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Red Bank River Center

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RED BANK: GREEK FOOD, FLOWERS, ART & HAIR

red-bank-mayflowers-020519-500x332-3187387Mayflowers of Red Bank took over half the Wharf Avenue space long used by Chetkin Framing, which remains next door. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185A new Greek restaurant opens in Red Bank Friday, joining a flower shop that made its debut last week.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s ever-trawling Retail Churn pops in on each for the story, while serving up a bouquet of news about more planned business openings. Read on for details.

greek-spot-red-bank-020719-500x332-6868126Greek Spot opens Friday on North Bridge Avenue, next door to Guy Johnson’s big red Red Bank Antiques building. Below, hair maestro Jonathan Caputi in his new salon space.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

jon-caputi-020719-220x146-8543166• At 15 North Bridge Avenue, chef Angela Lekkas was cooking up a storm Thursday in anticipation of the opening of the Greek Spot, which she owns with her husband, Bobby.

The couple, who operate a restaurant of the same name in Ocean Township, are hoping to find success in the space where French eatery O Bistro Francais developed a loving clientele, but not enough of one to survive.

“I think we’ve got this,” Angela said, without a trace of boasting. “Food. It’s all about the food. People know how to eat. It’s not like the old days, when they’d eat whatever was put in front of them. They know what they want.”

At Greek Spot, a onetime pizzeria with a mind-boggling 120 seats on three levels, customers can expect dishes that are “totally traditional,” she said. And even with all that seating, the Lekkases expect a good portion of their business to come from grab-n-go, so they’ve got a takeout setup and eat-in counter at the front of the restaurant.

Check out the menu here.

• Lucy Phipps and daughter Eleanor Phipps of Colts Neck have made a colorful splash with the opening of Mayflowers of Red Bank at 5 Wharf Avenue.

Not that the century-and-a-half-old building was lacking in color. The space is slightly more than half the area previously used by Carol Lynn and Don Chetkin’s frame shop, which continues operating in reduced space. And their fine-art gallery is located next door to that.

Mayflower pairs the experiences of native Brits who are now American citizens after 15 years here: Lucy, a longtime interior decorator in Oxford who’s getting back to her real passion after 10 years in the school portraits business; and Eleanor, who for four years managed the Coffee Corral on Drs. Parker Boulevard. It’s their first retail venture.

“We looked at buying a florist last May, but then the idea became, ‘why not start from scratch?'” said Lucy, who also makes glass bowls that are available for purchase, with or without floral displays.

They anticipate focussing on event business, but are available for walk-in customers who just want to grab a spray of flowers.

• After 14 years on Broad Street, Jonathan Salon relocated last month to 68 White Street, opposite the municipal parking lot and next door to the UPS Store.

The new space is larger, the rent is cheaper and “I’m able to breathe,” says owner and head stylist maestro Jonathan Caputi.

On the retail horizon…

• Artist Laura Maguire has begun setting up an art studio at 50 English Plaza, most recently the home of Shore Chic, a home decor business.

Maguire tells Churn the front of the store, with floor-to-ceiling windows, will be available for pop-up use for anyone or organization who wants to do something “creative” with it.

Kramer Portrait Studio plans to relocate to the former longtime home of a vacuum cleaner store at 156 Monmouth Street, according to an approved filing with the borough.

For the past seven years, Kramer has offered its painting-quality photo services at 8 East Front Street, the former Kislin’s sporting goods store.

Its new address, owned by Gene Graman, has only ever had one tenant in the 56 years since Graman built it: a vacuum-cleaner store. In 2002, longtime employee John Decker bought Graman’s Vacuum and Appliance, which they later renamed Queen Vacuum.

The Deckers relocated their shop to Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury last year, as reported by Churn here.

• The Lash Lounge, a franchise spa business with six locations in New Jersey, will have a seventh, this one located within the walls of Garmany, the clothing store at 105 Broad Street, according to a filing with the Red Bank planning office.

• Carmine’s Sub Shop has been approved by the planning office for ground floor of the office building at 21 East Front Street. But don’t expect to smell the salami and onions too soon. Proprietor Carmine Berardi, who says he owns several businesses that are tenants of the building, tells Churn he’s “not in a rush,” and that the opening is “probably a year out.”

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
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