A rendering of the remodeled former 10th Ave. Burrito Company building. An open-air deck proposed in January would now be enclosed under a revised plan. (Rendering by Cahill Studio. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The proposed conversion of the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company in Red Bank to an upscale seafood restaurant will have to wait at least two more weeks to move ahead.
The borough planning board scheduled a second hearing on the project Monday night after the West Front Street establishment’s new owner agreed to scrap plans for a second-floor deck.
Neighbor Tony Busch Sr. said the proposed new roof would block his river view. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Over the years, the space has operated as Chubby’s Waterside Café and Fixx
nightclubs; 10th Ave. Burrito, which featured rock bands along with its Mexican menu; and briefly, before closing late last year, Caliente Cantina
Representatives of new owner Greg Milano, a Shrewsbury homebuilder, detailed plans to turn it into what one called a “more upscale, polished, New England-style yacht club,” featuring prime steaks, lobster tails and “real lobster rolls.”
Music would be limited to a pianist or jazz trio on weekends, with dinner service winding down at 10:30 p.m., manager Steve Valentine told the board.
Gone from a plan filed in January, however, is an open-air deck overlooking the Navesink River. Instead, the new 1,000-square-foot, second-floor dining area would be enclosed, with the ability to open the river-facing wall in good weather.
The change was made to accommodate the concerns of Tony Busch Sr., who lives next door, above the Work Out World gym, and whose bedroom adjoins the new area, said Milano’s lawyer, Rick Brodsky.
If the deck plan had gone ahead, the new restaurant would have been part of a wave. Teak
, on Monmouth Street, and Red Rock Tap + Grill
, on Wharf Avenue, last year completed deck projects, and the Downtown, also on West Front, won permission for a deck in April, 2015, but has not yet built it.
Board member and Councilman Mike Whelan said he “loved the idea” of more open-air dining, in part because it enables restaurants and bars to better compete with those in Sea Bright, Long Branch and elsewhere. He pressed Brodsky on whether there might have been another solution.
“We were cognizant that there are residences nearby,” Brodsky said, and made the change “to be a good neighbor” after Busch expressed concerns about noise.
The issue appeared still unresolved, however, when Busch told the board that the proposed roof on the addition would block his bedroom’s three windows overlooking the river.
Milano’s architect, Michael Unger, agreed to file a revised plan to accommodate that concern in time for the board to continue hearing the application on April 3.
With 100-percent lot coverage, the plan needs variances for pre-existing setback and open-space shortages, and another for a 14-vehicle parking deficit created by the additional dining space.
In 2008, then-owner Mike 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.