RED BANK: ANTIQUES, TOYS, TATS AND MORE

Courtney Muller in her shop, M & Co. Vintage, on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: a quirky antiques shop opens, a bank branch closes, a tattoo parlor inks a new lease and more.

Chase is closing its branch at 32-34 Broad Street, while 65 Broad, below, will become home to a collectible toy shop. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

• The Chase bank branch at 32-34 Broad Street in Red Bank, which has been out of operation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 14 months ago, is closing permanently June 2, according to a posting on the company website and a notice on the door.

Chase customers are being directed to the Fair Haven branch.

From 1961 to 2003, the space was home to Prown’s, a longtime five-and-dime that became a home improvement shop and now operates out of Middletown.

• Well-recognized as a Red Bank bartender, Courtney Muller is now the second person in her household to run a retail business in Red Bank.

Muller, who tended bar at the Walt St. Pub, Teak and Robinson’s Ale House, recently opened M & Co Vintage at 30 Monmouth Street, the quaint Victorian courtyard alongside the Dublin House Pub.

Her husband, Vinny Banis, owns Down to the Felt on West Front Street.

M & Co.’s wares reflect Muller’s love of both horror flicks and British romance. After years of collecting, she started off selling “oddities” at horror conventions about two years ago, but “Red Bank’s really not that vibe,” she said. So while a corner of  the shop has a display of animal skeletons and campy memorabilia, the space is largely given over to conventional antiques: furniture, barware, tea sets and the like.

“I sell more of the eclectic items, and I rent more of the classic items,” for use in themed parties, house stagings and other events, Muller said. In fact, she said, her business is primarily online, and she views the storefront as “a beautiful storage unit” as well as a display.

The space was last rented to Paint Passion, whose owner, Patty Seaman, died unexpectedly in December.

• Also of interest to collectors: the storefront at 65 Broad Street will soon be the home of Pop Freak Collectibles, a seller of collectible toys, founder Jay Spedale tells Churn.

From an email Spedale sent us:

I started the company in September of 2020 in response to losing my job to Covid-19 in March of 2020. It was a way for me to just keep myself busy during a long down period for my industry. Pre-Covid, I worked as a project manager in the events industry, specializing in large scale events, mainly concerts & festivals.
With all of my newfound time, I used all of my savings to build a website & start this business. The more I worked at it, the more I realized this was an opportunity to build a physical business that I could someday share with my son, who has autism. Wanting to have a wide variety of collectible products, I brought in a partner, Rolf Luberoff, who specializes in sports memorabilia & celebrity autographs.

Spedale says he and Luberoff hope to open the store by Memorial Day.

The space, at the southeast corner of Wallace Street and next door to the new home of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, was last used as a rug shop.

Front Street Tattoo has inked a new lease, with plans to move to 2 Front Street, former home of Seldin’s Trinkets.

Owner Michael ‘Shoe’ Nyegaard obtained Historic Preservation Commission approval last week for signage that will reprise the “saloon-style” font used on his shop’s current home, at 37 East Front.

Denim Surgeon, a jeans customizer and tailor shop located at the rear of 43 Broad Street, has relocated to 29 Monmouth Street, according to a notice on the door.

The shop’s new home was home to Mini Shop gift boutique for the past three years.

T Photos Boutique plans to occupy about 250 square feet at 86 Broad Street starting in June.

Owner Tyler Nunnally-Duck tells Churn she’ll be offering “prints, greeting cards, postcards, stickers, refurbished frames, my Timeless Collections featuring many Red Bank locations” and more.

The space served as a pop-up shop for local artisans last December, following the departure of Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe a year ago. Painter Mike Quon also has space in the storefront.

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