Search Results for: "red bank" "broadway diner"

RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS SOME RETRO FIZZ

Fizz Soda Fountain opened Wednesday in the Monmouth Street space formerly occupied by Red Bank Sub Shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It took almost a year and a half longer than expected, but Fizz Soda Fountain has finally bubbled to life in Red Bank.

Done up in turquoise and gleaming stainless steel, the tiny burger-and-shake joint is as effervescent as the poppiest tune on a 1950s diner jukebox.

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RED BANK: AT HOME WITH TOAST & TARRAGON

amy russo harrigan 102715Amy Russo Harrigan in the newly opened Toast, housed in the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street. Below, an ad for the original Palace Diner that appeared in the Red Bank Register in 1945. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

palace diner ad 1945From outside, the neon-and-stainless-steel trimmed building at 45 Monmouth Street in Red Bank still looks like the classic diner it was for most of the past 70 years. The sign over the front door even proclaims “City Diner” under the new name.

But to the chagrin of some hardcore nostalgics, and to the delight others, Toast, which opened earlier this month, is not a mere rebranding of the Broadway Diner, which occupied the railcar-style building for 18 years.

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RED BANK: TOAST POPS UP

toast 101615 2toast 101615 1The widely anticipated revival of the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street in Red Bank as Toast restaurant was completed with a quiet opening Friday afternoon, moments after borough officials issued a certificate of occupancy.

Toast owner Amy Russo, whose late father was a partner in the 24-hour-a-day diner and closed it down 15 months ago, has maintained the stainless-steel exterior and classic look of the interior, though with ample decor changes. The menu, however, is new, as are the hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m, except for Saturday, October 17, when it opens at 8 a.m, an employee told redbankgreen.

[UPDATE: Owner Amy Russo Harrigan informs redbankgreen that Toast will open for friends and family on Saturday, be closed Sunday, and open for “business as usual” Monday morning.] (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PLAIN DECOR BUT GOURMET GRITS

053015inbetweengritsSouthern style shrimp and grits from the specials menu at the Inbetween Café. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

What magnetic pull does the Inbetween Café in Red Bank have that keeps loyal customers waiting to share a table with others for breakfast or lunch?

Achieving almost a cult-like status, in part because of  the gourmet fare his kitchen churns out seven days a week, owner and chef Bob Koehler may sling hash a little more slowly than some others, but that’s because he makes sure every plate comes out just right. Showing off his experienced chops, he’s not afraid to try a new recipe on his hungry legion of devoted connoisseurs.

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RUTGERS TO RED BANK: HANSEL ‘N GRIDDLE

011715 hansel3Casey Ruff, owner of the newly opened Hansel ‘n Griddle on West Front Street serves a chicken cobb salad. Below, French Toast from the breakfast menu offered throughout the day.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

011715 hansel4The newest eatery to open in Red Bank is described by its creator, the 33-year -old Nick Komandis, as “A mom-and-pop shop that has the appeal of a modern-day fast-food restaurant.”

The Rutgers grad came up with this foodery concept just out of college, and with backing from his parents opened his first Hansel ‘n Griddle in New Brunswick. A second restaurant, also in New Brunswick, and a third in Somerville quickly followed.

Now a franchise, the fourth Hansel ‘n Griddle – which opened this weekend at 38 West Front Street,  most recently home to 30 Burgers – is owned by 27-year-old Casey Ruff, who met Komandis while a student at Rutgers. An owner of two laundromats, Ruff says he “likes dealing with people. I love this environment, the customers and the people who work for Hansel, and I’m not sitting behind a desk.”

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RED BANK: BREAKFAST ALL DAY LONG

092014 rbdiner lighter2A breakfast of fried eggs, homefries and sausages from the Red Bank Diner on Broad Street. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumSince the unexpected closing of the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street two months ago, the question of where you can get breakfast for dinner in Red Bank has been on some ravenous minds.

Although it’s not open 24 hours a day, you can indeed have the customary first meal of the day when others are eating their last at the Red Bank Diner on Broad Street.

“We serve breakfast all day long, including pancakes,” says diner owner Louis Kanellos.

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RED BANK: BELATED GOODBYES TO A DINER

taylor sisters 072214Sisters Sarah and Claire Taylor came to the Broadway Diner from Ocean Township with their mom on Tuesday not knowing it had closed. Below, the diner’s famous buttermilk pancakes are now a memory. (Photos by John T. Ward and Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

072214 diner pancakesThe promise of a “Diner Open 24 HRS,” proclaimed in neon, ended in Red Bank Monday morning without an opportunity for fans even to say goodbye.

