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RED BANK: ROOK TAKES DOWNTOWN NOOK

10-white-st-091814-500x375-5000918Rook signed a lease for space long occupied by Laurel Tracey Gallery, at 10 White Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185Rook Coffee Roasters, a rapidly expanding by-the-cup brewer with a rabid fanbase, is opening a shop in Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

The five-year-old Ocean Township-based chain plans to open its seventh store at 10 White Street, just a coffee-stirrer away from java behemoth Starbucks, Rook owner Holly Migliaccio tells Retail Churn.

•rook-1-111712-500x375-6893924Rook’s counter in the Little Silver train station has been open since 2012. (Click to enlarge)

The site selection is in response to both customer demand and personal awareness, said Migliaccio.

“We grew up in the area and know Red Bank pretty well,” said Migliaccio, who owns Rook with Shawn Kingsley, her best friend since they were 10 years old. “But I always take customers’ opinions to heart, and they’re driving it, telling us ‘you should be in Red Bank, you should be in Red Bank.’ Once you get to a certain level of demand, you can’t turn your back on it.”

And the presence of Starbucks just feet away? Not a threat.

“There are a lot, a lot, of coffee drinkers,” said Migliaccio. “I think it’s a pretty big pie,” with room in the downtown market not only for Rook and Starbucks but No Joe’s, just yards away on Broad Street.

The shop will feature two 10-foot-long European-style counters where customers can add sweeteners to their coffees before heading out, she said.

Migliaccio hopes to open the takeout-only coffee bar in the 640-square-foot storefront that has long been the home of Laurel Tracey Gallery. There’s no immediate word on whether the gallery is relocating or closing.

Rook now has two shops in Oakhurst and one each in Long Branch, Little Silver and Wall, with one under construction in Manalapan. Closing in on an early goal of running 10 shops, Migliaccio said her dream is now to get to 100.

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