RED BANK: WALGREEN’S PLANS OPEN HOUSE

aaron rassas 041013Aaron Rassas, seen at his car dealership shortly before it closed in April, wants the public to examine plans for a Walgreen’s on the site. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Seeking to reverse a tide of opposition, the owner of the Red Bank property slated for a giant Walgreen’s pharmacy is inviting the public to come kick the tires on the plan.

Aaron Rassas, owner of the now-closed Rassas’ Buick – and before that, Pontiac – is inviting neighbors and the public in general to an open house September 10 to inspect plans for the former dealership’s one-acre lot, and to meet the developer behind them.
The parcel, at 395 Broad Street,  is under contract to developer Mark Steinberg, who plans to build a 14,200-square-foot Walgreens on it.

SEA BRIGHT: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, TO GO

Former Sea Bright restaurateur Joanne Garelli leads a food truck in a cross-country reality TV race that plays out this season on the Food Network, starting Sunday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a feature story about Joanne Garelli, the former co-owner of a Sea Bright luncheonette who’s turned the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy into opportunity.

Having lost Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch to the October 29, 2012 storm, Garelli recently headed up a three-person food truck that made its way across the United States as part of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a reality television series that starts its third season on the Food Network this Sunday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: TWO’LL GET YOU THREE

A not-uncommon scene in Red Bank’s White Street lot, this photo was taken shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, when parking spaces were hard to hard to find.

Space hogs? Or does the lot need restriping to accommodate these elephants? (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: NO VOTE YET ON SHELL 7-ELEVEN

Red Bank resident Tracy Khonstam implores the zoning board to reject the planned convenience store on Newman Springs Road. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

All the evidence is finally before the Red Bank zoning board in the matter of a proposed 7-Eleven that would replace a self-serve car wash at Wasseem Chaudhary’s Shell gas station at Shrewsbury Avenue and Newman Springs Road.

But after eight months of hearings, including one Thursday night, there’s been no up-or-down vote on whether to allow the store. The full board is expected to consider the application on August 1.
In the interim, two board members who were not present for concluding testimony and comments are expected to listen to a recording of Thursday’s hearing, said board chair Lauren Nicosia.

Read More »

RED BANK: CAR SHOW GLEAMS ON WHITE

A couple of Corvairs, a fleet of Corvettes and acres of chrome were among the 328 cars gleaming under the hot summer sun in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot Sunday. The occasion? The 11th annual Doc Holiday Classic Car Show, hosted by the Liberty Hose fire company as a scholarship fundraiser. redbankgreen was there, cameras at the ready. (Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: THREE VEHICLES STOLEN

Activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of July 6 to July 12, 2013.

call-in-the-authoritiesReport of Theft in the area of Broad Street on 7/7/13. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $625.00 Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

Report of Harassment in the area of Broad Street on 7/9/13. Victim reports verbal threats made by a known subject. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

Report of Theft in the area of Obre Place on 7/9/13. Victim reports bicycle taken from outdoor rack. Damages totaling $425.00. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating. Bicycle recovered on 7/11/13.

Read More »

NEIGHBORS OPPOSING RED BANK WALGREEN’S

Melissa Grieves, seated at right, addresses neighbors concerned about the planned redevelopment of the former Rassas car lot, below, into a mega-drugstore.  (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

A proposed Walgreen’s drugstore on Broad Street in Red Bank would be a bitter pill, say nearby homeowners, who’ve begun to organize for a fight.

About 30 residents of the quiet neighborhood between Pinckney Road and Rumson Place gathered in a Little Silver backyard over coffee Saturday morning to strategize a response to the proposed mega-pharmacy, at the site of the recently-closed Rassas auto dealership.

“I was stunned and extremely concerned,” organizer Melissa Grieves of Salem Place said in an email to redbankgreen. “As a neighborhood, we are concerned about not only our property values, but also the potential for additional car traffic through our quiet streets, as well as lighting and noise concerns, amongst other issues.”

Read More »

SHREWSBURY: DOG LEFT IN CAR BRINGS COPS

Shrewsbury police questioned an unidentified man outside Trader Joe’s after two witnesses complained that he had left a dog inside his car for a significant length of time as temperature neared 90 degrees early Monday afternoon. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: OR IS THIS GOTHAM CITY?

Ok, reader, we’re putting it on you to come up with the perfect caption for this photo, because our brain circuits overloaded when we saw this Volvo-turned Batmobile in the English Plaza parking lot in Red Bank Wednesday morning. Have at it, folks. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WALGREEN’S EYES RASSAS LOT

The plan calls for access from Broad Street in both directions, as well as from Garfield Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Just a month after ending its long run as a car dealership, a gateway property to Red Bank could become a Walgreen’s drugstore.

The former home of Rassas Pontiac/Buick, which closed in April after 83 years in Red Bank, and 64 years at the southernmost address on Broad Street, would become a giant personal-care products emporium, complete with a drive-thru window, according to documents filed with the borough planning office Wednesday.

Read More »

CAB DRIVER IN RECENT CRASH FOUND DEAD

The taxicab driver charged with drunken driving after a collision in Lincroft a week ago was found dead in his Red Bank apartment Monday morning, borough police said.

Police were summoned to the Monmouth Street home of John Curtis, 39, after his landlord found him dead at about 8:25 a.m., said Captain Darren McConnell.

