By JOHN T. WARD
To the relief of downtown restaurateurs, a large vacant space is the heart of downtown will resume life as a retail business instead of joining the competition for diners, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.
The 2,500-square-foot space at 18 Broad Street was approved for use as a restaurant in March, 2015, seven months after If the Shoe Fits closed for good, ending a continuous run of footwear sales under various business names dating back to 1846. But despite a completion rehabilitation by local contractor Mike Rovere, who’d hope to land a 24-hour diner, the space was unable to find a restaurant tenant. Or any tenant.
Until now, that is. Rumson resident Maria Elizabeth Diaco plans to open a women’s clothing store called The Haute Maven at the address in September, according to Facebook posts.
As the mother of two toddlers, the former CoCo Pari stylist has discovered that “functional fashion is very important to my everyday style,” she writes. That style “revolves around the concept that you should be able to be chic and functional throughout the day and night.”
The store will carry brands such as I Love Mr. Mittens, Madeworn and Mara & Mine, Diaco said.
“We are thrilled there’s more retail coming to Red Bank,” Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone told redbankgreen.
There’s more, too.
• North Shore Window & Door Company, based in Ronkonkoma, New York, plans to open a “luxury showroom” in vacant space next door to Tiffany & Co. at 108 Broad Street, according to a filing with the borough.
The space was last used by Rumson China and Glass, which vacated two years ago. A sibling storefront in the same building — formerly the United States Post Office — and on the other side of Tiffany became the home of a Cos Bar cosmetics shop in May, ending a 12-year vacancy.
North Shore’s filing says there will be “no delivery trucks or deliveries at this site.”
• The central business district has some new vacancies, too. As previously reported, Pickett & White has vacated 15 Broad Street. Signs in the windows say that Sciortino Tailors is planning to take the space.
The tailor shop was previously located at 3 East Front Street — now home to Theo clothing boutique — and had planned to fill the vacancy created by the departure of the Inner Eye from 19 West Front. There was no immediate information about when the tailor shop might resume operations.
• Ariston Hair Design, at 19 Broad, closed its doors on May 31. It’s Facebook page now gives its address as 69 Monmouth Street, the home of Salon Simplicity.