By JOHN T. WARD
A downtown Red Bank restaurant that’s zoned as a club would be able to join the trend of sidewalk cafés under a law tweak up for consideration Wednesday night.
Also on the borough council agenda: a new vendor for the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park.
• Under the existing sidewalk café law, restaurants in the so-called SID, or special improvement district, can set up seasonal outdoor dining on sidewalks in front of their establishments. The proposed change, 2018-08, expands the definition to include “clubs” and “primary liquor establishments,” or bars.
According to borough officials, the change would affect only Catch 19, a seafood restaurant at 19 Broad Street. Last year, what was then known as Catch relocated from a few doors away, where it had sidewalk tables, to the space vacated by Gotham Lounge, which had operated as a nightclub since 2014. The ordinance addresses the anomaly.
The amendment also sets new fees and oversight. In order to set up sidewalk dining, restaurants and bars must pay a permit fee, which under the proposed ordinance would rise to $5 per square foot of sidewalk, up from the current $2 per square foot in the first year and $4 in subsequent years. A $100 application fee also applies.
Applications for permits would investigated by the borough code enforcement department rather than the police if the amendment passes.
• The refreshment stand at Riverside Gardens Park is set to get new seasonal management. The council plans to award a two-year lease, with an option for a three-year extension, to Jubilee Ice Cream LLC. The business was the higher of two bidders, offering $16,800 for 2018 and $18,000 for 2019, according to a proposed ordinance up for introduction.
According to state incorporation records, Jubilee was formed last month by Catherine Nagle of Toms River. redbankgreen could not immediately reach her for comment. Information was not immediately available about the second bidder and the amount bid.
Here’s the ordinance.
The West Front Street stand had barely been used in its two decades of existence when the council awarded an operating lease to the owners of local Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream shops in 2016. Under that deal, shop owners Michelle and Brian McMullin paid $7,500 rent in the first year, $10,000 in the second, and were to make $35,000 worth of improvements to the facility.
The McMullins also had the option to extend the deal by three years, but chose not to because making their own ice cream and operating four stores was taking a toll on their quality of life, Michelle told redbankgreen by email Tuesday.
Here’s the full agenda for Wednesday’s semimonthly council meeting, slated for 6:30 p.m. at borough hall.