For 18 years, the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street was a vital and consistent part of the community, as reflected in the degree to which both staffers and customers felt blindsided by its abrupt closing.

“I am in mourning,” said 18-year-old Colts Neck resident Jess Soden, who came into town with a friend Monday afternoon jonesing for the diner’s waffles, but ended up theatrically curled into a fetal position on its front steps. “They were just so crunchy, yet so fluffy on the inside.”

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RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”
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RED BANK: DINER POURS FINAL CUP

Broadway DinerThe diner will reopen as a new restaurant, an owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, a gleaming all-night mecca of stainless steel, Formica and neon, has closed.

The Monmouth Street eatery ended an 18-year run owning to the death of one of its owners, Bob Russo, and a restructuring of the business.

By coincidence, Mayor Pasquale Menna and new borough school Superintendent Jared Rumage were the last customers, Menna told redbankgreen.

“We had the last cups of coffee,” he said.

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RED BANK: STORES REOPEN DAY AFTER FIRE

RB FIRE 060814 5rb fire 060914Stores, at right, were back in business as usual Monday, one day after a fire damaged a second-floor apartment at 43 Monmouth Street in Red Bank Sunday. Because customer furs are stored offsite, none were affected at Winters Furs, just below the location of the fire, said manager Rebecca Angello, and the Broadway Diner, next door, was reopened shortly after the blaze without any impact, a manager told redbankgreen. Fire Chief Tommy Welsh could not be reached for comment on the cause of the blaze, which displaced several tenants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIRE RIPS DOWNTOWN APARTMENT

rb fire 060814 3Firefighters used the roof of the Broadway Diner to access the burning building next door until aerial truck ladders were deployed. Below, Matt Tasche, center, escaped the burning apartment unharmed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fire 060814 2A Red Bank man escaped safely when fire swept through his second-floor downtown apartment as he slept early Sunday afternoon.

Matt Tasche, 29, told redbankgreen he awoke at noon to the sound of his window air conditioner shutting off to find the apartment, above Winter Furs at 43 Monmouth Street, filling with smoke.

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RED BANK: BROADWAY GRILLE’S CURTAIN CALL

John Copeland at his Red Bank restaurant on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508After two decades, Red Bank’s Broadway Grille is closing this week, a victim of rising rent and declining receipts, owner John Copeland tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

“Expenses are just getting too high,” Copeland said, citing among other costs his rent, which is set to surpass $10,000 a month starting September 1.

“It seems like for the last two years, I’ve been working for the state of New Jersey and the landlord,” he said.

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RED BANK: JR.’S SIZZLES AFTER HOURS

The after-hours crowd packs Jr.’s on a recent Saturday night.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Without fanfare, but with a fair amount of merriment, a new late-night eatery debuted on the Red Bank scene last month and has been packing them in on weekends.

Jrs., the first expansion of the popular Jr.’s West End burger place owned by Mike DeSimone, opened a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit, becoming the fourth downtown eatery  to keep late hours, staying open until 4 a.m. every day.

With a number of bars just steps away, the tiny West Front Street restaurant immediately attracted a colorful crowd at closing time.

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BRUNCH IN RUMSON, LUNCH IN RED BANK

Beck_mccainCindy McCain, right, wife of GOP presidential contender Sen. John McCain, arrives for lunch this afternoon at the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street, accompanied by state Sen. Jennifer Beck.

McCain was coming from a fundraiser in Rumson. She and her husband are scheduled to appear at a dinner tonight in Teaneck.

The diner’s packed, we’re told, with state and local Republican figures, including Councilwoman Grace Cangemi.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TOAST TOSSED SALAD

110515toastsaladA Chopped Greek salad with grilled shrimp, above, and a plate of hash and eggs, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

103115toast1Peace, Love and Pancakes: How can you go wrong with a slogan like that?

The newest foodie haven in Red Bank, Toast is slinging all three, along with hash and other comfort foods, in a glossy retro-American-meets-Scandinavian style luncheonette in the former home of the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street.
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CHURN: SIGNS OF THE PAST… AND FUTURE

18 broad 082415Builder Mike Rovere uncovered turn-of-the-century signs in gold leaf on either side of the facade at 18 Broad, home to a series of shoe stores dating back to 1883. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSummer doldrums? Not in this installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn, which finds downtown Red Bank abuzz with Churnage, as usual.

We’ve got renovation work uncovering history at the site of a planned restaurant; progress on two other new businesses; and more news, right around the “read more” corner.

