CHURN: HOUSEWARES, TRAP DOOR AND MORE
Kathleen Conlon bought the onetime gas station that’s now Welcome Home, her housewares shop on East Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
This installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn pops in on a new housewares-and-gifts shop in Red Bank.
We’ve also got an update on an escape-themed entertainment “house” planned downtown; the rebranding of Red restaurant; and a planned move by Red Ginger Home.
The transformation of Red into the Belmonte is underway. Red Ginger Home, below, plans to move a few doors south on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
• At 111 East Front Street, opposite the Welsh Farms store, Kathleen Conlon of Rumson has completed the transformation of a onetime gas station into Welcome Home, a retailer of home furnishings, tablewear and gifts such as plush toys and linen sprays.
Conlon, a Red Bank Regional grad (her late father, Tom Conlon, was a longtime vice principal there) bought the 1,230-square-foot building, which was also a print shop and a bait-and-tackle store, and gave it a thorough inside-and-out makeover. According to Monmouth County records, she paid $400,000 to Norman Deacy, whose father, also named Norman, built the original filling station there in the mid-1930s.
Why buy? “I noticed so many Red Bank businesses failing because of the rents,” said Conlon, who closed out a 20-year career on Wall Street to open her dream business. “I figured if I bought it, I’d have a stable cost basis.”
Conlon told Churn she’s aiming for a vibe of “casual elegance,” and features the works of local craftspeople, including Barbara Randall of Red Bank, who makes a lavender linen spray, and Susan Fairgrieve of Atlantic Highlands, who creates gift cards.
Welcome Home also showcases works from artisans in Australia – which she visits frequently because of a family connection – Belgium, Sweden and other points around the globe. Still, Conlon said she’s “trying really hard to keep prices down and pass that along to the customer.”
• Trap Door Escape Room principal Anthony ‘Tone’ Purzycki has been keeping followers posted on social media about his plans for a house-of-horrors-type facility at the former Dunlop Locksmith building on White Street in Red Bank.
After a denial of a development permit by the borough planning office, the chances of the business opening in town were “very slim,” Purzycki wrote on the Facebook page of Mikrotone Enterprises, a company he owns with a partner.
But on August 7, he posted that the plans had been approved, and told Churn that Trap Door back was on target to open on October 1.
Zoning Board secretary Mary Kouvel told Churn last Thursday that the approval was “pending review.”
Meantime, Purzycki is selling tickets, but to get the promotional code for a discount, fans are asked to solve this “super simple” puzzle:
01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01101101 01101111 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 01100001 01101100 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110011 01110101 01101101 01101101 01100101 01110010 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110000
• Red restaurant at 3 Broad Street, now getting a makeover, will be rebranded the Belmonte when it reopens, owner Dan Lynch tells Churn. He’s shooting for an opening in late September.
• After five years at 48 Broad Street, Red Ginger Home is relocating to 66 Broad next month. That space was last, and briefly, occupied by Be Barow.