red bank 42 monmouthThe building at 42 Monmouth Street would get two additional floors as shown above if the plan is approved. (Rendering by Larry C. Johnson. Click to enlarge)


On pause since last September, a proposal to triple the size of a downtown building — and install a microbrewery on the ground floor — is scheduled to return to the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night.

red bank 42 monmouthThe building as it now appears. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The agenda calls for the resumption of a hearing begun in September on 42 Monmouth Street, which has been vacant since the departure of Fameabilia 11 years ago.

Under a proposal by owner Phoenix of Matawan LLC, the building would get two additional stories that would contain four apartments.

For the ground floor, Phoenix, which is owned by Matawan restaurateur Florin Lupo, is seeking a use variance to convert the existing retail space to two tenant spaces: a microbrewery and a takeout pasta restaurant.

At the start of the case in September, board member Sean Murphy expressed concern that the expansion would add to the parking burden downtown. But Lupo’s attorney argued that the proposal would put less pressure on parking than a 162-seat restaurant at the same address that won planning board approval in 2013, under a prior ownership, but was never built.

The hearing on a proposed Dunkin’ drive-thru at the Shell gas station on Newman Springs Road, originally scheduled to resume at this meeting, has been rescheduled for August 1.

The board meets at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.