CHURN: TRAP DOOR, BELMONTE TO OPEN
Trap Door Escape Room opens this week in the former home of Dunlap Locksmith, which left behind a front door with a giant keyhole cut into it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In this edition of Retail Churn: updates on a new immersive-experience entertainment facility and a rebranded restaurant, both of which have openings in downtown Red Bank planned for this week.
Also in Churn: a music store for sale; updates on two pharmacies, and a furniture store coming to Shrewsbury.
Formerly known as Red, the Belmonte will feature a tapas menu and three choices of sangria among its bar offerings. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
• Slated to open Thursday in the former Dunlap Locksmith building at 60 White Street: Trap Door Escape Room. As previously reported, Trap Door is an entertainment facility that challenges groups of players to advance from one room to another by solving a series of puzzles in each, all while being taunted and tormented via video streams into the rooms by captors.
Helmed by Tone Purzycki, with storylines devised by Frank Giglia, Trap Door plans to change game themes every six months. The first one’s called “Escape the Architect.” Churn got a tour last week, but we’re sworn to secrecy on what we learned. Here’s how the Trap Door website describes it:
Escape The Architect places you and your group as Special Investigators who awaken in a decrepit, abandoned facility. You have been captured by longtime most wanted criminal, The Architect. To escape you must work together to survive the traps and puzzles that The Architect has put in place.
• After a nearly seven-month closure, the former Red restaurant at 3 Broad Street is set to reopen Thursday night as the Belmonte.
Owner Dan Lynch, an experienced restaurateur who counts this as his “16th buildout,” oversaw a first-floor gut job that gives s new look to the space, with dinette seating in keeping with a new, more casual menu. The cuisine is now Spanish and Mexican, with a handful of entrees supplementing what’s primarily a tapas menu, Lynch tells Churn.
The bar will feature three varieties of sangria; wines in the $30-to-$40-per-bottle range; and about 10 beers on tap.
Lynch also owns the Downtown, just a pimento’s throw away at 10 West Front Street.
• Red Bank Music, at 30 Monmouth Street is for sale. The whole kit and kaboodle — the 3,500-square-foot, one-story building; the business; and its inventory of guitars, drums and other instruments — can be had for $1.2 million, according to a listing with Stafford Smith Commercial Realty.
• Two new pharmacies have been stocking their shelves in anticipation of openings.
One is the giant Walgreens at the southern end of Broad Street, on the former site of Rassas Buick and Pontiac. As of two weeks ago, Walgreens has a temporary certificate of occupancy, which allows it to stock up, but needs a complete C of O before it can obtain a needed license from the state Board of Pharmacy, a borough official tells Churn.
Last we heard from Walgreens, an autumn opening was planned.
Closer to downtown, the Red Bank Family Pharmacy, at 141-143 Broad, also has some products on its partly built shelving, a peek in the window confirms. Pharmacist Kamlesh Patel won zoning board approval for the business in August, 2013, but an opening date was not immediately available.
• Annie Sez has vacated its longtime space between Road Runner Sports and Dean’s Natural Foods in a strip mall at 490 Broad Street in Shrewsbury.
Signage indicates that Cost Plus World Market, a furniture store that’s a subsidiary of Bed, Bath & Beyond, will open there, but not when. The company has 259 stores in 30 states, according to its website.