler tells redbankgreen he got the green light to reopen Wednesday from Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“The gist of it was that there was no complaint” by anyone that Hertler could challenge in court, Hertler said Menna told him. “My takeaway was that we’re good to go.”

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MIDDLETOWN: BUSY BLOTTER

Recent crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2•Jusino Wilfredo, age 43, from Vermeer Drive in South Amboy, NJ, arrested on November 14, 2013 by Patrolman Anthony Gigante on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,500.00 bail.

Sarah Piersol, age 31, from Snyder Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on November 14, 2013 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski for Driving While Intoxicated. He was released pending a court date.

Michael Cebtanni, age 20, from Vermont Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on November 15, 2013 by Patrolman Adam Colfer for Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

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RED BANK: TALKING TACOS AT THE CORNER

la esquina2Elias and Eleacer Ayala in their Red Bank take-out restaurant, La Esquina. The Ayalas came to Red Bank  from Mexico City via Brooklyn. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

In the middle of our lunch at Red Bank’s La Esquina, a regular customer walks in to pick up his order and tells PieHole that he often suggests to the owners that they hang a sign in the window that reads, “We Speak English.”

If attracting non-Spanish-speaking customers to the corner of Bridge Avenue and Oakland Street is part of the business plan, we’d second that advice. Taco Bell regulars won’t find any Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme here, and the large menu hanging behind the counter ranges from confusing to unintelligible to a non-Spanish speaking customer. Fortunately for us, owner Elias Ayala is not only fluent in English, but clearly enjoys deconstructing the menu items for his customers.

“The menu is authentic Mexican,” he says. “We have everything from tongue to carnitas – the real carnitas, with cheeks, ears and pork skin.”

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BLUE EYES DOES RED BANK, FOR WHITE XMAS

ZachHolliDebZach Alexander (Red Bank), Hollie Baines (Little Silver) and Deborah Dutcher (Rumson) are among the local vocalizers paying tribute to the Chairman of the Board during the 7th annual Sinatra Birthday Bash, this Friday at Count Basie’s place.

By TOM CHESEK

It’s got a collection of some of the greatest songbook and seasonal standards ever put to sheet music, driven by the “freight train” of Red Bank’s very own orchestral jazz band. It boasts the participation of nearly a dozen pop, jazz, and cabaret vocalists from all around the region — from weekend warriors to polished pros.

It’s a salute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” that offers up a first local look at the winner of the 2013 Sinatra Idol competition — and it’s even packing a secret weapon: a first-person, real-world, one-degree-of-separation connection to the legendary Rat Pack itself.

For the 2013 edition of the Sinatra Birthday Bash, conductor-arranger-ringmaster Joe Muccioli promises “our biggest, most ambitious show ever” — an affair that teams the 18-piece Red Bank Jazz Orchestra with a cast of 11 guest bandstand singers, and the assembled skills of the Red Bank Regional High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Kristopher Zook.

In the seventh annual tribute to Jersey’s own Francis Albert Sinatra — born 98 years ago, on December 12 — the man called “Mooche” will be serving up the expected cavalcade of Sinatra signatures, drawn from the iconic singer’s awe-inspiring 60-year career. The December 6 concert, set for 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre, also sports a new angle — “a little holiday cheer thrown into the mix,” a fitting theme for the second most famous birthday celebration in December.

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RFH STUDENTS SIGN UP FOR COLLEGE SPORTS

RFH signing dayRFH senior athletes who signed their Letters of Intent to participate in college programs are, clockwise from top left, Ryan Campbell, Kate Edwards, Bridget Curran, Nicolette Dunphy, Mary Scarrone, Shane McCarthy, Chris Hubler, Conner Phillips, Dominic Padula, and Colin Shea.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Flanked by proud parents and supportive coaches, eleven student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School recently took a significant step toward turning their dreams of playing on a college sports team into reality.

After being recruited by sports programs and making verbal commitments to colleges and universities, the students “sealed the deal” by signing their letters of intent in the RFH Library on November 20.

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RED BANK, LITTLE SILVER CLASS ACTS

Laura E. Stasi of Red Bank has been inducted into the Irving Bacheller Society, the English Department’s honorary society at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. Stasi is a member of the Class of 2015 at St. Lawrence and is majoring in English. Stasi graduated from Red Bank Regional High School.

To be eligible for membership, students must have either completed four English courses and maintained a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) in English or completed six English courses with at least a 3.25 GPA in English and a 3.0 GPA overall.

The Irving Bacheller Society is named for a 1882 graduate of St. Lawrence, who went on to write the first best-selling novel of the 20th century, Eben Holden.

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RED BANK: A KID’S DANISH WITH SANTA

danishThe Danish Cafe in the Galleria will have three seatings for breakfast with Santa this Saturday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Looking to bring the kids out for an alternative to the usual firehouse pancakes with Santa this year?
How about a Danish breakfast with Santa in Red Bank?

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PIEHOLE LARDER: BEST DEAL ON NUTS

nuts (1)Who has the best bargain on unshelled nuts? PieHole knows. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

morsels mediumYou’ll find unshelled nuts prominently displayed at most grocery stores around the Green. But PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page, found a store where you can get almonds, pecans, walnuts and more for as little as one-third what you’d pay somewhere else.

Take it here for the details. And if you like what you see, give our new Facebook page a like, too.

MIDDLETOWN: THE BEST DEAL ON NUTS

nutsAn unauthorized* photo of some nice nuts. $3.49/lb through Christmas at the Middletown Whole Foods. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumWe’re not sure how sitting around cracking nuts got its start as a holiday tradition, but PieHole can say with a certain amount of first-hand knowledge that nothing helps you ease back into a nice, easy pace with your holiday cocktail like a bowl of nuts.

