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RED BANK: FRAGRANT END TO 18-YEAR VACANCY

red-bank-192-shrewsbury-cbd-life-081019-2-500x375-4063218A flower shop has relocated to the long-empty former Katsin’s Drugs space on Shrewsbury Avenue, known for its giant neon sign. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185A Red Bank store space that’s been vacant for as long as it takes to raise a baby to adulthood finally welcomes a new tenant this weekend.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: a new electric bike shop, a hair salon, a pasta shop, a gift boutique and more.

red-bank-141-broad-ev-motion-092922-500x375-7084085EV Motion has opened its e-bike shop at 141 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

red-abnk-angel-orzuna-092922-220x165-4262828• The former Katsin’s Drugs store at 192 Shrewsbury Avenue finally has a tenant after a whopping 18-year vacancy.

The fabulously retro neon sign advertising Katsin’s is still out front after a recent refurbishing, but the new tenant is a florist called Floriera La Orquidea.

That’s the new name of La Orquidea, the flower shop Angel Orzuna-Perez opened seven years ago just a few blocks north, at 135 Shrewsbury (in the famed ‘Johnny Jazz‘ butcher shop).

“I’ve been doing well, so I’m trying to grow my business” with the larger space, said Orzuna-Perez, who’s still recognized by many locals as the onetime cook at the long-departed River’s Edge Café.

The florist shop, at the corner of Catherine Street, formally opens Saturday afternoon with a two-hour event (4 to 6 p.m.) featuring mariachi musicians, before getting down to regular business hours 9 a.m. Sunday, Orzuna said.

Steve Goodman, who bought the property in 2017, tells Churn the Katsin’s sign will remain. His late son, Daniel, “always admired that sign,” he said, “so my wife and I rebuilt it and dedicated it to his memory.”

Orzuna-Perez says he doesn’t mind the sign, for now, because it draws attention to the location.

“But some people still think it’s a drug store,” he said, so he expects to revisit the issue once his business is better established.

red-bank-ev-motion-ron-mitra-092922-220x165-4056849• If it suddenly seems that electric bicycles are everywhere, well, the market is in fact “exploding,” says Ron Mitra, seen at left.

That’s why he and two partners have opened EV Motion at 141 Broad Street, Mitra said. In its first two weeks of operation, with no advertising, the shop sold 15 bikes, he told Churn.

“It’s just phenomenal,” he said.

Located near Harding Road in a space last occupied by the Red Bank Family Pharmacy, EV Motion has also been a magnet for people who bought e-bikes elsewhere but desperately need repairs, Mitra said.

As he spoke, a customer came in with a bike that had a flat rear tire; he told Churn he had been to four conventional bike stores looking for a repair.

“They won’t touch it,” said Mitra. EV Motion, and its parent, the Indian Motorcycle of Monmouth store in Neptune, of which he’s also a co-owner, are the only ones offering e-bike repairs for miles around, Mitra said.

red-bank-fox-jane-alison-campbell-092922-220x165-8795640• One hair salon replaces another as Fox & Jane takes over the space last occupied by Salon Concrete at 123 Broad Street.

Fox & Jane has a dozen salons in various states, half of them in New York City. This one, featuring 10 styling stations, is owed by Red Bank resident Alison Campbell, left, along with Lorean Cairns and Billy Canu.

As Campbell’s first venture as a business principal, the salon means she no longer has to commute into the city for work, which she’s been doing for the past dozen years, she told Churn.

Salon Concrete vacated in early 2021 after eight years at the address.

red-bank-naila-anwar-back-to-nature-092922-220x165-5727117Back to Nature has opened at 25 Monmouth Street, owned by Naila Anwar, right, and her husband, Rashid Anwar.

Naila said her family has been in wellness retailing for 40 years. For the past eight, she and her husband have had another shop, also called Back to Nature, in Chester Township, Hunterdon County, which continues, along with an online operation.

But unlike that shop, which carries supplements and herbal remedies, the Red Bank store is a more focused as a gift shop, carrying jewelry, housewares and such.

The shop, in a building Naila’s family owns, was previously occupied by Earth Spirit New Age Center, which moved to 18 Broad Street in June.

red-bank-semolina-pasta-kate-lyons-092922-220x165-5479142• Semolina Pasta Shop has opened at 11 White Street, next door to Semolina Restaurant. Both are owned by chef Chuck Lesbirel.

Retail associate Kate Lyons, left, said the store carries fresh and dried pastas, sauces, flour, grits and gift baskets, with an emphasis on local and regional sourcing.

The space was last occupied by Sweetest Sin brassieres, which recently moved next door to 7 White.

• Interior construction work is finally underway for Paris Baguette at 128 Broad Street, at the corner of Peters Place. A contractor said completion is expected in November,

• Work is also underway Shapiro’s New York Delicatessen at 51 Broad Street, which is closed for renovations.

Oran Menswear has vacated 19 West Front Street. The shop opened in late 2019.

Red Bank RiverCenter has signed a lease at 46 English Plaza and will be moving in January to first floor, executive director Bob Zuckerman tells Churn.

That’s one floor below the space the downtown special improvement district manager occupied for seven years until 2018, when it moved to 140 Broad Street. The multitenant office and retail space is slated for a major overhaul by new owner Denholtz Properties.

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