Itris_muralA mural in the window of the former Itri’s eatery signals Guy Johnson’s hope that the grill will soon sizzle again.

Last we heard, the former home of Itri’s luncheonette on West Front Street was being scoped out by a pair of young couples who wanted to buy and revive the classic tiny eatery.

But talks got hung up on their lawyer’s worries (not shared by the buyers themselves, we’re told) that the place had no clear easement to the driveway running alongside the building — the only way to get to the business’s eight parking spots out back. The deal fell apart earlier this year.

No such worries constrained Guy Johnson, though. The owner of the massive Antique Center of Red Bank next door bought the place last month at a deep discount, ($350,000, compared to the 2004 listing at $589,000).

“I had to buy it,” Johnson tells redbankgreen. “I was always taught you should buy the property next door so the neighbors don’t complain.”

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You’ve seen the teaser logos for about eight months. Well, the countdown is finally over.

Today, redbankgreen marks its first significant expansion with the launch of Red Bank oRBit, a new website dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the local arts, food, entertainment and amusements sceneS.

What’s driving this move? The wealth of events, eateries, artists, interesting shops and other distractions in the Red Bank area. Trying to fit it all into redbankgreen would overwhelm the general-interest news and features focus here.

So it’s time to start that second site.

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Maybe you call it a ‘rummage sale,’ or prefer ‘garage sale.’ Whatever.

If you’re planning one and would like some help getting the word out to local folks, just let redbankgreen know.

We’ll soon be introducing a periodic listing of yard sales scheduled to occur in our coverage area. And until further notice, having your sale included in the listings is absolutely FREE.

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Back in March, redbankgreen was the first to tell you about a nascent project called the Tri-City Arts Tour, a big-tent sort of event under which the artizens of Red Bank, Asbury Park and Long Branch would join forces for a three-day celebration of all that’s innovative, interactive and infotaining here in our corner of America’s artland.

Call it the Axis of Ego if you will, but there’s no denying that the “TriCities” of Monmouth County remain the area’s magnets for anything remotely interesting in the realms of art, music, film, theater and special events. There are occasional exceptions to that rule, but you get the feeling that without this troika, we’d all be logging a lot more hours at the local stripmall (not that we haven’t spent a pleasant Saturday or three sipping coffee and reading magazines for free at Borders).

In recent years, the fertile triangle defined by the TriCities has offered up scenes such as a singing Russell Crowe; Bruce Springsteen jamming with Brian Wilson; and a murderous Macbeth devised by mischievous magic man Teller.

We’ve seen Stephen Colbert performing a dramatic play reading; Joe Piscopo singing for his supper at a downtown restaurant; and Crispin Glover commandeering a mothballed movie house for an evening of weirdness. There was lesbian guerrilla theater in the living room; chamber recitals at a car dealership; variety burlesque and stag films at a bowling alley. All that, plus the return of roller derby.

Anyone who tells you there’s nothing to do hereabouts might as well be saying there’s no place to park in Red Bank. You simply have to look.

This weekend, the lookin’s easier.

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The parade thundered; the skies didn’t.

Red Bank’s two-day centennial celebration went off under a cloudless dome of blue Saturday and ended Sunday at 2p with just a hint of a drizzle.

Fairly perfect conditions, all things considered, for the thousands of parade-watchers and marchers who took part in Saturday’s old-timey parade through town, as well as for the estimated 1,700 residents and friends who gathered at Count Basie Field for a picnic, with music by the Red Bank Middle School band.

The threatened rain held off under gray skies Sunday as hundreds of onlookers lined the banks of the Navesink River for the brief flotilla of boats that wrapped up the weekend extravaganza.

As you might expect, redbankgreen was there both days. We took a few pictures. Wanna see ’em? Read on, and click on each to enlarge. (Thanks to Jessica Paviluk for three photos.)

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While Red Bank celebrated the completion of its first century as a borough, Shrewsbury, too, had a centennial to make note of over the wekend. This year is the 100th anniversary of the borough’s Hose Company No. 1 volunteer firefighting squad.

A modest parade of antique and modern firefighting equipment led borough residents from Patterson Avenue to the borough hall for an afternoon of festivities Saturday. The Asbury Park Press had a piece about the history of Hose Co. No. 1 last week.

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The streets of Red Bank will become a baragain-hunter’s bazaar on Saturday, Sept. 20, if all goes according to plan.


A townwide yard sale proposed by South Street’s Audrey Oldoerp got the thumbs-up from the Borough Council Monday night after questions about bulk-waste leftovers and the transmission of bedbugs and other vermin were met.