A bowl of peanuts may be OK with your pilsner, but when you start throwing rye or bourbon and some bitters into the mix, PieHole suggest a large bowl of nuts, heavy on the pecans and walnuts.

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RED BANK: PATRIZIA’S, CARLO’S WIN OKS

patrizia's 120213 4A rendering of the proposed Patrizia’s, which would occupy the onetime Merhant’s Trust Company at 28 Broad Street, seen at center below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

primas 070512A restaurant that will add 198 seats to downtown Red Bank’s fast-growing dining landscape sailed through to unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

The review took less than 15 minutes.

By contrast, a hearing on whether to allow the newly opened Carlo’s Bake Shop, of Cake Boss fame, to have two tables with eight chairs went on for 90 minutes, mainly because of objections over the impact on a parking lot out back.

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CONGRESSWOMAN VISITS REFORM TEMPLE

Press release from Monmouth Reform TempleDebbieWassermanSchultz

Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT), 332 Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls, will welcome the distinguished Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday, December 8 at 10 am.  The public is invited to meet this iconic lady who will discuss “Being a Jewish Woman on the American Political Stage.”

She also recently published her new book, For the Next Generation: A Wake-up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems and she will be available to sign books after her presentation. The public is invited and there is no charge for the event.

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Y PROGRAM CREATES A DAY OF SERVICE

The YMCA New Jersey Youth and Government Program will be sponsoring statewide service opportunities for high school students on December 14, 2013. Participants will be given the chance to volunteer their time and resources to soup kitchens, food banks, and hospitals across the state of New Jersey. This “Day of Service” will aim to empower youth and enable them to make a difference in their communities by aiding others.

This will be the youth leadership program’s third “Day of Service,” coordinated by the student leaders of the program. Previous participants have been from towns, high schools and YMCAs throughout the state. Collectively, over 200 teenagers have participated in the two prior “Days of Service.” Their contributions to their communities through this avenue has promoted and assisted over 15 separate soup kitchens and food banks.

To register or learn more about the opportunity, the interested public can email Program Director Michael Gallagher at mike@njyouthandgov.com, and keep themselves updated on the program’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YMCA.NJYAG.

RED BANK: CHIN UP, IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON

flavour-2Small plates, but lots of ’em, at Holiday Flavour this Thursday evening. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Red Bank’s top chefs will be out in full force this week to make sure your bathroom scale doesn’t see your pre-Thanksgiving weight for at least another few days.

The second-annual Holiday Flavour event at the Molly Pitcher Inn, scheduled for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. this Thursday, spotlights chefs from more than 20 of the Green’s most popular restaurants serving up small plates of favorites off their dinner and dessert menus. Read More »

RED BANK: CAR HIT WITH EGGS AND SYRUP

AUTHORITIES_RB2The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 21 to November 28, 2013. This information is unedited.

CRIMES:
Burglary occurring at Bridge Ave. a vacant residence between 11-16-13 and 11-20-13. Victim reported that unknown person(s) kicked the rear door to residence in gaining entry. Basement was flooded with one foot of water. Ptl. Jhonatan Quispe.

Criminal Mischief occurring at West Bergen Place on 11-21-13. Victim reported that juveniles threw eggs and syrup onto parked vehicle. Ptl. James DePonte.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 11-22-13 at Maple Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) spray painted graffiti onto his mailbox and storage Pod. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

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RED BANK: HEAVY PLANNING BOARD AGENDA

train-76209Newly oepned Carlo’s Bake Shop seeks permission to offer table service. Also on the agenda: the Walgreen’s plan for lower Broad Street, below. (Photo above by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb walgreens 2 091613Red Bank’s planning board has a lot on its plate Monday night.

The agenda calls for the board to hear testimony on three high-profile plans:

• The controversial Walgreen’s application for a 14,200-square-foot store at the former Rassas Buick car lot on Broad Street.

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RED BANK: LIGHTS ON

It was a night of jolly good cheer as Santa and Mrs. Claus and thousands of revelers in fun hats thronged downtown Red Bank for the annual town light-up and Holiday Express concert Friday night. The event began with the return of the traditional Santa Express train ride into town from Little Silver after a one-year interruption due to Hurricane Sandy. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RFH ANNOUNCES STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

RFH ChinaRFH staff and students recently welcomed visitors from Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School in Hanzhou, China. Pictured from left to right are RFH Chinese Teacher Matthew Yang, RFH Supervisor of World Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, Business, and ESL Michel Salazar, Hanzhou Entel English Teacher Hu Yeubo, RFH Chinese Teacher Rebecca Wang, and Hanzhou Entel Chinese Teacher and Vice Principal Zheng Minfeng.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Teachers Hu Yuebo and Zheng Minfeng recently had an unusually long commute to school. They traveled from Hanzhou, China for a week-long visit to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

While at RFH the two observed lessons, interacted with students and teachers, enjoyed dinners in their honor, participated in a bowling event, and even ate lunch in the RFH cafeteria.

“The chicken fingers were highly recommended by the students,” said Yuebo, who teaches English at Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School, where Minfeng teaches Chinese and is the Vice Principal.

But this visit was about a lot more than chicken fingers. It represented a big step forward for the Study Abroad Program at RFH, which received its official approval by the RFH School Board at a meeting on November 12.

The inaugural study abroad trip for the new language immersion-based program, which took root at the high school in 2007, is planned for April 9-21, 2014.  That is when eleven RFH students will travel with two chaperones to the Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School in Hanzhou, China.

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