This time a year ago, Fair Haven was a town divided. The issue? Whether to allow a Dunkin’ coffee shop to fill a vacancy in the River Road strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket. The back-and-forth on the Fair Haven, NJ Facebook page got so nasty that the moderator shut down commenting on the issue.
Well this week, seven months after the planning board approved the shop, the still-empty retail space got its Dunkin’ sign, and the moderator allowed a resumption of comments. So how’d that go?
Beneath a photo of the new sign being installed Monday, page administrator Katy Badt Frissora said the ensuing comments could serve as “today’s quarantined entertainment.”
What followed, so far, has included some grumbling about the shop as a dreaded destination for caffeine addicts imperiling the safety of all who get in their way, and sidelong swipes at “yuppies with their $2k home espresso machines.”
Others weighing in continue to lament what they see as a breach in the towns’s character as a place of (mostly) mom-and-pop shops.
But commenters have largely cheered the anticipated opening, and there’s been no sign of the venom that prompted the moratorium on comments. A sampling:
• Yes! Finally………. 🤩
• Better than a vacant spot!
• Better put those no parking fire lane signs up now, it’s gonna be like White St in Red Bank , a blatant disregard for the flow of traffic and others.
• The final sign the End of Days is upon us🤣
• I’m just tuning in now – did anyone mention McMansions yet??🙉🙊🙈
• Someone’s kid is gonna get smoked by some impatient yuppie in need of caffeine
• what’s more dangerous to fair haven residents? Corona virus or crossing the street near a coffee shop?
• Is this really worth all of the energy that went against it? Will this recent tragedy help anyone understand how trivial the fighting was?
The shop is to be operated by Dominic Sequeira, of Lincroft, whose family business also owns Dunkin’ shops in Red Bank, Tinton Falls and Lincroft.
On Tuesday, Sequeira told redbankgreen he doesn’t have a projected opening date, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis.
Meantime, borough resident Andrew Reger filed separate lawsuits against both the zoning board and planning board over procedural decisions made during the plan review.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Owen McCarthy dismissed the zoning board lawsuit, with prejudice, in January, finding the board’s action’s “reasonable and permissible.” The planning board case continues. Here’s the complaint: Reger v FH complaint 103119