Read More »

RED BANK: AFTER 83 YEARS, RASSAS TO CLOSE

Aaron Rassas outside his Red Bank auto dealership. Below, the original location, at 21 Mechanic Street, in 1934. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Born in the Great Depression, and illuminated in recent decades by a bold ribbon of neon signage at a gateway to Red Bank, Rassas Pontiac both rode and symbolized the ever-rising fortunes of postwar America.

Round-shouldered sedans and coupes once crammed its showroom. Then muscle cars. Minivans. SUVs.

But now, the auto giants are in retrenchment. A few years back, General Motors scrapped the Pontiac line, leaving Rassas to switch over to Buick. Few car dealers can survive selling Buicks alone, said business owner Aaron Rassas: his is one of only two such shops in all of New Jersey, and 30 nationwide. But he failed in his efforts to land a second brand, as GM tries to right-size markets it considers overfranchised.

With that, and the approach of his 70th birthday, Rassas has decided to shut off the engine.

On April 26, after 83 years of selling new and used cars in Red Bank, Rassas Buick will go out of business.

Read More »

TEXT ALERT: TIME RUNNING OUT FOR METERS

The centralized pay stations replaced coin-operated meters in several downtown lots last summer, and could displace all remaining meters in a few months, the Press reports. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday’s Asbury Park Press has some news about Red Bank’s new pay-for-parking system:

• that users can now get text alerts when their allotted time is about to run out

• and that borough officials plan to replace all the old coin-operated meters with the new technology by summer.

Well, at least one of those two is news. Though the article quotes Mayor Pasquale Menna as saying the text alerts went live “a couple of weeks ago,” the text option has been operational since the stations were installed last June. redbankgreen has been using the option since last August, as the dates on the screen grab at right show.

Read More »

RED BANK MAY MANDATE GAS-PUMP BACKUPS

By JOE FISHER

With long lines of motorists and generator owners searching for gasoline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy still a fresh memory, Red Bank officials are taking steps to require filling stations in the borough be equipped with a backup energy source for the next big blackout.

At Wednesday’s borough council meeting, Mayor Pat Menna recommended amending  licensing requirements to mandate that stations have a backup power source by January 1, 2016.

Read More »

RED BANK: TRAILER MYSTERY SOLVED

A trailer parked along the Navesink River bulkhead in Marine Park has drawn some attention (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

In a town known for its stinging $38-per-violation parking citations, some locals have been wondering: why has a recreational vehicle been allowed to remain in Red Bank’s Marine Park for several weeks, apparently without being ticketed?

Prompted by a reader inquiry, redbankgreen knocked on the door of the trailer. Getting no answer, we put in a call to Bill Wilk of the borough parking department.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: SERVICE STATION WON’T RETURN

Dunkin’ Donuts is back in business, at right, but the adjoining Sea Bright Service Station won’t be coming back to town, its owner says. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Amid optimistic declarations that storm-battered Sea Bright will rise from the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, one of its more visible businesses has quietly thrown in the towel – or the grease rag, in this case.

Sea Bright Service Station owner Rick Hennessey, who’s been operating in recent weeks out of temporary quarters in Atlantic Highlands, has decided not to return to town, he tells redbankgreen.

“The owner of the building doesn’t really want any gas sales there anymore, which is the first problem,” Hennessey said. “We also have the issues of rebuilding after the storm and this looming bridge construction.” Read More »

RED BANK: HOLIDAY PARKING FREE IN LOTS

Shoppers can ignore those pay stations and meters in Red Bank’s downtown lots through Christmas day, as the borough’s customary parking-fee moratorium is in effect for the holiday shopping season. No so for the street meters, though. Those, you’ve still got to feed – or risk getting a chunk of coal in your stocking in the form of a $38 ticket. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIAT DEALER EYES TIGHT CORNER

A vacant lot that was last home to a car rental business could be revived as a Fiat dealership, according to plans filed with the borough. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank may be getting a Fiat store.

Representatives of Miglo Motors have submitted plans for consideration with the borough planning office for a dealership that would include a new, 10,000-square-foot showroom at the corner of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street, opposite Dunkin’ Donuts.

Read More »

RED BUS IN RED BANK

A 1930’s-era White Motor Company tour bus made its way along Front Street in Red Bank on the back of a flatbed truck last Friday. According to the website of hotelier Glacier Park Inc., which has some interesting background on the vehicles here, 33 of the classic red buses are operated in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in Montana and Alberta, Canada. This one, though, belongs to a family in Rumson, and was being moved into storage, we’re told. (Click to enlarge)

A SIX-WHEEL SOLUTION

Spotted heading north on Broad Street (Route 35) in Shrewsbury during Tuesday’s morning commute: a burly New Jersey Transit bus carrying a somewhat simpler machine for getting around. (Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: CAR AND MOTORCYLE COLLIDE

A motorcyclist appeared conscious and alert after a collision with a sedan on Branch Avenue at Pinckney Road in Little Silver shortly before 4 p.m. Friday. Further information was not immediately available. (Click to enlarge)

HIGH-END USED CARS VROOM INTO RED BANK

A luxury used-car lot that opened last month at Maple Avenue and Broad Street in Red Bank features pricey vehicles, including the Bentley GT Speed shown here, tagged at $120,000. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508The Forbesification of the Red Bank-area motor fleet has shifted into higher gear.

There’s already the weekly display of Michael Fux-owned Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Aston Martins and other high-end cars outside Blue Water Seafood, as well as the success of high-end servicers Detail Doctor and Massimo Motorworks, both in Shrewsbury and both catering to the $100,000-plus wheelset.

Now, added to the mix: a luxury used-car lot.

Read More »