By JOHN T. WARD
This edition of Retail Churn is chock full o’ news, including:
• the opening of a sushi restaurant in the heart of downtown Red Bank
• the closing of a specialty clothing store
• a change of plans for a chocolatier
and more, right around the corner…
Toki Japanese Cuisine opened this week at the corner of Broad and Monmouth Streets in Red Bank. The high-visibility space had been vacant or more than a year and a half following the closing of the Broadway Grille, which had occupied it for 22 years.
There’s no word on how much Toki owner Sean Liu is paying in rent, but Broadway Grille owner John Copeland told Churn he was driven out by the prospect of a rent increase to $10,000 per month.
Toki was to have been called Taka Sushi, but Liu changed the name to avoid conflict with a restaurant with that name in Asbury Park. He also owns restaurants in Highland Park, Piscataway and Montgomery, all using the name Midori Sushi, and one the Galleria Shopping Center in Manalapan called Yama.
Toki is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and offers delivery service. Here’s the website.
The owner of the would-be Red Bank Chocolate Works appears to have abandoned her plan to open at 65 Broad Street, the former home to Maison Blanche and a host of other stores in recent years.
Instead, the chocolatier will now take 36 Broad, at right, the lonnng-time home of Reussille’s/Ballew jewelers and briefly the home of Tesserae.
Churn was unable to immediately find out why Chocolate Works owner Randi Garfinkel changed her plans, and when she hopes to open for business.
Now in its seventh year, Synergy Hot Yoga in Fair Haven has a new location: at the rear of the large office building at 623 River Road in Fair Haven.
The new space, bigger than Synergy’s last home in the heart of Fair Haven, features a state-of-the-art infrared heating system that jacks up the temperature to 105 degrees Fahrenheit without drying out the air, owner Jen Portman tells Churn. It also yields an “enveloping heat” that is therapeutic, deep-penetrating and detoxifying, she says.
The studio offers classes seven days a week.
After just two years at 71 Monmouth Street, Angel’s Gowns is in its final months of brick-and-mortar existence. The boutique specializes in dresses for First Communions, Quinceaneras (the Spanish version of a Sweet 16, celebrated on the fifteenth birthday) and Sweet 16s.
Owner Maria Paganoni tells Churn she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren, but will continue to do business online after the store closes in June.
A sad note: Longtime downtown merchant Joe Cerasa, Jr., right, died Sunday. Cerasa owned Cesar’s Creations jewelry shop at 68 Broad Street, which he closed last year when he retired after 44 years running the shop.
The Shrewsbury resident was 70 years old. Here’s his obituary.