Search Results for: "fantastic signs"

FAIR HAVEN: BIKE SHOP CALLING IT QUITS

bike haven 081916Bike Haven will close by the end of September, its owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA second longtime retailer is leaving the Fair Haven Shopping Center.

But unlike Laird’s Stationery, which is temporarily relocating to smaller quarters in the center after getting squeezed out of its home by a steep rent increase, Bike Haven is simply calling it quits, owner Cliff Wittenberg tells redbankgreen. And a rent hike is only the final nail in the tire.

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RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE SET TO WAFT

local smoke 051816 1Steve Raab, right, with partners Loren Raab, his wife, and Eric Keating, left, outside their new restaurant Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEntering a crowded Red Bank restaurant field that seems to grow more packed each week, Local Smoke BBQ stands out.

Why? In part because Steve Raab’s new place is at a highly-trafficked corner, making for a convenient stop. Partly because it has its own parking lot, without a meter in sight.

But mainly because it will be the first purely-barbecue restaurant in Red Bank proper, and is run by a pitmaster with an avid following.

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RED BANK: CLASSIC RASSAS SIGN RESCUED

rassas sign 091714 2 rassas sign 091714 3A bit banged up but salvageable, one of the classic neon Rassas Buick signs in Red Bank seen below in 2013 – was saved from the bulldozer Wednesday by restoration aficionado John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Oakley credits Pete Esposito and crew from Esposito Construction with “going above and beyond” to get the sign down intact. Now, restoration of the open-face letter channel sign “will make a nice winter project,” said Oakley, whose Shrewsbury Avenue shop has become something of a museum of local signage. redbankgreen will let readers know when it’s done.

The former Rassas auto dealership was torn down this week to make way for a new Walgreens pharmacy. (Photo above and right by John Oakley. Click to enlarge)

rassas 1 052213

GIANTS ON ICE, AS ROCKET MEETS JACK FROST

rb rocket 030114The Rocket, above in foreground, with the Jack Frost.  (Photo by John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Click to enlarge)

The New York Times has a story in Monday’s edition on a rare meeting between two giant iceboats – the Rocket and the Jack Frost – on the foot-thick ice of the Hudson River Saturday.

The Rocket, the prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, weighs more than a ton, and requires ice a foot thick to support its weight. Ditto for the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. There is only one other vessel their size in the world, and it’s in a museum.

Ice that thick being rare, the two 120-plus-year-old behemoths, capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, rarely sail. And they had not raced head-to-head in a century, the Times reports.

But then right conditions arrived over the weekend, and the members of the NSIB&YC postponed an open-house event scheduled for Saturday and made a beeline to Barrytown, New York.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

A second clue to last week’s Where Have I Seen This? didn’t keep some fans of this feature from going a bit astray.

One guessed it was taken at Prown’s Home Improvement on Monmouth Street. Another suggested “Page Photo Service (Matthew Page) located at 113 West Front Street, Red Bank” and added: “They had purchased the entire facilities of the Camera Shop formerly located in Carlton Theater building,” which is of course now the Count Basie Theatre.

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BROAD STREET BLOWOUT PLANNED

glam-bar-121511John Oakley of Fantastic Signs removes Butterfly Fine Art’s name from the future home of the Glam Bar, a blowout-only hair salon. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Coming soon to Red Bank, for women on the go with hair issues: a blowout bar.

No cuts, no dyes – just blowouts.

Well, plus changing rooms, for those rushing off to weddings and other events. And a few dresses and accessories, for those in need of just the right finishing touches. And, of course, makeup artists. And beverages.

But that is it.

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FOR HISTORY BUFFS, A FANTASTIC SIGN

oakleyFantastic Signs owner John Oakley with his daughter, Charlotte, and some of his sign collection. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s a weekday afternoon, and John Oakley is casually sipping a glass of water watching his two children, Charlotte and Luke, bouncing on an area carpet in his Shrewsbury Avenue showroom. There’s a jump-rope contest coming up, and the kids need practice.

On the wall behind them, there’s a large, white Dorn’s Photography sign. To the right, a red neon “DINER” sign, taken from the old Rex Diner, casts a forceful electric light over the room.

This is the Oakley family’s home away from home, a workshop where Oakley and his wife, Erin, design and fabricate signs; where his kids hang out and play with the family dog, Frank; and where the couple’s collection of roadside Americana dominates the building.

But Oakley’s business, Fantastic Signs, is as much a museum as it is a workspace and den, with fragments of local history that might otherwise be lost to the scrap heap tacked to just about every bit of wall space available.

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