120614 robinsons1The Robinson Ale House on Broad Street had a soft opening last week.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


retail churn smallRestaurant tycoon Tim McLoone’s new venture, the Robinson Ale House, opened quietly in downtown Red Bank last Friday.

Coming eight months after McLoone took over the lease and liquor license of the longtime Broad Street eatery Murphy Style Grille, the soft opening kicks off a big week of restaurant debuts downtown.

120614 robinsons3Views of the two dining rooms at Robinson’s, both of which feature exposed brick walls.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

120614 robinsons2Slated to hold a friends-and-family event Wednesday and open to the public Thursday is Catch, the seafood restaurant that replaces Blue Water Seafood at 9 Broad Street.

And Catch’s owners are simultaneously racing to complete Gotham, a gastropub located just doors away from Catch in the former Hamilton Jewelers space at 19 Broad. The tentative opening date is Tuesday, December 16, partner Joe Squillaro tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Meantime, at 26 Broad, Robinson Ale House, named for McLoone’s in-laws, extensive renovations yielded a “rustic chic” look in two dining rooms, with exposed brick walls, polished hardwood floors and surrounding gray/blue deep tufted banquette seating. A modern light fixture above the center of the main dining room is eyecatching.

The lunch menu boasts eight burger choices, sandwiches served with fries and a gourmet “grilled cheese bar.” All of the grilled cheese choices are served with a cup of tomato bisque soup, harking back to a childhood favorite for many.

“You have to try the PLT&A,” said Lauren Coutu, vice president of operations. PLT&A? Pecan smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwich. She promises that it is “delicious.”

The dinner menu offers burgers, soups, salads and a more elegant selection of entrees dubbed “Big Plates.”

The bar staff of  was still completing set-up of the taps at the bar on opening night. Andrew Robinson, bar manager and member of the owner’s family, said there will eventually be 16 beers on tap, including Carton Ale, out of Atlantic Highlands..

The house brand, Robinson Ale, is made by Flying Fish Brewery in the style of that brewery’s Red Ale, Robinson said.