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ON THE GREEN: SLOW ROAST AT TOAST

toast curb 072815HOT-TOPIC_01With temperatures headed toward the high 80s, John Cushing of Bayonne rolled on with his work Tuesday, painting curbs outside the Toast restaurant under construction in the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday was the first of at least seven consecutive days in which peak daytime temperatures were expected to be close to 90 degrees. (Click to enlarge)

CHURN: 10TH AVE. NEARS OPENING DATE

10th ave 071415 1Signage is now up at 10th Ave. Burrito on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the restaurantization of Red Bank in full swing, this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up a groaning board of food news.

• The long wait for 10th Ave. Burrito Company is nearly over.

Sicilia Ristorante on Broad Street has a new owner, and he’s planning to split the business in two, sort of.

Details, and some assorted table scraps, are just around the corner.
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CHURN: A COUNTDOWN CLOCK & A BULL’S EYE

rb blue 011015 2The website of Blu Bistro features a digital clock ticking off the seconds to the opening date. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds acres of wallboard transforming spaces on the loosely defined West Side of Red Bank these days.

That means lots of new businesses on the horizon in coming months – or in the case of one new restaurant, days, hours, minutes and seconds.

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JON STEWART AND BRIAN WILLIAMS SLING IT

News anchor Brian Williams, left, and comedian Jon Stewart traded barbs on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in a fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Long on sarcasm, feigned eye-rolling and Jersey love, the hosts of the nation’s top-rated television shows in their respective categories traded zingers in a conversation about the media, politics and growing up in the Garden State before a packed Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Sunday night.

In a sparring mood that might have been a continuation of their pre-show dinner at the nearby Broadway Diner, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams traded insights into their jobs and flashing wit for two hours and 20 minutes, including a Q&A session with the audience.

“Thank you for dropping the F bomb 41 seconds into this,” Williams said to Stewart, who sniped that Williams’ job entailed his being removed from a “vegetable crisper” just in time for each night’s news broadcast.

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TOWER SPARED APPARENT LIGHTNING STRIKE

alarm-070811A flash, a boom and an an automated alarm had Red Bank volunteer firefighters scrambling to the historic town hall at 51 Monmouth Street Friday afternoon on reports that the clock tower had been struck by lightning. Fire Chief John Mego, however, said a witness at the Broadway Diner next door saw the lightning hit to the rear of the building, and no evidence of a strike was found. The Relief Fire Company headquarters is attached to the structure, which is owned by the Community YMCA. (Click to enlarge)

THE WEEK IN REARVIEW: MAY 8-14, 2011

dinerA painter finishes off a welcome sign in the window of Broadway Diner. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A roundup of articles appearing last week here on redbankgreen is below.

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BILLY GETS HIS EVENING, FOR M’TOWN ARTS

billy_016Playwright Billy Van Zandt is in the hot seat for an April 30 fundraiser for the Middletown Cultural and Arts Center.

By TOM CHESEK

No, Billy Van Zandt — to quote the late great Red Buttons and his signature shtick on countless Dean Martin roasts — “never got a dinner.” But on the night of Saturday, April 30, he’ll be getting his very own Evening.

Unlike other Monmouth County folks who went Hollywood in a big way, the comic playwright, producer and performer has, with his longtime collaborator Jane Milmore, maintained a pretty dynamic profile on the area’s artscape — particularly over at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, where the Van Zandt-Milmore tagteam has taught, established a scholarship and regularly premiered such new works for the stage as You’ve Got Hate Mail, currently enjoying a hit Off Broadway run at The Triad in Manhattan.

As one half of a bicoastal stage/screen writing partnership, the half brother of Steve Van Zandt spends about half his time here on the greater Red Bank Green — often with his sons and his better half, actress and author Adrienne Barbeau. None of which is to suggest that Billy Van Zandt ever does anything halfway, however.

Scheduled for 7:30p on April 30, An Evening with Billy Van Zandt (it even rhymes with An Evening with Cary Grant) presents the 1975 graduate of the old split-session Middletown High School in an “up close and personal” forum, in which he’s expected to offer advice to aspiring actors and writers — and to share some pretty priceless stories from his travels as a young actor in major motion pictures, and an Emmy nominated writer-producer for sitcoms both legendary (Newhart) and look-it-up (Bless This House).

Moderated by actor Jeff Babey (who, as a member in good standing of the Van Zandt-Milmore stock company, is similarly not known to do things in moderation), it’s a circus that manages to involve everyone from Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, and Tom Cruise, to Wiliam Shatner, the Wayans Brothers and Andrew Dice Clay — and that’s just for appetizers. It’s also a benefit for the educational programs of the Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council, hosted at their spacious (and criminally under-utilized) Middletown Arts Center, located just seconds from Red Bank and steps from the township’s NJ Transit train platform. The redbankgreen Drama Desk met up with BVZ at the Broadway Diner recently, to kvetch and ketchup on current events.

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