Search Results for: "danny murphy"

RED BANK: RESTAURANTS HUSTLE TO REOPEN

red bank danny murphy 061120Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse, with the safety guide he prepared for his employees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their industry battered over the past three months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s restaurateurs are now scrambling for a toehold on recovery.

With partial reopenings slated to begin Monday, they’re training staff in a host of new hygiene procedures. At the same time, some are also racing to shift operations into two new shopping and dining plazas being created downtown.

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RED BANK: PARKING SYSTEM FOUND ‘BROKEN’

Carrie Krasnow, with study co-author Brian Bartholomew looking on, addresses the audience at the Red Bank Primary School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank might soon need another 220 or so parking spaces downtown, but it doesn’t need a parking garage just yet, a pair of experts say in a long-awaited study unwrapped Thursday night.

Instead, local officials first have to fix a “broken” parking management system, they said.

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RED BANK: MARINE PARK CONCEPTS UNVEILED

Restaurateur Danny Murphy was among the Red Bank residents checking out the newly unveiled concept design plans for Marine Park Wednesday afternoon at the Senior Center.

What do the plans show? Click ‘Read More’ to find out. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? PIZZA AT DANNY’S

061115dannys4Danny’s has been using the same tomato sauce recipe since 1969 on its pizza. Sidewalk seating is available, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061115dannys3Danny Murphy had his hands in the restaurant business long before the current incarnation of Danny’s Steak House on Red Bank’s West Side.

Murphy’s mother owned a place called the Friendly Luncheonette on West Front Street, where he worked in the 1950’s. In his teens, he learned pizza-making a few doors away, at Brother’s Restaurant. He opened his own restaurant around the corner, on Bridge Avenue, in 1969, starting with Italian dishes, and later adding steak and fish to the menu.

It’s his pizza, though, that PieHole remembers first eating 23 years ago. Read More »

RED BANK: WILLIAMS’ MUGGING STORY A LIE?

williams stewart 2 121612NBC News anchor Brian Williams, left, onstage with comedian Jon Stewart at the Count Basie Theatre in December, 2012. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Was news anchor Brian Williams robbed at gunpoint while selling Christmas trees in Red Bank in the late 1970s?

The big-money network newsman, who’s in hot water for claiming he was in a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire in Iraq a dozen years ago, claims that he was mugged one night at what’s now known as Veterans Park, at the junction of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue.

But some area residents think the story is bunk, according to a report by the New York Post Saturday.

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RED BANK: CLOSING IN ON WEST SIDE LOFTS

wb ws lofts 100814 1A fifth-floor view of the  “mews” between two buildings at the West Side Lofts, looking toward the Two River Theater. Below, developer Chris Cole. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

chris cole 100814After years on the drawing board, one of the biggest – and architecturally boldest – residential projects ever conceived for Red Bank is nearing completion.

While area merchants and restaurateurs anxiously await their arrival, West Side Lofts developer Chris Cole said he’s planning on having the first tenants move in as early as February.

Designed by David Baker Architects in San Francisco, the project features 92 rental units in a Rubik’s-cube-like amalgam of bold color and jutting facades that dominates the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue, in what’s sometimes referred to as the Arts and Antiques District of town.

But “it’s not trying to make a statement,” Cole  told redbankgreen on a recent tour. “It’s more trying to embrace the arty side of town.”

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LUNCH BREAK HOSTS 3RD ANNUAL FOODSTOCK

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Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

For years, Lunch Break has served as the first line of defense for thousands of residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and beyond, in the ever-expanding battle against hunger and the ravages of poverty in the midst of affluence. According to the nonprofit organization’s executive director Gwen Love, food pantry distributions have increased by a staggering amount, with more than 750 area families depending on Lunch Break each and every month for groceries — amounting to nearly 400,000 pounds of food.

“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” said Love. “Summer is especially difficult, with schools closed and many people on vacation…but hunger doesn’t close for the summer or go on vacation.”

Between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday, May 17, Lunch Break will host the third annual “Foodstock” community food drive at the Red Bank Middle School, 101 Harding Road. The goal this year is to collect an ambitious 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food — and all members of the greater Red Bank community are invited to spend the afternoon enjoying live music, good food,  good friends, and a chance to learn more about Lunch Break and its committed Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers.

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RED BANK: VALET PARKING GOES WEST

Curbside valet service is expected to ease parking pressures resulting from the construction of the West Side Lofts. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Like Broad Street, Bridge Avenue in Red Bank will have its own valet service during evenings in an attempt to improve the accessibility of nearby businesses and attract those weary of parking woes caused by the West Side Lofts project.

This week, the borough council Ok’d a valet service on Bridge Avenue on a temporary basis.

