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RED BANK: ADIOS, CANTINA; SEAFOOD COMING

26-w-front-011117-1-500x375-6905788A makeover into a seafood restaurant with a roof deck is proposed for the site of Caliente Cantina, a short-lived restaurant at 26 West Front Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Yet another Red Bank restaurant and bar is hoping to join the rooftop dining trend, and this one has a widescreen view of the Navesink River.

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.

26-w-front-elevation-011117-500x288-8681805A 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.

Milano said the structure will get a new skin of wood shingles, to mimic the historic feel of the Monmouth Boat Club and North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club just down Boat Club Way.

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.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
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