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RED BANK: TENANTS TO FILL KEY VACANCIES

red-bank-74-broad-062923-2-500x375-3625362Two new retail tenants will be coming to the building at the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets, says the landlord. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185One of downtown Red Bank’s landmark buildings appears on the verge of filling two retail vacancies, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

Also in this edition of Churn: a restaurant is now dual-branded; an Italian ice shop opens; and a smoke shop plans to replace a “sip-and-paint” studio.

red-bank-leandro-batista-062723-500x375-3918925Leandro Batista outside his dual-brand restaurant, and Emelda Jamison, below, of Rita’s Italian Ice, both on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

red-bank-emelda-jamison-ritas-062723-220x165-8278671• Details are sparse, but the building on the northwest corner of Broad and Monmouth streets may be getting two new tenants, including one for its most prominent retail space.

Mike Morgan, whose family owns the building at 6-8 Monmouth Street (as well as others downtown) confirmed to Churn this week that the corner space vacated by Valley National Bank in late 2018 has been leased.

The tenant, however, “has asked not to be identified until they are ready,” Morgan said. No paperwork had been filed with the borough planning office as of Thursday.

In addition to the nature of the business taking over the space, we’ll be curious to see if the pointy corner of the building, which creates an awkward tight turn for pedestrians, finally gets chopped off. Built sometime between 1905 and 1911, the three-story, 12,000-square-foot structure originally had an angled entrance at the corner, consistent with the treatment on the the upper floors, and Morgan has previously expressed interest in restoring that feature.

In addition, the narrow space at 8B Monmouth, in between Toss’d restaurant and Johnny’s Pork Roll, has also been leased, Morgan confirmed.

A “coming soon” sign in the window states only the URL for the website of Lilla Vanilla, a cake shop in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. Churn was unable to contact the proprietors for more information Thursday.

Previously home to the House of Fades barbershop, which relocated to 18 Monmouth in 2021, the space at 8B was approved by the borough planning office for a takeout lobster roll restaurant last year, but that plan apparently did not pan out.

The upper two floors of the building, also known as 74 Broad Street, have been vacant for years. A plan to turn them into apartments was approved in 2015, but never completed.

• Ever adapting to the market, restaurateur Leandro Batista added a 30 Burgers franchise to his existing Paradiddle Griddle at 38 West Front Street about six weeks ago.

Locals may recall that Batista and Isabel Cortes opened Paradiddle Griddle (named for a drumming exercise; he’s a drummer in his spare time) in 2019, replacing Hansel ‘n Griddle, which they had owned since 2017.

“So this is essentially my third restaurant in this building,” Batista told Churn this week.

Adding the 30 Burgers brand, which has 10 restaurants in New Jersey, means he can now offer customers two distinctive menus, he said.

“It’s like two separate restaurants in one building,” served by a single staff, he said. “30 Burgers has their own customer base, pulling in a lot of people based on the name.”

Dual signage for the location is planned, he said.

The 30 Burgers restaurant at 37 Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury closed recently, and was immediately replaced by Bull Horns Grill & Burgers. Batista’s franchise has nothing to do with that change, he said.

• Adding to the desserts-and-treats menu downtown, Emelda Jamison and her husband, Lance Jamison, of Old Bridge, opened their gleaming new Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard franchise at 19 West Front last week.

The storefront was last occupied by Oran, a men’s clothing shop.

• Also newly opened is another franchise, Mystic Lobster Roll, at 1 Bridge Avenue, also known as the West Side Lofts.

The space was previously occupied by Freshica’s.

• The borough planning office has approved an application by Muhammad Khan of Jersey City to open “Mr Vape Smoke & Cigar” at 26 Monmouth Street.

No, it won’t sell cannabis, which is not permitted in the zone.

Board & Brush, a “sip-and-paint creative studio,” recently closed after five years in the storefont.

• Next door, at 28 Monmouth Street, Sky Nutrition also has closed, after less than a year in business.

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