RED BANK: SICKLES ENTERING LIQUOR BIZ

With a ’boutique’ liquor store now part of the plan, Sickles Market Provisions will take the entire first floor of the former Anderson Storage building on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a century-plus of operation, Little Silver-based Sickles Market will get into the liquor business when opens its new store in Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

With its second store in the early stages of construction in the long-vacant Anderson Storage building at Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue, the 110-year-old farm market has already signaled its intention to compete on multiple fronts with the giant Whole Foods ands Trader Joe’s chains, which have stores less than five miles away in Middletown and Shrewsbury, respectively.

The new store, dubbed Sickles Market Provisions will feature products not found at the Little Silver site, including seafood, sushi and gelato, said principle Bob Sickles. It will also host a coffee stop run by Monmouth Beach-based Booskerdoo.

Now, Sickles has acquired the dormant license of Heritage Liquors, formerly located at the corner of Broad and East Front streets, which closed in August, 2014. Last Wednesday, the borough council approved the transfer of the license to TST Beverages LLC, an entity controlled by Sickles, according to state business records. The price of the license transaction has not been disclosed.

Under New Jersey law, the license allows alcohol sales in only one location.

Sickles told redbankgreen the license will be used to create a “boutique” liquor shop of about 1,600 square feet selling wine, beer and hard liquor within the planned 9,000-square-foot food emporium, which will now occupy the entire ground floor of the brick structure.

The shop will carry products by Asbury Park Distilling Co., 4JG’s Vineyard in Colts Neck and local craft brewas along with big-name brands, he said. “We’ll also have a little cheese presence in there,” he said.

Liquor wasn’t originally part of the plan, but “then the license became available and I decided to get it,” Sickles said. And the deal marks a return to roots of sorts, he said, noting that he has in his office an 1870s photo of one his ancestors outside a Broad Street shop called Sickles & Parker, with a sign that reads, in part, “Fine Groceries, Wine & Liquors.”

Anderson building owner Metrovation won approval in October, 2014, to put on a four-story addition to the existing 27,000-square-foot structure and make other changes to produce 48,600 square feet of retail and office space.

Sickles said he expects the store to open in about a year.

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