The future location of Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


retail churn smallRed Bank’s booming food scene is in for some new additions soon: a Rita’s Italian Ice shop and a Mystic Lobster Roll.

Also: a hair stylist has found a single answer to the questions of where to operate his salon and where to live.

Read all about them in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Mystic Lobster Roll plans to open on the West Front Street side of the West Side Lofts. Below, Jerick Co outside his hair salon on the opposite side of the building. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

• Emelda Jamison and her husband, Lance Jamison, of Old Bridge, plan to open a Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard at 19 West Front in late spring or early summer, she tells Churn.

The business will take over the storefront last occupied by Oran, a men’s clothing shop.

A 39-year-old brand based in suburb of Philadelphia, Rita’s has about 550 franchise locations in 31 states, according to a recent report. The nearest to Red Bank is on Route 35 in Eatontown.

• Another franchise business, Mystic Lobster Roll, plans to open at 1 Bridge Avenue, also known as the West Side Lofts.

The shop will be on the West Front Street side of the building, in a space previously occupied by Freshica’s.

Vince LaSorsa, of Reading, Pennsylvania, will own and operate the shop with his wife, Lisa, and son Tom, he tells Churn. They own another store in the chain in Brigantine.

The rapidly expanding Mystic Lobster chain, launched just three years ago, also has a presence in Oceanport.

LaSorsa admits he doesn’t “know a lot about Red Bank, but we’re kind of excited to get to know it.”

The family is shooting for an opening at the end of March or early April.

• Also at 1 Bridge, but on the Edmund Wilson Boulevard side, opposite the Two River Theater, Jerick Co has opened an appointment-only hair salon branded with his name.

The shop is one of several live-work spaces in offered by building owner Metrovation. In Co’s case, his apartment occupies three floors directly above his shop. Each of the four levels is about 500 square feet.

Co launched his business in 2019, renting space with other beauty vendors in a Sola Salon space on Route 35 in Holmdel. At the time, he was renting an apartment on the fourth floor at West Side Lofts, “but I had no idea” that the live-work units were offered, he told Churn recently.

The new arrangement, he said, “is the best thing ever. Who, as a hair stylist, can work from home? Me,” he said.

As a bonus, his rent is now lower than the combined amount he spent at Sola Salon and for his previous apartment, Co said, adding, “I was the person who was supposed to have this.”

The Lofts feature three live/work units, two of which are currently occupied, says Amanda Cheslock of Metrovation.

“We think there’s a significant convenience that comes from combining work and residential rent onto a single lease agreement and at a singular location,” she told Churn. Live/work occupants also have full access to the site’s amenities, including the parking garage, fitness center and rooftop clubhouse.

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