“This is a wonderful season for Red Bank in terms of our rebirth and revitalization,” Menna said, “and as a result of the redevelopment on the West Side there is a need – because the West Side Lofts projects are starting construction – to hold a valet parking program.”

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TAKING IT TO THE RIVER FOR THREE-DAY FEST

A weekend’s serving of cheek-bulging chow and hip-shaking music take up residence in Red Bank’s Marine Park this weekend. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge.)

By TOM CHESEK

It was the subject of a behind-the-scenes brouhaha that rivaled the most spirited Battle of the Bands: a “take back the weekend” campaign that pitted some of the mainstays of the Red Bank business community against an established event that many locals believed had both outgrown and turned its back on its host community.

When the calendar flipped to the first weekend in June, 2011, however, the consensus was that Riverfest was a refreshing breath of sweet summertime air off the Navesink — a successful revival of a seasonal signature that Lynda Rose, president of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, calls “a perfect fit for the town, the businesses and anyone who enjoys being in Red Bank.”

Beginning Friday and continuing into Sunday evening, Riverfest returns to the sloping lawns and waterfront walkways of Marine Park with a three-day, rain-or-shine, strolling smorgasbord of culinary creations, “local organic” music and family-friendly activities.

Billed as “New Jersey’s Largest Food and Music Festival with Free Admission,” it’s both a throwback to an earlier small-town vision of Red Bank, and a summer-season keynote to a new chapter in the borough’s ever-evolving history.

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WEST SIDE TO GET PARKING LOOK-AHEAD

menna-danny-murphy-102611Restaurateur Danny Murphy discusses the need for West Side parking with Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, before last week’s borough council meeting. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s West Side appears about to experience a tsunami of new development, if land-use approvals granted by the town are used in the near future.

That’s a big if. The ailing economy has stalled development projects across the U.S., and Red Bank has not been spared.

But a large housing project planned for Monmouth Street near the train station, and two others just blocks away on Bridge –  one of them mixed in with stores and a brew pub – have business owners in the vicinity concerned about a severe parking crunch. And led by a restaurateur, they’ve asked the borough to be proactive in minimizing the adverse impact.

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BOOM TOWN BASH IS A BIG-TENT TICKET

kaboom-preview-2008The annual KaBoom!  fundraiser culminated in a fireworks preview outside the Monmouth Boat Club in 2008. This year’s edition will be at Hovnanian HQ.

Whether you love it — or leave town for the day because of it — the annual KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink event is one of “the fabulous events that make Red Bank and the Navesink River community the special place that it is,” says KaBoom! Committee chairman Tim Hogan.

As an attraction that draws some 150,000 gawkers and revelers to multiple sites along the riverfront, the July 3 sky-splash is surely the single biggest happening of the borough’s calendar year — one in which all of the more than $200,000 needed to produce KaBoomFest comes from private donations.

While the KaMittee’s underwriting vehicles have ranged from big-league corporate sponsorships to the less sophisticated (but no less effective) “Kick In for KaBoom Bucket,” it’s the annual springtime cocktail party that has traditionally fired the first signal flare in the Countdown to KaBoomsday — and on the evening of Thursday, April 28, the fuse will be lit for an intensive interlude of pyrotechnics, preparations, promotion, and the soliciting of those crucial private donations.

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SAY CHEESE! LOMBARDI GRAVE A SUPER DRAW

lombardiFamed football coach Vince Lombardi’s headstone at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Step into the main office of Middletown’s Mount Olivet Cemetery wielding a camera, and it doesn’t take more than a ‘hello’ for secretary JoAnn Christopher to figure out why you’ve come.

“Here for Lombardi?” she asks.

With a Super Bowl matchup Sunday between the Pittsburgh Steelers and legendary coach Vince Lombardi‘s former team, the Green Bay Packers, Lombardi, who’s buried at Mount Olivet, is more of an attraction than usual.

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TASK FORCE: CHARGE FOR FIREWORKS VIEW

umbrellaSpectators, like these in Riverside Gardens Park at the 2010 show, would have to pay a ‘nominal’ entry fee to watch the fireworks, a study suggests. (Click to enlarge)

shouldersBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s KaBoom fireworks may no longer be free — and as freewheeling — as they’ve been in recent years.

The ad hoc Kaboom! Task Force, formed in September to conduct a top-to-bottom examination of the annual event delivered its final report to the borough council Wednesday night.

The diagnosis: change is needed.

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DINE DOWNTOWN: THE FIXE IS IN, AGAIN

_DSC0003Dish is one of nearly 30 Red Bank restaurants joining in, as the townwide Dine Downtown promotion returns every Tuesday and Wednesday in October. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

A quick look at the list reveals a couple of newcomers — so new they hadn’t even opened their doors a year ago.

