CHURN: JEWELERY & CLOTHING SHOPS OPEN

evan piscitelli 022015Jeweler Evan Piscitelli in his new Red Bank shop, Thrill Her Diamonds. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn offers a belated welcome to a jewelry store that opened in downtown Red Bank in December.

Also in this Churn: a new women’s clothing boutique; a new stock brokerage; and an update on the Red Bank Walgreens.

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CHURN: ART PARTIES, RENT-A-PLATE & SUSHI

dorothy fadell 010714Dorothy Fadell opens her new business, Pinot’s Palette, on Broad Street this Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis debut 2015 edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn carries news of:

∗ A new art studio in downtown Red Bank where learning – or re-learning – to paint is a party, whether you’re a kid with a juice box or an adult sipping a glass of pinot noir.

∗ The departure of the town’s only fishing tackle store, and its replacement by a gift shop that will double as a place to buy or rent table linens, flatware and other “tablescaping” items.

∗ A name change for a planned sushi restaurant downtown.

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LINCROFT: FASHIONABLY, FESTIVELY LATE

MM galleryThe Holiday Gift Gallery at Monmouth Museum returns on Tuesday — and continues through January 11 — for the benefit of late-blooming gifters.

For something that seems to start as early as Back to School Days, the holiday shopping season never seems to have enough hours and days loaded up on the back end. It’s not so much that “we need a little Christmas, right this very moment” — it’s that we need a lot more moments, right now and on into the new calendar year.

It’s for straggling souls that one of the Red Bank area’s unsung treasures, the Monmouth Museum, maintains an annual Holiday Gift Gallery that offers up eleventh-hour shopportunities beginning Tuesday.

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SEA BRIGHT: ARTIST GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS

megan gilhool 1 040214Megan Gilhool with a pair of giant knitting needles at ArtSea, the Sea Bright art gallery that doubles as a getaway for local knitters. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb artsea 2 052714She’s known, at least to redbankgreen readers, as the artist who transformed Sea Bright’s downtown bus stop into a trompe l’oeil beach cottage. She’s also been known to help tastefully yarn-bomb locations around town.

Megan Gilhool continues to knit, and said she plans to reprise her bus stop masterpiece, now that the Ocean Avenue enclosure destroyed by Hurricane Sandy has been rebuilt.

In the meantime, though, she’s settled into the life of storefront merchant-slash-curator, running the ArtSea Gallery on Ocean Avenue in a space occupied, pre-Sandy, by a dry-cleaning shop.

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CHURN: YOGA WEAR, BEACH TOUCHES, HAIR

bebarow 052314 1Phil Barow, owner of Be Barow, with creative designer Bianca Freda. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn trumpets these new arrivals to downtown Red Bank: a beach-themed home accessories boutique, a women’s workout wear shop, a hair salon and a restaurant.

Opened last month, Candy’s Cottage Coastal Living has settled on Monmouth Street after stays at two locations in Asbury Park and an extended tenancy at Pier Village in Long Branch – two cities that of course compete with Red Bank for foot traffic and consumer spending.

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COMMUNITY YARD SALES RETURN

rbtys 050512 1Shots from the 2012 editions of the townwide yard sales in Red Bank, above, and Fair Haven, below. (Click to enlarge)

fhtys 050512 2Like blooming flowers and trees, the next two weekends promise riches for sellers and buyers alike in three communities on the greater Red Bank Green.

First up, this Saturday: the Lincroft Village Green Association holds its 10th annual Lincroft Community Yard Sale at homes throughout that corner of Middletown from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A week later comes both the seventh annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, a a fundraiser for the public library, and the Fair Haven Townwide Yard Sale.

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CHURN: CIAO, BIAGIO, CESAR & WOULD-BE BBQ

rb 12 broad 032514Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza has departed 12 Broad Street after less than a year and a half in town. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on the departures from downtown Red Bank of two businesses and the cold feet of one that never opened: a pizzeria, a jewelry store and a barbecue joint, respectively.

Gone, quite abruptly, is Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza. Going, once its home of 21 years is sold, is Cesar’s Creations Jewelry. And never seen was the highly-lauded Local Smoke BBQ, which bailed over the expected costs and delays of setting up downtown.

All three involve Broad Street addresses. We’ve also got news about new boutique coming to Monmouth Street.

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GIANTS ON ICE, AS ROCKET MEETS JACK FROST

rb rocket 030114The Rocket, above in foreground, with the Jack Frost.  (Photo by John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Click to enlarge)

The New York Times has a story in Monday’s edition on a rare meeting between two giant iceboats – the Rocket and the Jack Frost – on the foot-thick ice of the Hudson River Saturday.

The Rocket, the prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, weighs more than a ton, and requires ice a foot thick to support its weight. Ditto for the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. There is only one other vessel their size in the world, and it’s in a museum.

Ice that thick being rare, the two 120-plus-year-old behemoths, capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, rarely sail. And they had not raced head-to-head in a century, the Times reports.

