By JOHN T. WARD
In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, one of Red Bank’s hot vegan restaurants is building a separate takeout place, while a 24-hour gym, a barber shop and a cryotherapy spa all have plans to set up shop downtown.
Meantime, two businesses — a restaurant and a women’s clothing shop — have opened in recent days.
Emily Natale in her newly opened Pearl Street Consignment and Custom Clothes shop. Below, Good Karma hopes to open its new takeout spot at the West Side Lofts this summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
• JJ’s Delicasies opened Friday at 21 West Front Street. As previously reported by Churn, owner Jerry Chen and partners are staking their future on a trio of food trends: cold-rolled ice cream, bubble tea and poke (pronounced PO-keh), the Hawaiian seafood-based based salad dish.
After four years of vacancy following the death of Wayne’s Market owner Wayne Fisler, the storefront was occupied for a year by Jimmy John’s, a national sandwich chain.
• A Red Bank Regional graduate has transformed the former Brownstone Dry Cleaner space at the southwest corner of Monmouth and Pearl Street into Pearl Street Consignment and Custom Clothes, which opened for business Saturday.
The shop is owned by soon-to-be 23-year-old Emily Natale, a borough native who went on to graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology. With the aim of making the space into “a fun place,” she tells Churn she plans to host regular art shows, including one spotlighting the work of her father, Danny Natale, who was busy painting the shop’s signage Monday. Emily’s own artwork now livens up the walls.
The primary business of the shop, however, is pre-owned women’s clothing and accessories. Natale, a designer, said she plans to offer more of her own creations as she settles in.
• Vegan mecca Good Karma Café is building a takeout restaurant in the West Side Lofts, at 1 Bridge Avenue.
Located in one of the work-to-live spaces facing the Two River Theater across Edmund Wilson Boulevard, the Karma 2 Go is expected to open in early summer, co-owner Gail Doherty tells Churn.
Good Karma, based in a mere 912 square feet at 17 East Front Street, is frequently packed, with diners and take-out customers sometimes elbow to elbow. Doherty and partner Tiffany Betts won borough planning board approval in December, 2016 to expand into space vacated by Creative Kitchens at 21 East Front, but were unable to come to terms with neighboring Red Rock Tap + Grill over rear access issues.
• Broad Street Barbers is taking over the space at 15 Broad Street formerly occupied by Yanni Erbeli Salon. Its website says the shop will feature Riccardo Parrino and Jordan Ryan, formerly of Old World Shaving Parlor, on West Front Street.
• The former longtime home of Professional Pharmacy, which closed five years ago, is about to get a tenant for the unused portion of its space at 134 Broad Street.
A filing with the borough planning office says that Anytime Fitness “will be staffed during business hours, roughly 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but available to members via key fob access at all other times.”
Pilates Blast opened for business in December, taking the rear portion of the 7,300-square-foot space. Anytime Fitness will take the area that fronts on Broad, according to submitted plans, which were approved last month.
• At 64 Broad Street, Paul Musho of Westfield plans to open ChillRx Cryotherapy Center, according to a filing with the borough planning and zoning office. The plan was approved without a need for any variances last week.
A video and other material on the company website indicate that cryotherapy treatments involve a customer getting into vertical pod and being exposed from the neck down to a intense cold from liquid nitrogen — as low as minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit — for between 30 seconds and three minutes.
Musho’s filing claims health benefits including weight loss, recovery from muscle and tissue injury, pain reduction and anti-aging effects. And according to the company website, “Cryotherapy is an innovative and safe 3 minute treatment that has been used for over 40 years in Europe to accelerate healing, reduce inflammation and pain, boost metabolism and weight loss and to reverse the signs of aging. Cryotherapy offers fitness, wellness and beauty benefits to individuals striving to feel, look and be better every day.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, has not approved cryotherapy claims, and in fact has thrown some warm water on them. From an FDA statement issued in July, 2016 and updated in January, quoting Aron Yustein, M.D., a medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health:
“Given a growing interest from consumers in whole body cryotherapy, the FDA has informally reviewed the medical literature available on this subject,” Yustein says. “We found very little evidence about its safety or effectiveness in treating the conditions for which it is being promoted.”
The agency’s advice? Talk to your doctor before getting into the pod.