Fizz Soda Fountain, featuring burgers, shakes and a 1940’s-era soda dispenser, is to replace the Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Paradiso, who opened the sub shop three years ago, tells redbankgreen that the subsequent arrival of Jersey Mike’s and Subway, and the anticipated arrival of Jimmy John’s Deli, in a market that already included long-established Elsie’s and other sandwich shops, made the business untenable.
“They saturated the market,” he said.
Then along came Kevin Kopacko, a River Plaza resident who managed a restaurant in Spring Lake Heights and was looking to go out on his own in downtown Red Bank. But all the spaces he looked at were too big and expensive, Kopacko said.
When Paradiso and Kopacko crossed paths and got to talking, a partnership emerged, Kopacko said. It’s aim: to create an old-school soda fountain, selling burgers, shakes, malts, and more in the sub shop’s small footprint.
“In food, like most things in life, what’s old is new again, and the past is the future,” said Kopacko, who believes Red Bank is “really supportive of individual, new ideas.”
The centerpiece of the shop will be a vintage 1940’s-era soda fountain that Kopacko bought and had restored. He hopes to have about a dozen seats, if allowed by the borough. An unusual seating area created for the sub shop in air-shaft won’t be part of the restaurant, Paradiso said.
Kopacko, who will manage the shop day-to-day with help from Paradiso, said he hopes to open Fizz by mid-September.
The building that houses the shop, a the corner of Broad Street, is one of Red Bank’s most prominent, and includes as tenants tenants are Nat’s Jewelers, a Valley National Bank branch and Whipped Creperie. Morco, owned by the Morgan family of Rumson, bought the building last year and plans extensive changes to its long-vacant second and third floors.