The conjoined buildings at center, above, have changed hands, along with the liquor license. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

See UPDATE below


Red Bank’s Downtown restaurant and night club, a major nightlife draw, has new owners.

The West Front Street business has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A view of the Downtown’s first-floor bar in 2015. (Photo by Susan Ericson Click to enlarge)

The borough council last week approved a transfer of the establishment’s liquor license to RBL Holdings LLC, a business created by John S. DiLeo Jr. on June 22.

New Jersey business filings show RBL’s home as the Bellworks complex in Holmdel. Named on the license as principals with DiLeo are Anthony DiLeo and Zachary Zaborowski.

Separately, the borough planning office has approved a change of ownership of the property 8-10 West Front Street  from DMLW partners to an entity called 8-10 West Front LLC, also created by DiLeo on June 22.

The prices paid for the property and the license were not immediately available. [UPDATE, November 2, 2020: The property sold for $2 million, according to a deed filed October 26 with Monmouth County.]

DiLeo, a resident of Locust, could not be reached by redbankgreen for comment Monday.

The prices paid for the property and the license were not immediately available.

A planning office filing by the new owner indicates no immediate plans for interior or exterior renovations to the site, which comprises conjoined two- and three-story buildings, and no change in signage. [UPDATE: A press release issued by Bielat Santore & Company, the real estate broker on the deal, said the new owners “intend to totally renovate the building and to introduce a fresh, new and exciting food and beverage concept, something the likes that Red Bank has not seen. Expect renovations to take 3-4 months and the new restaurant to open Spring – 2021.”]

Under prior principal Dan Lynch, the Downtown underwent a major renovation and expansion in 2008., creating two expansive floors of bar and table space for lunch and dinner. With its second-floor dance floor, it was also a late-night crowd magnet.

But the business has been shuttered the imposition of Governor Phil Murphy’s limits on business since early in the pandemic. And even after restaurants were allowed to reopen with outdoor seating, the Downtown remained closed.

In a June 14 update on its Facebook page, the business posted: “The Downtown has to sit this round out due to our challenging outside dining real estate. We will be dusting off the sound boards and mics to bring live music back better than ever hopefully soon.”

Lynch, who along with partners also once simultaneously owned the Downtown and Red (later the Belmonte) just doors away on Broad Street, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

In late 2014, the owners filed plans for a roof deck that would extend the Downtown into to another adjoining building, at 12 West Front Street. But a zoning board approval was never pursued, borough records show.