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RED BANK: NEW RIVERCENTER VISION & HQ

scavone menna red bank, nj,RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center executive director Margaret Mass at the office’s opening last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank RiverCenter embarked on a new mission last week.

The manager of the town’s special improvement district nailed down a fresh set of priorities that calls for greater emphasis on leveraging the town’s Navesink River waterfront as a draw for visitors and investors.

It also opened its new offices to Broad Street.

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RED BANK: TACOS, GREEK FOOD, GIFTS & MORE

90 Broad st. red bank nj tacoholicsTacoholics, which started out as a food truck, plans to open its third restaurant next month, this one at 90 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe got tacos. We got Greek food. We got a gift shop and a florist.

All the makings of a heaping autumn update to redbankgreen‘s long-running Retail Churn feature. Read on for details.

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RED BANK: RED TANK BUBBLES TO LIFE

red bank, nj, red tank, microbrewery, john arcaraJohn Arcara in the newly completed, 100-seat Red Tank Brewing microbrewery earlier this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo years from dream to reality, Red Tank Brewing is set to open in the heart of Red Bank Thursday night, the start of a new venture for wedding photographers John and Lovina Arcara.

It may also be the start of a fresh wave of craft suds in town.

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RED BANK: TATTOO, MEDICAL POT ZONES OK’D

Under the changes, medical marijuana dispensaries are now allowed in retail zones, and tattoo parlors are permitted in additional zones. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs expected, the Red Bank council approved measures on medical marijuana shops and tattoo parlors Wednesday.

Officials also introduced an ordinance to recognize a turn toward do-it-yourself crafts and other forms of “commercial recreation” downtown.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEW TOWN HALL PLANNED

646 RIVER ROAD FAIR HAVEN NJ SUNOCOFair Haven officials hope to acquire the former Sunoco station for redevelopment as part of long-range consolidation of municipal operations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A vacant gas station site in Fair Haven could become the home to a new borough hall and police station under a plan up for consideration Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET FIXES OUTLINED

The makeover plan would affect English Plaza and the stretch of White Street from English Plaza to Broad Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s chaotic English Plaza and White Street area may become a part-time oasis under a concept plan unveiled Wednesday night.

Working with a $500,000 zero-interest loan from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Red Bank RiverCenter also aims to make the space safer for pedestrians an motorists, officials told the borough council.

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RED BANK: FRESH “JAM” AT PARK STAND

Steve Farley, left, and Bill Huwyler at Riverside Park Jam, the former concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park that they’ve reinvented as a gourmet-quality takeout restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after it ended decades of underutilization, the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank has a radically new mission.

Call it the no-concessions stand, because it’s not summer-only, and it’s not hot dogs and sodas — not by a long shot.

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RED BANK: BREWERY PLAN UP IN THE AIR

The building, formerly home to Fameabilia store, has been vacant since October, 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The fate of a microbrewery proposed for a long-vacant storefront in downtown Red Bank appeared cloudy Thursday night.

The hangup? The two floors of apartments the landlord wants to add to the one-story building.

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RED BANK: RAMPING UP CODE ENFORCEMENT

The front yard of a vacant house at 98 East Front Street is overgrown with weeds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank is cracking down on property-based quality-of-life issues, borough officials said last week.

Word of a ramp-up of code enforcement — including foot patrols — for matters like unmowed lawns and rubbish came in response to a complaint that some residents have been threatened with fines for minor infractions.

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RED BANK: PORK ROLL, FRESH OFF THE TRUCK

Johnny’s Pork Roll plans to open in the space last occupied by Fizz at 8A Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs live-reported by redbankgreen, Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee truck made its debut by risking a summons for doing business where it wasn’t allowed: on the streets of Red Bank.

Now, five years later, John Yarusi’s two-truck enterprise is going legit with a brick-and-mortar stake in the borough’s downtown.

Read all about the plan, and other recent turnover activity, in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: TATTOO & POT ZONING MULLED

Councilman Erik Yngstrom, seen here on election night in 2016, says he has “a bunch” of tattoos, and initiated the expansion of tattoo parlor zoning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Once widely seen as evidence of moral decay, tattoos and pot may soon have a place among the nail salons, ice cream shops and restaurants in downtown Red Bank.

