Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: SIENA SPACE TO REOPEN AS BLU

141-shrewsbury-080714-2-500x392-5913902Work is about to begin at the former Siena Grille space on Shrewsbury Avenue, according to documents filed with the borough planning office. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508

A vacant Red Bank building that’s been home to several well-regarded restaurants is about to get a new one – and a self-styled consultant hopes it will help him move beyond his recent infamy as a convicted felon, redbankgreen has learned.

Documents filed at borough hall identify the former Siena Grille space at 141 Shrewsbury Avenue as the future home of Blu Bistro + Bar.

Involved in the project is Russell D’Anton, who was sentenced to two years in federal prison in 2010 for kickback scheme he ran as the top executive at the Charlie Brown’s chain.

As the president and chief executive officer of the then-30-restaurant Charlie Brown’s, D’Anton took bribes and kickbacks from kitchen vendors for contracts, he admitted in 2010. He and another Charlie Brown’s executive netted $1 million in home improvements, pricey appliances, vacation trips and cash over the decade-long conspiracy, the feds alleged.

Though he was paid $1.6 million by his employer in 2005, D’Anton also pocketed $123,000 worth of kickbacks that he did not report as income on his tax return that year, evading some $44,000 in federal taxes, he admitted.

D’Anton was sentenced to two years in federal prison for tax evasion and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. His post-incarceration period of supervised release imposed as part of his sentence ended in March, according to federal court records.

D’Anton told redbankgreen on Thursday that he is not a principal in Blu, which will be managed by his wife, Sandy, and is owned by the principals in Forsee Partners, which owns the building and the liquor license. He said his role is consultant.

D’Anton, a 53-year-old Manasquan resident, said he was trying to rebuild his life by advising Blu and other independent restaurants. “Certainly, if things work out, perhaps I could get something going again,” he said.

“I’ve been through the ringer, and obviously did everything I was supposed to do” regarding his sentence, he said. “Now it’s time to move on.”

His wife, he said, has deep experience in the industry.

D’Anton said the building will get an extensive interior and exterior makeover, and Blu’s menu will feature a “European bistro” theme, offering dishes from Italy, Spain, France and elsewhere, all of it “very affordable.”

The site is ideal for a restaurant, D’Anton said, because of its parking lot on the opposite side of Herbert Street and the heavy volume of pass-by traffic on Shrewsbury Avenue.

“I think Red Bank is kind of going up in that area,” he said.

Monmouth County records indicate the property is owned by Forsee Partners, which acquired it in 2009. The identities of the principals in Forsee were not immediately available.

The building was home to Sal’s Tavern for six decades, and later became Two if by Sea, according to a 2003 review of that seafood restaurant. Siena took over around 2008, according to another online review.

Siena Grille abruptly went bankrupt and closed in 2012.

 

 

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
RHAPSODY ON ICE
RED BANK: On a cool-ish summer evening, keyboardist NGXB entertained customers of Strollo's Italian Ice with renderings of 'Bohemian Rhapsod ...
PUDDLE BE GONE
A work crew was out this week attacking the site of the notoriously persistent puddle at the corner of Broad and Mechanic Streets. This phot ...
SMALLS FOR MAYOR?
We at redbankgreen remain neutral in political affairs and never make endorsements. But we have to say Borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen’ ...
CRASH ON LEIGHTON
The driver of this car was headed north on Leighton Avenue when they it hit an SUV pulling a work trailer headed in south in the opposing la ...
CAR VS STREET SIGN
The driver of this Mercedes hopped the curb and toppled the street sign at the corner of South Pearl and Drs. James Parker Boulevard Wednesd ...
SKETCHES OF RED BANK BY LOCAL ARTIST MICHAEL WHITE
Sketches of Red Bank scenes have been floating around on social media and we thought they deserved some spotlight. First appearing in our fe ...
POLE DOWN
Utility pole falls on English Plaza shop Forge after being struck by SUV shortly before noon. No injuries reported, though 86-year-old drive ...
YO, ADRIAN!
It’s a tough turn for our hero as Rocky Balboa is relegated to the curb for trash pickup on Locust Avenue. We’ll have to go back ...
“EL PALOMO” IS IN THE HOUSE
Jesus Rios, a mariachi singer who performs under the stage name “El Palomo” (The dove) pauses for a moment before entering a bac ...
CROC SPOTTED IN RIVER
Frighteningly hideous and green, a solitary Croc lurked ominously amid the flotsam and foam in the Navesink River alongside the Red Bank Fir ...
KISS ICON REFLECTS ON BROADWALK
A Swarovski crystal-bedazzled self-portrait painting of Paul Stanley, longtime singer and guitarist for the rock band Kiss peers out from a ...
CHISELIN’ AWAY
Marcelo Garcia Lopez works with hammer and chisel on a new feature for his flower garden on Shrewsbury Avenue: a hollow in a carved log in w ...
STORM CLEANUP CONTINUES
  Saturday’s storm sent a tree toppling on this house on Bank Street, damaging the roof. Workers Wednesday could be seen removing ...
SNAPPING IN THE BREEZE
RED BANK: Blustery winds had the flags in Riverside Gardens Park snapping Monday evening.
POWER LINE DOWN
Red Bank firefighters were on scene at Manor Drive dealing with a live power line Monday afternoon. There was no immediate report of fire. T ...
TAR BEACH SOLSTICE
Aldo Quiroz of Ocean Township came ready with his beach chair and found a shady spot to spend his lunch hour in a parking lot off Broad Stre ...
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.