RED BANK: NEW CULINARY DELIGHTS ABOUND
Michelle Storey in her new Fable Creamery vegan ice cream shop on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Recent weeks have brought a veritable groaning board of new culinary offerings to Red Bank: breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
Read all about the insane buffet in this winter-doldrums edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.Juan Morena and Isabella Santamaria in their new Broad Street restaurant, El Gavilan Tio Juan. Below, the opening of Sally Boy’s restaurant ends an eight-year vacancy at Broad and Front streets. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
• Now open at 51 Broad Street: El Gavilan Tio Juan.
Taking over the space last occupied by Shapiro’s New York Style Delicatessen, owners Juan Morena – he’s the “tio” in the restaurant’s name – and Isabela Santamaria began serving three meals a day with their Thursday debut.
The menu consists of Mexican “comfort food, nothing wild,” said Santamaria, a 2009 Red Bank Regional High graduate who also serves as manager (when not working as an English teacher). It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner versions of burritos, plus mahi mahi, lobster, pork chops and more as entrees.
Though it doesn’t even have its sign up up, El Gavilan – Spanish for hawk – will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. After taking eight months to open to remodel the interior and obtain permits, “we’re just ready to work,” said Santamaria.
• Fable Creamery, a vegan ice cream shop, has opened at 14 Monmouth Street.
Owner Michelle Storey makes it all “in a dedicated vegan and gluten-free kitchen,” she told Churn: ice cream, ice cream cakes, artisan chocolates, and confections including toffees, pralines, chocolate bars, chocolate bon bons and cookies.
The store space was last occupied by the Cheese Cave.
• Cooking Channel chef Sal Basile has opened Sally Boy’s at 1 Broad Street, at the corner of East Front Street.
The menu touts grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches, pastries, coffee, Italian specialties and Basile’s signature pizza “slices” which are, um, round.
“Don’t settle for a sliver when you can have a slice,” says the restaurant’s website.
Among the pie offerings: the classic Margherita, “Bella’s Broccoli Rabe,” Nonna’s Eggplant,” “Concetta’s Chicken” and “Calabrian Sweet Heat.”
The restaurant’s opening caps a long and intensive overhaul of the shoehorn-shaped building, which had been vacant since – get this – 2014, when Heritage Liquors closed. After an investment of “multi-millions of dollars,” says a press release, the narrow, two-story space designed by Cahill Studio features a second-story eating space and a takeout window on East Front Street.
Basile also owns the New York-based Artichoke Basille’s pizza chain, which recently abandoned a plan to open a pizzeria at 177 Broad Street.
• Paris Baguette, a pastries and coffee shop, has opened a large, gleaming eatery at 128 Broad Street, at the intersection of Peters Place.
According to Forbes, Paris Baguette is a multinational based in Seoul, South Korea, with more than 3,600 retail stores in its home country and 99 in the United States. The Red Bank store is owned by Dinesh Patel.
The space was last occupied by a short-lived French restaurant called Café Loret.
• Speaking of short-lived, the Thai restaurant Rice Box has been reincarnated, sort of, at 21 Monmouth Street.
Khomsun ‘Tony’ Neammanee, a principal in Rice Box, has opened Spice Thai Bistro in the same storefront, at 21 Monmouth Street.
Between Rice Box and Spice Thai, the space was occupied by Olympus Greek Restaurant, which also closed after less than a year.
Neammanee tells Churn Spice Thai features “some of the Rice Box grilled items” on its menu.
• Gourmet fromage lovers who miss Steve Catania’s Cheese Cave will soon have a new speciality shop dedicated to their cravings.
Meredith and Brahim Hyland are preparing to open Fourchette at 132 Broad Street, two doors south of Paris Baguette in a space last rented to a printer. They’re shooting for a mid-March debut, Meredith told Churn via email.
This will be the third shop for the couple, who met in Paris. They launched the first Fourchette in Clinton, in Hunterdon County, in 2013, and the second in Beach Haven, on Long Beach Island, in 2020.
Fourchette offers a variety of cheeses and housewares. “We have big shoes to fill as a successor to the Cheese Cave,” Meredith said.
Catania’s shop, at 14 Monmouth Street (now home to Fable Creamery, above) closed in August after 11 years of operation.
• Karma 2 Go, located opposite the Two River Theater in the West Side Lofts building at Bridge Avenue and West Front Street, has closed.
In a December 30 Facebook post, Good Karma owners Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts announced that they were bringing lunch service back to that restaurant, at 17 East Front Street.
Karma 2 Go opened in July, 2018 as a grab-and-go version of Good Karma. But with the end of the lease, “we think it’s best to consolidate our business to serve you better,” the owners wrote on Facebook.
Good Karma’s new new hours of operation are 11 to 8 Tuesday through Saturday and 3 to 8 Sunday.
• The former Walt Street Pub, at 180 Monmouth Street, will become the new home of the existing Super Savers convenience store, currently located next door at 178 Monmouth, under a plan approved recently by the borough.
Jang Singh, a principal in the company that bought the former bar – but not its liquor license – did not respond to a request for more information.
The Walt St. Pub closed early in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and never reopened. A new home for the license has not been announced.
• Looks like a plan for a luxury auto club/rental business at 21 East Front Street was a non-starter.
An application recently approved by the borough planning and zoning office says the ground and second floors of the building will be used by Bram Auto Group of North Bergen as office space.
In 2021, Carmine Berardi of Colts Neck obtained zoning board approval to install Bespoké Exotic Motor Club & Rentals on the ground floor. There, customers would be able to rent high-end cars such as Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces at prices north of $2,000 per day.
Two years earlier, Berardi obtained approval to open a sub shop in the space. Neither business ever opened.
Last March, a New York-based company, 40-40 Northern LLC, bought the seven-story office-and-retail building for $7 million.
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