red bank 19 monmouth st.City Barn/Country Penthouse has opened for business at 19 Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


retail churn small

Commercial real estate deals rarely happen as quickly as the one that led to Friday’s opening of a new homewares store in downtown Red Bank.

Read all about here in redbankgreen‘s latest edition of Retail Churn.

carrie carretta rick giambastini red bank city barnCarrie Carretta and Rick Giambastini in their store. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The new shop is City Barn/Country Penthouse, which took over the storefront at 19 Monmouth Street recently vacated by specialty olive oil and vinegar shop Carter & Cavero.

It’s owned by the wife-and-husband pair Carrie Carretta and Rick Giambastini, who relocated their 18-month-old business from Bellworks in Holmdel.

The couple, who live in a townhouse next door to Bellworks, had been generally happy in the former Bell Labs site, they said.

But “it’s a long-term proposition” before the still-evolving facility generates the level of foot traffic they needed, Giambastini told Churn.

So they started looking not long ago at Red Bank, which Carretta was familiar with as a 27 -year resident of Monmouth County. (Giambastini, whom she married four years ago, is from the San Francisco area.)

One day less than a month ago, broker CJ Frank, of Brothers Commercial, was showing them 22 Monmouth Street, the vacant former Christian Science Reading Room, when Carretta looked across the street at the still-occupied Carter & Cavero store.

“She pointed and said, ‘we want something like that,'” Frank told Churn.

“I said, ‘too bad that’s not available, because that’s really our vibe,'” Carretta recalled. With its full-glass frontage, wood floors and tin ceiling, it would make an ideal setting for their shop’s mix of rustic and industrial home touches, she said.

But while the space was not formally on the market, it turns out Carter & Cavero had previously confided to Frank that it was interested in getting out of its lease after 12 years there.

“They really loved the space,” Frank said of the couple. “They made a very fast deal.”

The agreement was signed earlier this month. After refinishing the floors and stocking the shelves, City Barn/Country Penthouse began its soft opening at noon Friday.

The store carries rustic signs, embroidered throw pillows and other decorating touches. It has market-exclusive deals with catstudio and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia, Carretta said.

One item that caught our eye was a Bristow table lamp made from repurposed galvanized pipe for $295.

Carretta, who has a full-time career in the pharmaceutical industry, picks the products and does the design. She’ll leave daily management of the store to Giambastini, whose background is in municipal taxation.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.