10th ave 071415 1Signage is now up at 10th Ave. Burrito on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


retail churn smallWith the restaurantization of Red Bank in full swing, this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up a groaning board of food news.

• The long wait for 10th Ave. Burrito Company is nearly over.

Sicilia Ristorante on Broad Street has a new owner, and he’s planning to split the business in two, sort of.

Details, and some assorted table scraps, are just around the corner.
sicilia 071015The new owner of Sicilia plans to spruce up the outdoor dining area along Peters Place. Below, “bean counter/wrangler/trapecista” Ali Burns decorates a wall at 10th Ave. Burrito. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

10th ave 071415 210th Ave. Burrito has everything but its final certificate of occupancy to open as a 108-seat, two-bar restaurant at 26 West Front Street.

Assuming final inspections are passed, manager Chris Masi tells Churn that the tentative plan is to open to the public on Monday, July 27, after a week or so of employee training and dry runs.

Taking over space previously occupied by Fixx, and utilizing that establishment’s liquor license, 10th Ave. will offer a hat-trick rarity in Red Bank: a restaurant and bar overlooking the Navesink River. 10th Ave. also operates in Belmar and Point Pleasant Beach.

Sicilia, at 128 Broad Street, was sold earlier this month to Mark Arabadjis of Homdel, who ended a 25-year career in computer sales to become a restaurateur. The sellers were members of the Sorriso family, who opened Sicilia five years ago and still own the Saladworks restaurant next door.

“A sit-down restaurant was not my intention,” Arabadjis told Churn last week. “I was looking for a coffee shop.” But an online ad for a café led him to Sicilia, which has always done double duty as a place for coffee and desserts on one side of a wall, and a linen-tablecloth restaurant on the other.

Vincenzo Sorriso, who managed the place, “did a great job of building this from nothing to something,” said Arabadjis, noting that the eatery has a large and devoted clientele. So he’s not changing much.

Arabadjis said the staff – including the chef, also named Vincenzo Sorriso, cousin of the former manager – and menu will remain the same, including the homemade gelatos.

What will change is the layout. After a quick sprucing-up of the outdoor dining area on the Peters Place side of the business, Arabadjis plans to create a separate entrance for the sit-down restaurant with a curtain separating it from the cafe.

Puglia, at 15 North Bridge Avenue, closed recently after less than 18 months in business. Churn was unable to locate the owner for comment.

The following updates are courtesy of Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who is the governing body’s liaison to the code enforcement department and has been issuing monthly updates on major projects.

• “All work has stopped” at Toast, under construction at 45 Monmouth Street, in the former shell of the Broadway Diner. A borough official tells Churn that the the business has all its necessary work permits to proceed.

Kitch Organic, a take-out health food business under construction at 75 Leighton Avenue, is making  “rapid progress,” Burnham reports.

• Interior finish work is underway at Chocolate Works, 36 Broad Street.

• The owners of Teak, at 64 Monmouth Street, have put off construction of their approved rooftop deck on hold until the weather cools because starting now would mean the loss of air conditioning. The addition was approved by the planning board in December, 2012.

• Finally, in a non-food category, there have been “a lot of problems” at the Walgreens construction site on Broad Street opposite Maple Avenue, Burnham says. They include trucks speeding in the neighborhood, and arriving too early in the morning, and general site messiness. The borough has “has issued two stop work orders, but both have been lifted due to compliance,” she says.