RED BANK: TRAP DOOR PLANS TO BUST OPEN

Trap Door Escape has signed a lease to expand into the former home of Hobbymasters. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe former Hobbymasters building in  Red Bank will become the site of America’s largest “escape room” entertainment facility if its new tenant has his way.

Read all about his plans, and other downtown comings and goings, in this pandemic-year-ending-edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: FRICTION OVER WEST FRONT PLAN

A rendering depicts 141 West Front Street upon completion. (Visual by  Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed development that would dramatically alter a downtown Red Bank block won’t have a significant impact on traffic, a developer’s consultant told the zoning board Wednesday night.

The hearing prompted some friction between the developer’s representatives and a board member, who warned them to “be careful” if they wanted his vote.

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RED BANK: HEARING FOR PRC PLAN TO RESUME

red bank 141 west front garageUnder the proposal, 137 apartments and additional would be built above Pazzo MMX restaurant on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInterrupted by the pandemic, a hearing on a massive development proposed in downtown Red Bank is slated to resume Wednesday night.

The borough zoning board has scheduled a rare special session to review a plan for a nine-story addition atop Pazzo MMX restaurant – but now with 13 fewer apartments than originally proposed.

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FAIR HAVEN: KICK DANCE STUDIO SET TO LEAP

The approval allows an upward expansion of the existing structure, seen below. (Rendering by Anthony Conduouris; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven kick dance 611 river 111320A one-story dance studio in Fair Haven is set to make a grand jeté to a second floor following zoning board approval Thursday night.

Board Chairman Todd Lehder praised the Kick Dance Studios plan as a harbinger of the borough’s future. He was also the only board member to vote against it.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER CHANGES RIPPED

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420RiverCenter Executive Director Laura Kirkpatrick speaks at a council session in March as Business Administrator Ziad Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard listen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna ripped a proposed overhaul of the bylaws of downtown promotion agency RiverCenter Wednesday night.

With two council members joining his critique, Menna said several of the changes would reduce council and public oversight of the agency, which he called “repugnant.”

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RED BANK: THAI FOOD & CLOTHING CHURN IN

Mos Neammanee owns Rice Box with his brother, Khomsun. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallOne step back and two steps forward for Red Bank’s central business district?

A Thai restaurant and a clothing boutique open next door to one another downtown, while a Broad Street business quietly calls it quits. Read all about them in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: PIZZERIA & JUICE BAR CHURN IN

Another pizza restaurant plans to take the vacant former home of Pacini’s at 177 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Commercial real estate activity may be down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Red Bank continuues to attract small shops that want in on whatever action is happening.retail churn smallx

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got word on a new pizzeria and a juice bar signing leases, and the sale of a giant building in the heart of downtown.

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RED BANK: BREAD-BASED CAFÉ TO OPEN

michele ellis great harvest 102020 2Michele Ellis in her new restaurant on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith restaurants struggling through historically poor conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it might seem absolutely nuts to start a new one.

But the owner of a bread-based eatery that plans to open in Red Bank this week says key lessons of the past eight months are, well, baked into her plan.

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RED BANK: GYM PLANNED FOR CORNER SITE

The former home of Atlantic Glass on Maple Avenue is getting a tenant after a long vacancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA high-visibility Red Bank building gets a makeover for use as a gym; movie screenings return to White Street; and an insurance agency takes over a storefront.

Read all about them in this early autumn edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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LITTLE SILVER: ODD LOT TO GET NEW USE

Use of the triangular lot on Rumson Place near Broad Street raised concerns for neighbors. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Little Silver planning board on Thursday gave a green light for a local landscaper to use an odd lot with tricky access to store his vehicles overnight.

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RED BANK: COVID-19 CLAIMS TWO BUSINESSES

Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips at Via45 Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt was a day of mixed emotions for the owners of two Red Bank businesses as they closed up shop Monday.

At Via45, restaurateurs Lauren Phillips and Claudette Herring ended an 11-year run on Broad Street. Around the corner on Monmouth Street, Marissa Clifford oversaw the final children’s birthday party at Paint A Tee.

This 400th installment of Retail Churn has the details on those latest economic victims of the pandemic and other changes in the downtown mix.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN SOLD

The conjoined buildings at center, above, have changed hands, along with the liquor license. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Downtown restaurant and night club, a major nightlife draw, has new owners.

The West Front Street business has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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FAIR HAVEN: ART FOR ALL SEASONS & WEATHER

A new season began last week, which means it’s time for fresh mural on the side of Fair Haven Hardware in Fair Haven. As always, Jim Fitzmaurice of Rumson was on location Friday, creating his latest traffic-calming landscape.

The week ahead promises to bring a palette of seasonally appropriate weather to the Greater Red Bank Green, ranging from clammy to cool and dry. See the extended forecast below.
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RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE SETTLES CASE

The Vingo store at Newman Springs Road and South Bridge Avenue. (Google Maps photo. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Vingo liquor store in Red Bank is among 20 alcohol retailers that have agreed to pay New Jersey $2.3 million to settle charges of unfair trade practices, the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control said in an announcement Tuesday.

The consent agreement grew out of a “sweeping, two-year probe” that also resulted in $8 million payments by the state’s two largest booze wholesalers, the ABC said.

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RED BANK: ‘GOTH & GIRLY’ FASHION ON BROAD

Red Bank’s Broad Street “Broadwalk” briefly served as a fashion runway Sunday evening, as models strutted in creations by designer and retailer Emily Natale, at right.

The owner of Pearl Street Consignment and Custom Clothes, at Pearl and Monmouth streets, described the featured outfits as “very Goth chick, effortlessly girly.”

Seated at the edge of Maggie McKenna’s chalk-drawn runway, Charlotte Hand of Rumson said the event had the feel of an event “that you have to be super-exclusive to get into.”

See more photos from the event below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: EX-GYMNAST BRINGS THE JUICE

Daniel Ardelan puts the finishing touches on the window sign at GoodVibe Nutrition Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallLying in bed in her New York City apartment on July 16, Irina Popa-Erwin had an insight: she had to open a store selling healthy beverages.

On Wednesday, five weeks later, she and two partners will open their business in Red Bank, a town they had never visited before they went on a mad search for a place to set up shop.

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RED BANK: ANDERSON ‘EVOLUTION’ ROLLS ON

The former Anderson Storage building, above. Below, Chris Cole in the space being readied for Glen Goldbaum’s Lambs & Wolves salon.(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the opening last week week of Sickles Market and Booskerdoo, Red Bank’s Anderson Storage building has all but completed a transformation in the works for almost two decades.

But for developer Chris Cole, who oversaw the project, it’s just another day at the office.

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RED BANK: OUTDOOR FASHION SHOW SLATED

A fashion show featuring creations of Emily Natale is to be held on Broad Street in front of Restoration Hardware Sunday evening. (Above photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: Due to rain in forecast, this event has been rescheduled to August 30.]

A Red Bank clothing designer and boutique owner hopes to add to the allure of the popular Broadwalk outdoor dining experiment downtown this weekend.

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