By JOHN T. WARD
The plan to convert 26 West Front Street to a seafood restaurant follows the recent closing at that address of Caliente Cantina, itself a successor to the short-lived 10th Ave. Burrito.
A rendering of the remodeled building, with the deck visible at far right. The name on the sign is a placeholder; no name has yet been given to the restaurant, says the owner. (Rendering by Cahill Studio. Click to enlarge)
Building owner Greg Milano, a Shrewsbury-based homebuilder, and his unnamed partners closed Caliente Cantina on January 1, less than six months after rebranding the space, which for the prior year had been a 10th Ave. Burrito.
Milano said Caliente Cantina was envisioned from the start as an “interim” business leading up to a makeover of the building, which offers a panoramic river view. Plans filed with the borough include adding a 1,000-square-foot rooftop dining area.
“If anybody in town should have a rooftop deck, it should be us,” Milano told redbankgreen Wednesday.
A seafood restaurant with a “yacht club kind of feel, but not high-end prices” is planned, he said. Steve Valentine, who ran Cantina Caliente, will do the same for the new restaurant, which doesn’t yet have a name, Milano said.
The plans, which require parking and setback variances, are scheduled to be reviewed by the planning board on Wednesday, January 18. Here’s the full agenda.
The building is now solely owned by a limited liability corporation controlled by Milano, who bought out partner Mike Gilson in November, according to documents filed with Monmouth County. Gilson acquired the building in 1995, records show, and owned it through several incarnations, as home to Chubby’s Waterside Café, Fixx and 10th Ave. Burrito.
In 2008, Gilson and other partners won zoning board approval to demolish the building and replace it with a new sports bar and restaurant topped by two apartments. But the partnership fell apart and the plan died.
If approved, the roof deck would put the restaurant in league with Teak, on Monmouth Street, and Red Rock Tap + Grill, on Wharf Avenue. The Downtown, also on West Front, won permission for a deck in April, 2015, but has not yet built it.