By JOHN T. WARD
Read all about them in edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.
• Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee completed its transition this week from a truck-only operation to a brick and mortar address with the opening of its first restaurant at 8A Monmouth Street.
The eight-stool eatery replaces Fizz, a lovingly created 1950’s-style diner that lasted just seven months. Noting the quilted-chrome paneling along the walls, Johnny’s owner John Yarusi said the small space “even looks like a food truck.”
On the menu: a mouthwatering array of pork-roll-based sandwiches: a Reuben, a BLT, a Cubano, a “Sloppy John,” a grilled cheese and more.
Hoping to feed customers starved for pork roll trivia as well, a timeline painted on a long wall in the space illustrates the history of Jersey-created pork roll, about which Yarusi is surely one of the world’s foremost authorities.
Yarusi’s two trucks, meantime, continue to roll, with one scheduled as always to appear at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market, at the Galleria of Red Bank, this Sunday.
• After nearly four years under construction, Triumph Brewing Company opened its 12,000-square-foot microbrewery restaurant in the West Side Lofts earlier this month.
Owner Adam Rechnitz’s plan to replicate his Princeton restaurant of the same name actually dates back more than a dozen years, to concepts for the transformation of a former lumber yard-turned antiques emporium into the 91-unit West Side Lofts apartment building and the neighboring Two River Theater, founded by Rechnitz’s parents, Bob and Joan.
The lofts project began moving in residential tenants four years ago, and counts as its retail tenants West Elm furnishings, Freshica’s juice bar, Soul Strong gym and the recently opened Karma 2 Go vegan takeout restaurant, created by the owners of Good Karma Café.
So what took Triumph, the final piece in the puzzle, so long? Adam Rechnitz, as has been his custom over the past four years, remains mum, declining to respond to redbankgreen requests for information.
• Jack Pongnoo’s Baan Khun restaurant has opened at 39 Broad Street, in the former Readie’s Deli space.
Pongnoo also owns the nearby Muang Thai restaurant, at the corner of East Front Street and Wharf Avenue. As previously reported, Baan Khun specializes in the cuisine of Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia.