228 drs. parker 042816 2Closed for two years, paperwork filed in connection with the sale of the former Yogi’s Liquors license indicates the store will also offer groceries and deli products. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that’s been closed for two years appears to be gearing up to reopen.

The borough council last week approved the sale of packaged-goods license of Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, and documents on file indicate the new owner intends to reopen the business there.

Yogi’s was not your typical top-shelf suburban bottle shop. Customers had to be buzzed in, and paid a clerk seated behind bulletproof glass. The sale of “40s” and airline “minis” was steady.

But except for some minor brushes with local government  years ago, the store was a good neighbor, said Mayor Pasquale Menna, who grew up on the West Side.

“The owner lived on top of the store, in an apartment,” Menna said of Mohanlal “Yogi” Parekh. “Everybody in the neighborhood knew him.”

Menna said the business operated as a liquor and grocery store prior to Parekh acquiring it. According to a letter filed with the borough planning an zoning office by attorney Robert Munoz, Parekh bought the business in 1984.

Parekh died in May, 2014, one month after his wife, which forced the closing of the business, Munoz wrote. A relative who is administering the estate declined to comment.

An application filed with the police department in conjunction with the license transfer indicates that the new owner intends to sell groceries and deli products along with alcoholic beverages.

The buyer is identified as SSPF2 LLC of Freehold Township, which is owned by Shakil Pathan, according to the filing. Pathan could not be reached for comment.

The building, assessed at $280,000, is under contract for sale to SSPF2, according to Monmouth County property records.

Best Liquors, another longtime neighborhood grocery and liquor store, located several blocks north on Leighton Avenue, closed after the borough council stripped it of its license over numerous violations in 2008. The property is now home to Kitch Organic restaurant.