Coffee Corral owner Courtlyn Crosson hopes to build a new, larger coffee shop, and a separate deli, on the empty lot at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Six years after it opened in a tiny West Side construction office, Red Bank’s Coffee Corral is rarin’ for bigger pastures.
Owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, are scheduled to go before the borough planning board next month with an ambitious plan to transform the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home to the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.
The proposed two-store building, fronting on Shrewsbury Avenue, includes a replica, at right, of the existing Coffee Corral, and a new deli called the Jazz Café, at left. (Rendering by Sonnenfeld & Trocchia. Click to enlarge.)
The plan, dubbed “West Side Bravado,” calls for a 3,900-square foot structure to be built on what’s now the vacant, grassy corner surrounded by a split-rail fence.
The building, which would front on Shrewsbury Avenue, would have two distinct facades: one, a replica of Coffee Corral’s existing shop, to hold that business Courtlyn, operated by; and the other for a 2,100-sqaure foot deli conceived of as the Jazz Café, in honor of the borough’s deep roots in that music. The elder Crosson said he hasn’t decided if he’ll run that operation or hire someone to do so. A 700-square-foot second floor would serve as an office for the businesses.
The plan was driven largely by the success of the coffee shop, which has minimal seating and limited parking.
“I watch people drive by” without stopping because they can’t find a parking spot, said Courtlyn, who recently became the majority owner of the business.
She’d contemplated creating additional Coffee Corrals in nearby towns, she said, but couldn’t imagine the business fitting into a strip mall setting. “It wouldn’t have that genuine feel,” she told redbankgreen.
The coffee shop would feature “the same feel, but with more more room, more seating,” said Russ. A fireplace and a mezzanine counter are also in the plans to encourage customers to hang out, he said. The exterior would be an exact replica of the existing shop’s facade, featuring brick, aged wood and wrought-iron touches.
Parking would be provided by an 18-space lot accessed via Drs. Parker Boulevard, with a second exit onto Shrewsbury Avenue allowing a right turn only into southbound traffic.
For customers who text in their coffee orders, which Courtlyn said constitutes a going portion of the clientele, the plan shows a walk-up window on the Drs. Parker side of the building.
The existing 750-square-foot building, which now does double duty as a service counter and roastery, will be used solely for roasting operations, and open to visits “by those who are inquisitive about the roasting process,” Russ said. A storage shed on the site would be removed.
The proposal needs variances for setbacks and parking. The borough planning office calculates a need for 68 parking spots, but the Crossons’ plan shows only 18. They maintain that the peak business hours of the coffee shop and deli will be different, and that their plan is adequate.
In 2010, Russ Crosson floated plans to build a strip mall on the site, but the idea stalled.
The application is slated for the planning board’s May 7 agenda.