Sonya Cashner plans to open Broad & Brush at 26 Monmouth Street, one of two similar shops coming to town this summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


Two businesses that offer do-it-yourself instruction in making rustic signs plan to open in downtown Red Bank this summer.

Yeah, that’s a thing, apparently, part of what one of the new contenders calls a trend in “farmhouse decor.”

Read all about that, and more of course, in this custom handcrafted edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Laura Bibb with some of her Andromeda’s Attic line of reversible messenger bags at the Red Bank Artisan Collective. Below, partners Riccardo Parrino (standing) and Jordan Ryan of Broad Street Barbers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

• At 26 Monmouth Street, Sonya Cashner is preparing to open Board & Brush, a franchised business where customers make “personalized wood signs,” with power tools and stencils, often in relaxed, wine-sipping group outings.

Another franchise in the same line of business, called AR Workshop,is slated to open in at 43A Broad Street in late July or early August.

Owner Joanna Rapuzzi, who has a AR Workshop store in Westfield, wasn’t aware of Cashner’s shop until told about it by Churn. And Cashner said if she’d know of Rapuzzi’s interest, she might have suggested a partnership.

But “there’s plenty of room” for both, Cashner said, just as she expects the DIY sign concept to fit in well with the sip-and-make approach of Pinot’s Palette (painting) and A Time to Kiln (pottery), both on Broad Street.

“I think people will come,” she said.

Rapuzzi said she was attracted to the concept by the rewards it offers customers. “I love the way you feel empowered by the class, making something you’re actually going to use,” she said.

Red Bank Artisan Collective, a pop-up shop started as the Red Bank Holiday Bazaar last December by Debbie Eisenstein, has popped one door over, departing the space leased to Rapuzzi and taking over the one (largely) vacated by Red Sole (formerly the Doc Shoppe).

The shop features locally handmade products, much in the same way that All Things Local and the Local Line, which opened the same weekend last September just a block apart, do also.

In this case, the shop features wood cheese boards made by Red Bank resident Patrick Satterfield; reversible cotton messenger bags by Hazlet resident Laura Bibb; a line of clothing called Mel en Stel from Keyport and more.

Red Sole, meanwhile, is selling Birkenstocks in the shop, Eisenstein said.

She said the collective offers local makers a way to display, sell and profit from their work while sharing in the cost of retail space.

“I’m trying to get people moving away from Amazon,” she told Churn, “trying to get millennials in to buy things made locally, not in China.”

It doesn’t hurt that Eisenstein’s father, Pat Straus, is a partner in Ten Company, which owns the building that houses the shop.

The collective plans a “shop, snack and sip” event featuring food by Via 45 and music by Aunt D and the Boys on June 14, with a portion of sale proceeds to be donated to HABcore. Details here.

• The new owners of the Melting Pot fondue restaurant now have their liquor license, obtained from the former owner, following action by the borough council last week.

The restaurant, located in the Galleria of Red Bank on Bridge Avenue, closed in October, 2016. Under new owners Barry Berkowitz, a Floridian who spent his first 15 years as a Lincroft resident, and his partners, the space has gotten a makeover, and will as a prototype design for the 115 Melting Pot franchise locations across the United States, he told Churn in February.

Attorney (and former Fair Haven mayor) Mike Halfacre told the council that his clients plan a June 29 reopening.

Trap Door Escape Room, which provides “immersive entertainment” that challenges teams of customers to find their way through a series of clue-solving scenarios at 60 White Street, has obtained borough planning office approval to do something similar at 62 White, in the former longtime home of Toymasters, which closed late last year.

There, in 2,000 square feet of space, owner Anthony Purzycki plans a new theme for an escape room called “Beast Caves,” which he tells Churn “will put you on a journey to hunt down mythological creatures across underground caverns.”

Beast Caves won’t open before September, Purzycki told the borough. Meanwhile, Hobbymasters, which was unrelated to Toymasters despite the shared address and similar name, remains in the rest of the building.

Broad Street Barbers, co-owned by former Old World Shaving Parlor haircutters Riccardo Parrino and Jordan Ryan, is now open at 15 Broad Street, upstairs from the combination of Evan John Diamantaire and Sciortino Tailors.

It’s a place for “old-school haircuts and shaves,” said Parrino, an immigrant from Sicily who also has his own line of pomades and other products imported from Italy under the brand My DeLuca.

The space was formerly occupied by Yanni Erbeli Salon, which has merged with Wisteria, a beauty bar, and relocated to 67 Broad Street.

•  Lash Out hair salon has closed at 29 Monmouth Street. Ten Company also owns that building.