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RED BANK: ALARMS SHUT OFFICE BUILDING

The building, seen here in 2016, abuts the Red Bank train station. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A large Red Bank office building was closed to employees for the second consecutive day Wednesday over concerns about carbon monoxide.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER ‘VISION’ SHARPENS

Bill Fontana speaking at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After four months of public meetings, Red Bank RiverCenter‘s effort to redefine its vision began coming into focus Monday night.

Topping a list of six priorities that the downtown promotion agency should focus on is a “reimagined, redeveloped and reinvigorated riverfront,” a consultant told several dozen business owners and borough residents at the Two River Theater.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT, BOUTIQUE IN CHURN

Jack Pongnoo in the former Readie’s space, where he’s opening a new restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSummer doldrums? Not in Red Bank, where storefront turnover continues as busily as ever.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoops on:

• a new southeast-Asian restaurant coming to Broad Street

• an update on the former Katsin’s Pharmacy space on Shrewsbury Avenue

• a new women’s clothing boutique

• the departure of a vacuum-cleaner shop, and more.

It’s all Churning right around the ‘read more’ corner…

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN ‘VISION’ GAINS FOCUS

Consultant Bill Fontana onstage at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Downtown Red Bank is safe, clean and friendly, but it’s got problems with parking, store vacancies and its mix of operating businesses.

Those observations, while perhaps glaringly evident to many, were among the findings of a recent survey conducted for business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter and revealed Monday night.

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RED BANK: A SECOND CAREER IN OLD JEANS

Kattya Torres at her Union Special sewing machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After her job as a wireless telecom engineer vanished in a merger, a Red Bank businesswoman has found a second career in eradicating crotch rot.

Ahem: that is to say, the holes that frequently develop in the groin of old jeans some people simply cannot part with.

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RED BANK: MONMOUTH MUSIC TO CLOSE

Monmouth Music owner Mario DiBartolo plans to open the STEM Music Academy in the space. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Even as he was buying Monmouth Music two years ago, Mario DiBartolo knew he was swimming against the current that has swamped so many small retailers in the past two decades.

Yes, he hoped to retain the Red Bank store’s loyal customers and continue selling guitars and other musical instruments, he told redbankgreen last year. But his investment was really in the Monmouth Street real estate that housed the 30-year-old business, he said.

Now, he’s throwing in the towel on retail.

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RED BANK: TWO D.I.Y. SIGN SHOPS OPEN

Joanna Rapuzzi in her newly opened AR Workshop, at 43A Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Do-it-yourself rustic signmaking is now the latest thing in downtown Red Bank, with the recent openings of two franchised workshops downtown.

 

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RED BANK: NO DOLDRUMS FOR TASTEBUDS

Abby Nooney prepares cones with chocolate and sprinkles at Coney Waffles & Ice Cream, which opened last week at 18 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The doldrums of summer may be upon us, but not in the realm of tastebuds.

The ever-changing food scene in downtown Red Bank continues its evolutionary bustle, as this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn shows.

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RED BANK: ‘CAKE BOSS’ BAKERY CLOSES

Carlo’s Bake Shop posted a small notice of closing on its door Tuesday or early Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five years after it was opened by television baking star Buddy Valastro, Carlo’s Bake Shop in Red Bank has closed, redbankgreen has learned.

The unannounced shutdown comes just four months after a new investor in the business said there was no plan to leave town.

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RED BANK: ANTIQUES BUILDING SOLD

The home of Riverbank Antiques, as seen in 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s antiques district, which took a big hit six years ago, is about to shrink some more.

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RED BANK: RIVERMARK PROJECT APPROVED

The proposed Rivermark building shown above was modified before approval. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board gave swift approval Monday night to a proposed commercial and residential building at a key downtown corner after it was downsized.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SPREE CONTINUES

Located at Broad and West Front streets, Saxum’s latest acquisition has Urban Outfitters as its sole ground-floor tenant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.

The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.

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