Then there are the handful of homecoming favorites who’ve made it back to the list after sitting things out for a few years. And of course, there are the perennials; the names who can be sure to appear on the list  each and every time — as surely as they helped make Red Bank the destination for fine dining that it’s been for more than a generation.

We’re talking about the roster of restaurants that are taking part in the semi-annual Dine Downtown promotion, going on every Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the month of October. The brainchild of the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter, it’s a great and proven way for the borough’s bistros, boites, banquet rooms and before-show hangouts to greet friends old and new — by serving up special prix fixe menus that include appetizer, entrée and dessert for a lusciously low price (beverages, tax and gratuities not included).

And, with nearly 30 participating restaurants in the downtown, riverfront and theater/antiques districts — as well as three distinct pricing levels ($15, $25 and $30), there’s probably never been a better range of choices offered to frugal foodies in search of a fixe; a streetside smorgasbord that spans Irish, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, seafood, sushi, contemporary American, vegetarian and European (in addition to some flavorful fusions that you’ll have to triangulate for yourself).

We’re getting peckish just thinking about it, so flip the menu over for more details and a rundown of restaurants.

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FOOD FEST GETS DIBS OVER JAZZ & BLUES FEST

img_63997272A food vendor hawks his wares at the 2009 edition of the Jazz & Blues Fest. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After a long absence, Riverfest will return to Red Bank’s Marine Park in 2011.

But securing the date required backers to first elbow aside Riverfest’s successor: the ersatz Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival.

On a night when the Red Bank Council was courted like the prettiest girl in class, the food-heavy fest won a sudden competition to take over the waterfront park the coveted first weekend in June.

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WEST SIDERS GETTING SOME OVERDUE TLC

danny-murphyDanny Murphy, outside his Bridge Avenue restaurant, is leading an effort to boost the Arts & Antiques District’s profile.

For years, a cluster of businesses west of Red Bank’s downtown has felt like a neglected stepchild.

That was supposed to change with the inclusion three years ago of a portion of the West Side in the special improvement district managed by Red Bank RiverCenter, the quasi-governmental entity that collects a tax on commercial properties and uses the money to spruce up and market the covered area.

The love has been slow to materialize, though. So business owners led by longtime restaurateur and nostalgia maven Danny Murphy have banded together to do the squeaky-wheel thing. And already, they’re starting to get some grease.

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FOODIE FIXE: APRIL’S RESTAURANT DEALS

SognodoorAmong the 16 eateries participating in April’s ‘Dine Downtown’ promo is Sogno Ristorante on Broad Street.

By TOM CHESEK

Those who cherish a favorite Red Bank restaurant or two probably don’t know the half of it. A walk around the streetside smorgasbord of the business-district is a world-class international excursion in its own right, abuzz with culinary accents: French, German, Irish and Italian; Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican and Thai.

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There are even tantalizing tastes of such exotic far-flung locales as Brooklyn and Philadelphia — along with a couple of cool fusions that we’ve yet to triangulate with our gastronomic GPS.

With the weather turning walkable once more, the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter are encouraging hibernators to abandon the burrow for the borough that’s long stood as Monmouth County’s premier dining destination. Dine Downtown, a promotion effort that’s as sure a harbinger of Spring as the first pitchers-and-catchers report, returns for a fourth fab year, and the enticement is on every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in April, with sixteen eateries offering a range of special prix fixe menus that include appetizer, entre?e and dessert for a lusciously low price (beverages, tax and gratuities are not included).

The promotion has been a successful one for the RiverCenter partnership, now under the direction of Nancy Adams. While the list of participants continues to spotlight both long-establish landmarks and buzzworthy newcomers — with vibes that span the comfy side of casual to the cutting edge of cosmopolitan — there’s been some fine-tuning done since the first Dine Downtown went down in March, 2005.

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RIVERCENTER PHASE II OK’D

Red Bank officials last night officially added dozens of West Side businesses to the roster of the 16-year-old Special Improvement District, an entity widely credited with having sparked a renaissance of the once-ailing downtown.

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The expansion of the district, which is managed by the non-profit Red Bank RiverCenter, attracted more acute opposition last night than a presentation on the issue did in November. But the endorsements of the plan were at least as emphatic as they were three months ago.

“We desperately need it on our side of town,” said Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse on Bridge Avenue. “It’s time for our side of town to become one with the rest of the town.” (Click map on right to view larger image.)

The expansion, approved by a 5-1 vote, with Councilman John Curley casting the lone “no” vote, marks a partial vindication of business owners and public officials who approved a townwide SID in 1991, only to have that plan successfully challenged in court, leading to its curtailment.

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