By JOHN T. WARD
This debut 2015 edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn carries news of:
∗ A new art studio in downtown Red Bank where learning – or re-learning – to paint is a party, whether you’re a kid with a juice box or an adult sipping a glass of pinot noir.
∗ The departure of the town’s only fishing tackle store, and its replacement by a gift shop that will double as a place to buy or rent table linens, flatware and other “tablescaping” items.
∗ A name change for a planned sushi restaurant downtown.
The prospective owner of 111 East Front Street plans “significant aesthetic improvements to the site,” which she intends to reopen as a gift store called Welcome Home. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The art studio is Pinot’s Palette, a franchise business at 12 Broad Street, in the space last occupied by Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza. Opening Saturday, it’s owned by Middletown resident Dorothy Fadell along with her brother, Fred Fadell, and Richard Barton, both of Staten Island.
The trio opened their first Pinot’s Palette on Staten Island last March, and the business has been so strong that they’re planning to open a third, in Brooklyn, Dorothy tells Churn.
The concept: come in and learn how to paint, or indulge a skill you’ve already developed.
“It’s the idea of bringing art to the masses,” says Fadell, a 43-year-old stepmother of two who also holds down a full-time marketing job in Manhattan. The typical first-time visitor, she says, “is someone who hasn’t picked up a paintbrush since fourth grade. But we also get people who are very artistic.”
Open to walk-in individuals, a gang of Girl Scouts or a gaggle of grown-up, would-be Gaugins, sessions take place in the 48-seat main room; there’s also a private party room in the back that can accommodate up to 24. An instructor leads the group, step-by-step, in the replication of a pre-selected image while assistants float about, offering guidance.
The atmosphere is buoyant, says Fadell, with music playing and, in the event of adult gatherings, wine and beer wetting whistles, a practice allowed under a BYOB ordinance passed by the borough council last year. Fadell will even supply plastic cups and plates for snacks.
The fee is $38 per-person for a two-hour session or $48 for a three-hour.
Fadell is looking to hire someone to manage the Red Bank location, which will initially be open Thursdays and Fridays beginning in the afternoon, and all day Saturdays, with additional hours to be added if the market demands, she says.
On Thursday night, the Red Bank zoning board approved a home furnishings boutique called Welcome Home to set up shop at 111 East Front Street.
The small – 1,230-square-foot – standalone, single-story building was last occupied by Pride Fishing Tackle, which vacated last month.
Welcome Home proprietor Kathleen Conlon needed a determination from the board on whether her plan conformed to prior restrictions imposed on the use of the property when it was converted from a print shop to a tackle shop in 2011. She plans to make “significant aesthetic improvements to the site,” including new siding, windows, awnings and landscaping, according to her attorney, Rick Brodsky.
The shop will feature “tablescaping” for purchase or rent – linens, plates and such – as well as “hostess gifts, teacher gifts and baby gifts,” Conlon told the board.
The Rumson resident hopes to open by early summer, she told Churn. And in a rather bold move for a first-time retailer, she’s also planning to buy the property, from Norman Deacy, who also owns the office building next door, at 109 East Front, Monmouth County property records indicate. The price wasn’t disclosed, but the property is assessed by the borough at $439,000.
Pride Fishing Tackle owner Max Berry could not be reached for comment on the fate of his business, which had occupied the site since 2011.
What was to be Taka Sushi in the former Broadway Grille, at Broad and Monmouth streets, has been renamed Toki Japanese Sushi, owner Sean Liu tells Churn. Yes, it had to do with the fact that there’s a restaurant in Asbury Park called Taka, he acknowledges.
Liu says he hopes to open Toki in March. He owns four other restaurants. Three – in Highland Park, Piscataway and Montgomery – operate under the name Midori Sushi, while the one the Galleria Shopping Center in Manalapan is called Yama.