CHURN: A COUNTDOWN CLOCK & A BULL’S EYE
The website of Blu Bistro features a digital clock ticking off the seconds to the opening date. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds acres of wallboard transforming spaces on the loosely defined West Side of Red Bank these days.
That means lots of new businesses on the horizon in coming months – or in the case of one new restaurant, days, hours, minutes and seconds.
The West Front Street building that will house Stillwell House Fine Art & Antiques boasts an antique French dormer installed by the new owner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Blu Bistro + Bar, taking over the space at 141 Shrewsbury Avenue, has a countdown clock on its website that indicates the place will open on Saturday, January 31, if our math is right.
As regular passersby may have noticed, the mostly brick facade of what is still fondly remembered as Sal’s Tavern – even though it was later Two If By Sea and Siena Grill – has been replaced its with lots of glass. And a recent post on the Blu Bistro Facebook page shows progress on the bar.
Is a florist taking over the former Johnny’s Jazz Market, next door to Blu on Shrewsbury Avenue? A sign in the window says so, but it doesn’t identify the florist or offer any other information.
Owner Donna Reck bought and gutted the space following the death of longtime butcher Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta four years ago. Churn’s attempts to contact Reck have been unsuccessful.
Over at 212 West Front Street, across from the under-construction West Side Lofts, Paul Gallagher and Ron Knox are putting the finishing touches on Stillwell House Fine Art & Antiques.
The 12-year-old business is relocating from Manalapan, and will take over 2,500 square feet that used to house a storefront and a couple of apartments. The partners bought the building, which Gallagher says is about 100 years old, two years ago for $375,000, according to Monmouth County property records. They hope to open their shop, which specializes in highly select 18th- and 19th-century furnishings, as well as prized art by painters such as Leon Dabo, next month.
Architecture buffs may have noticed that the building’s roof now sports a dormer with an oeil-de-boeuf – or “bull’s eye,” if Wikipedia’s French is any good – window framed by a patina-coated copper piece salvaged from an American building, Gallagher tells Churn.
Elsewhere on the Green…
• South Moon Under, a retailer of women’s casualwear, will take over the former Platypus space at the Grove at Shrewsbury, possibly as early as March.
As previously reported, Platypus, a furniture retailer, is relocating to a new three-store space being built by Grove owner Metrovation on Newman Springs Road, on the site of the former Memory Lanes bowling alley.
• Work is also underway at the future home of Toast, taking over the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street.
• The plywood wraps are off at the planned Red Bank Family Pharmacy at 141-143 Broad Street, but the space is still in the bare-walls stage. Churn couldn’t reach pharmacist Kamlesh Patel, who also owns Adler’s Oak Park Pharmacy in Ocean Township, but a colleague there tells us he plans to open “as soon as possible.”
• A new salon opened in November on Wikoff Place in the Foodtown lot. It’s called Classic Cuts + Color, and owned by Denise Pandure of West Long Branch.