rook 122214 1 Kate Henderson brews one of the first cups at Rook Coffee Roasters Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


retail churn smallClosing out a busy year, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn delivers news of a coffee place and an art-filled nightspot, both in downtown Red Bank, and some churnings in the groves of Shrewsbury, where the perennial rumor of an Apple Computer store is again in the air.

bill mack 122014A seating area in the art-filled Gotham. Below, Metrovation’s three-store shopping center on Newman Springs Road, which is expected to open in February. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

89 nsrd 121814Rook Coffee Roasters opened in downtown Red Bank early Monday, completing a rapid transformation of a space long held by Laurel Tracey Gallery at 10 White Street.

The store is two doors away from Starbucks and just around the corner from No Joe’s, both on Broad Street. But there’s no shortage of coffee drinkers, and for many of them, the choice of coffee is a highly personal once, Holly Migliaccio, co-owner of the rapidly growing, five-year-old Ocean Township-based chain, told Churn as the first customers arrived.

That’s one reason why there are no urns at Rook, she said: every cup of coffee is the product of on-the-spot grinding and brewing.

Migliaccio and partner Shawn Kingsley, who travels to Central America and elsewhere to select coffees “that showcase well” when served black, with milk or with cream, keep their stores simple and straightforward.. This one, at just 640 square feet, features a service counter with nine coffees – no espresso, no tea – white walls and and a shallow shelf on which to rest a cup for a quick stir.


Gotham, the new gastropub that takes over the former Hamilton Jewelers at 19 Broad Street, cleared its final building inspections over the weekend, and is set to soft-open this week, says co-owner Ted Kutzin, who gave Churn a sneak peek inside.

While retaining the sweeping, golden-wood staircase of the jewelry store, Gotham adds lipstick-red banquettes and lots of sexy artwork, much of it by sculptor/bas relief painter Bill Mack.


Furnishings retailer Platypus plans to occupy one of three retail spaces at the small shopping center Metrovation is building on the site of the former Memory Bowling on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury.

Platypus will relocating from another Metrovation property: the Grove, on Broad Street/Route 35, where it will close on New Year’s Eve, Metrovation principal Chris Cole tells Churn. The store is expected to reopen at the new location in February, n.

Who will take the Playtpus space? No, it won’t be Apple, which once toyed with the idea of a Grove presence but has since curtailed its suburban expansion to focus on urban and overseas growth, Cole says. A new tenant for the space is expected to sign a lease next week, he says.


Just seven months after it opened, yoga clothing retailer Be Barow is calling it quits. The store, which took over the Broad Street space last occupied by Love Lane Tuxedos, sent out an email to customers this week telling them it would close on January 15.