After consulting with his counterparts in Belmar, which has long had an annual townwide sale, acting public works director Gary Watson Sr. said vermin transmission “is not an issue.”

As for the detritus of the event, Watson said that time of year is the lightest in terms of bulk pickups for his department. He said a pickup would be done on the Thursday before the event and on the Monday afterward.

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Img_2805Yard-sale proponent Audrey Oldoerp.

For a long time, South Street’s Audrey Oldoerp wondered aloud why towns such as Belmar and Atlantic Highlands had annual or even semi-annual yard sales that embraced every street and home, but Red Bank didn’t.

Moreover, with each passing year, Oldoerp saw community calendars spotted with events meant to attract visitors to the downtown — sidewalk sales, jazz festivals, road races and Christmas tree lightings — but litle or nothing designed specifically for the people who live here.

It irked her, and she said so, apparently often enough that her husband, Tim Blankley, suggested that instead of grousing, perhaps she should do something about it.

So for the past year or so, Oldoerp has been on a quest, trying to figure out how a townwide yard sale might happen here and navigating the bureaucracy of local government. And last night, though some possible obstacles were thrown in her path, she moved the idea into the public realm.

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It’s crunch time, fellow proscrastinators.

But if the thought of Christmas shopping this weekend leaves you looking a little like Tootsie and Twinkle here, don’t despair. A quick spin through downtown Red Bank is all it takes to start you checking names off your holiday gift lists.

redbankgreen was able to assemble this assortment of affordable gifts in less than hour; the last suggestion below didn’t even require us to step away from our keyboard. All it takes is a little hustle, an open mind, and a little bit of green.

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A Lincroft rare-coin dealer has brokered the sale of a collection of prototype coins, some hundreds of years old, for $30 million, the Associated Press reported over the weekend.


Inclued in the private transaction were about 1,000 coins made between 1792 and 1942 that the U.S. Mint rejected for mass-production and circulation, the wire service reported.

From the story:

“This collection is an incredible collection. … These were some of the first coins ever, ever struck by the United States government,” said Laura Sperber, a partner in Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, N.J., which brokered the deal.

The seller wanted to remain anonymous, and the buyer, concerned about security, agreed to be identified only as “Mr. Simpson, a Western states collector,” Sperber said.

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A Tiffany clock sold for $6,000, and a pair of Tiffany lamps went for another six grand. A 1964 Chevy Impala SS went for $16,000.

But that Navesink River-front mansion we told you about last week — the one that was going up for auction at a minimum bid of $2.5 million, just two months after it changed hands for $2 million?

No bids, no sale.

“I guess most people wouldn’t be in a rush to pay an additional half million,” Jeff Zimmerman of Time & Again Auction Gallery in Linden, told redbankgreen this morning.

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In what could be the start of a long process, Best Liquors’ owner Sunny Sharma has begun appealing his case to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control division in an effort to block the borough of Red Bank from permanently yanking his liquor license.

Last night, in a session that took less than 10 minutes, the council unanimously passed two resolutions: one to revoke the store’s retail distribution license, and the second, to deny renewal when its two-year term ends at midnight tomorrow.

Last week, the council found Sharma guilty of seven charges, five of which alleged sales to underaged persons.

Those sales were the tipping point that prompted Councilwoman Grace Cangemi to be part of the unanimous revocation vote, she said last night.

“It was too many sales to minors,” she said.

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Here’s an event that may appeal to bargain vultures as well as to those members of the hoi polloi aching for an up-close glimpse of how the other half lives.

In fact, it might appeal especially to someone who’s ready to start living with the other half, and doesn’t mind paying for the privilege.

A riverside mansion located at 444 Navesink River Road in Middletown will be the site of a sizable estate sale Saturday, with hundreds of pieces of funiture, jewelry and other items going on the block, says auctioneer Jeffrey Zimmerman of Time & Again Auction Gallery in Linden.

The big item, though, is the house itself. Minimum bid: $2.5 million.

Funny, the place was just sold two months ago for $2 million.

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This one is so astonishing we had to wonder about its veracity. But the background certainly makes it sound plausible.

A press release we came across late Wednesday from News-Antique.com claims that a Lincroft coin dealer has sold a rare nickel for $5 million.

From the release, datelined Santa Barbara, CA.:

“It’s a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the finest surviving example of only five known specimens that were made under mysterious circumstances at the Philadelphia Mint nearly a century ago,” said Santa Barbara, California coin and jewelry merchant, Ronald J. Gillio, who negotiated the sale to the unnamed collector.

The sellers are Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey and Washington state business executive, Bruce Morelan. In May 2005 they jointly purchased the coin for a then-record price of $4,150,000.

That’s a 20 percent gain in two years.

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