By JOHN T. WARD
In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, there’s something a little different: news about a Red Bank business that’s neither freshly opened nor closing — Carlo’s Bake Shop, owned by TV ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro.
Plus, as usual, a few lines about businesses that have closed, as well as news about an Indian restaurant coming downtown.
• We avoid reporting on rumors, but Carlo’s Bake Shop reached out to us last week asking us to help it quell one: that famed baker and shop owner Buddy Valastro was closing the Broad Street business after just four years in town.
The outreach came from Mike DeStefano, a CPA and longtime Valastro pal who a month or so ago bought a stake in the shop (but not in the nearly two dozen others Valastro owns).
A spokeswoman for the landlord told Churn in January that the shop’s lease expires in August, and DeStefano said he sees no reason it won’t be renewed.
“I don’t see that being a problem,” he said.
Meantime, he’s planning some changes, including beefing up the java part of the business by bringing in a coffee bar with roasts by Lavazza Coffee.
“I see this really as a great bakery that has a café during the day, and a café that has a great bakery at night,” said DeStefano, a Colts Neck resident who, perhaps ironically, doesn’t drink coffee.
The idea comes with new, later hours starting in the spring, he said.
“We’ll probably be open until midnight, or just close whenever everyone leaves,” he said, adding that’s a custom of his favorite restaurants.
He’s also got a plan in the works to change all the cakes in display boxes along the ceiling to feature the insignias and themes of nearby schools and to increase contributions to local charities.
• Pho Le, a Vietnamese restaurant located just two doors away from Carlo’s, closed February 25, with a notice on the door saying the owners had retired. The eatery had been in the space more than six years.
A splash page for Bombay River describes it as a “modern Indian restaurant,” but offers no identifying information or other details.
• AlphaGraphics, a print shop, has closed at 68 White Street, a building owned by Philip J. Bowers & Company.
Owned by Dom Pellegrino, the franchise had moved six years ago from the City Centre strip mall at Maple Avenue and Water Street, another Bowers property.
The shop’s departure, which was unexplained on its Facebook page, creates an availability of more than 2,400 square feet of retail or office space in a building with its own off-street parking.