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RED BANK: SKATE SHOP ROLLS INTO TOWN

red-bank-15-monmouth-street-feet-first-022221-2-500x332-8749582Feet First opens on Monmouth Street, having skated across the Navesink from Middletown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: a skateboard shop rolls into downtown Red Bank, a comic book shop relocates, and the pandemic economy claims another handful of stores.

red-bank-65-broad-street-secret-stash-022221-2-500x332-3724413Kevin Smith’s comic shop Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash has relocated. Below, Sugarush has closed its cupcake shop to transition to a catering business model. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red-bank-sugarush-37-east-from-022221-220x146-8757624
Feet First, a skateboard shop, has relocated from Middletown to 15 Monmouth Street, in the space that was the longtime home of Dean’s Florist.

Opening a shop while the pandemic is still claiming others may seem dicey. But Feet First’s wife-and-husband owners Erin and Rodney Morales told Churn their industry has been zooming in the past year.

“It’s been blowing up,” said Rodney. With pandemic restrictions in place, “all the kids are home with nothing to do, and it’s is one thing they can do by themselves while getting some fresh air.”

Fans of the sport are stoked that it is scheduled to debut in this year’s summer Olympics, which is also fueling sales, he said.

Erin’s father, Tim Conheeney, started the business as a running shoe store in 1977. When Tim started talking about retiring a couple of years ago, Rodney and Erin stepped onto the board.

The couple made the move to downtown in the hopes of getting foot traffic, which they didn’t see enough of at the shop’s prior location in a Route 35 shopping center, Rodney said.

Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, the comic book store and tourist draw owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith, has completed its relocation to a new home.

The shop opened Monday in a long-vacant space at 65 Broad Street, after 23 years at 35 Broad Street.

The new address features a relic of postwar retail design: a recessed front doorway, with displays on either side of the approach. There’s also a bronze “Miles” inlaid on the vestibule floor, a leftover from a long-gone shoe store.

At a Zoom meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission last month, Smith said the store would keep the vestibule as-is.

Lacrosse Unlimited a chain store that’s operated since 2012 at 58 Broad Street, is moving a few doors south at 68 Broad Street.

The shop recently won HPC approval for new signage on the building previously tenanted by women’s clothing boutique Madison.

David DeSimone, a Lacrosse Unlimited executive, confirmed the plan to move the shop but said a date has not yet been set.

Churn also sadly reports these closings and departures from downtown Red Bank:

Sugarush, the cupcake and sweets shop at 37 East Front Street, will close by Sunday, according to post on Facebook earlier this month.

Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello-Paseka started the business in 2011, and were married in the shop in 2013 in a ceremony covered by redbankgreen. Chris’s cousin, Amanda Porter took over the operation in 2016. She’ll carry on the business from her home, she wrote.

“It may seem to some this is a step backwards, but we are excited that this opportunity allows us to do what we love and follow some additional dreams of growing our family and expanding our business to online sales,” Porter wrote.

Anima, a women’s clothing boutique that opened three years ago at 37 Broad Street, has closed.

• The storefront at 28 Monmouth Street, where Michelle Serpico opened Love Me More in mid-2019, is vacant.

• So is the Mini Shop at 29 Monmouth, opened two years ago by Vicky Li.

• Just off Monmouth, in the mews alongside the Dublin House Pub, the Paint Passion store is empty.

Patty Seaman opened the shop, which specialized in chalk paint, in 2014.

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