But then right conditions arrived over the weekend, and the members of the NSIB&YC postponed an open-house event scheduled for Saturday and made a beeline to Barrytown, New York.

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CHURN: POOL CUES, THRIFT & CRAFTS EXIT

lucky break 021214•Tuns out Lucky Break could not survive its lengthy shutdown over BYOB issues, its owner says. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on the departures from downtown Red Bank of three high-profile businesses:

• Lucky Break Billiards, which was the subject of a bring-your-own-booze enforcement crackdown last year.

• The ARC of Monmouth Thrift Shop, a fixture on Monmouth Street for some three decades.

• Ten Thousand Villages, a Broad Street retailer of fair trade crafts.

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RED BANK: FULL-WALL ARTIST AT WORK

deb jellenik 010814 3Deb Jellenik with samples of her custom designs. Above, wallpaper created for a mammography center, and below, work incorporating seashells. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deb jellenik 010814 2Deb Jellenik won’t be bringing her wallpaper printer to the annual artists’ show at Sickels Market this weekend.

It’s about the size of a compact car, for one thing. And it’s parked in the basement of her Red Bank home.

More than that, though, is the fact that hitting “print” on a custom wallpaper project is among the final steps in a process that requires a painstaking combination of art and craft – not to mention a dash of crazy.

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WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND? SO MUCH CHOICE

rb street fair 041413The Red Bank Street Fair late summer edition returns Sunday. The Count Basie Theatre, below, is home to a weekend-long food extravaganza called ‘Appetite.’ (Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 6:

basie marquee 1 090213MIDDLETOWN: The first and third Friday’s of the month mean Teen Art Club at the Middletown Public Library. This twice-monthly teen-led art session requires few tools: a drawing pad and pencil. Teen Art Club begins at 4 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: The Count Basie 365 Cultural Series presents some cool Friday night jazz  to cool down the summer heat in the pocket park at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

SANDY HOOK: Celebrate the end of summer as the Sandy Hook Foundation presents local caterers, live music and auction items at the End of Summer Party. Proceeds benefit the restoration, maintenance, and education projects of the National Park Service. The farewell to summer runs from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sandy Hook North Beach.

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WEEKEND: EAT, DRINK, SING, SAIL, AND MORE

A promo video for ‘Eat! Drink! Italy!,’ Red Bank restaurateur Victor Rallo’s new TV show, which gets a launch at the Basie Saturday night. Below, a rousing night of patriotic songs fills the First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, July 5:

RED BANK: The Josh Zuckerman Band stops by the Walt Street Pub for an energetic Friday night set. The show beings at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Blues rock  guitarist Matt O’Ree and band perform at Jamians Food & Drink.  The show begins at 8 p.m. 79 Monmouth Street.

SHREWSBURY: Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library hosts a discussion on Treasures of the Monmouth County Parks, including an update on the status of the park system post-Hurricane Sandy for this edition of First Friday for Seniors. The discussion begins at 11 a.m. 1001 Route 35 North.

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RED BANK: CLUB OFFERS KIDS A HAVEN

Children line up for pre-dinner clean-hands inspection at the Boys and Girls Club. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

After five p.m. on a recent afternoon, a pair of children in red shirts and khakis set a long table with styrofoam plates laden with tacos. Moments later, a dozen or so kids dressed in the same outfits – the uniform of the Red Bank Primary School – line up for inspection by Natasha Cargill, a teenaged kitchen manager.

It’s clean-hands time at at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County‘s Red Bank unit, a scene that plays out so routinely that some of the kids continue to absently hold their hands above their heads long after they’ve passed Cargill’s inspection.

Looking on, Christy Crank looks pleased. As the facility director, the 38-year-old borough native sets a welcoming but firm tone for all who step through its doors.

“I see a lot of me in these kids,” says Crank. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have a Boys and Girls Club. We provide a safe space, where there’s no bullying, you get the help you need, and everyone is equal.”

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WEEKEND: EAT, DRINK, LISTEN, REPEAT

Don’t even bother trying to curb your appetite at Red Bank Riverfest, which runs through Sunday in Marine Park. Details in the poster below. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 31:

RED BANK: Come sample the savory and sweet flavors at Riverfest, the annual three-day music and food festival in Marine Park. Stroll the “artisan’s alley” for handmade items and artwork, cruise the Navesink River, or dance your butt off in front of the waterfront stage to the likes of Brian Kirk & The Jirks, Woodfish, the Moroccan Sheepherders and the Jazz Lobsters. Free entry; no pets allowed.

MIDDLETOWNThe Middletown Arts Center hosts a Luau Party for kids ages 5 and older, offering crafts, limbo contests and games. Pizza and snacks will be provided. The luau runs from 6 to 9 p.m. 36 Church Street.

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‘YARN BOMBING’ BRIGHTENS SEA BRIGHT LOT

Megan Heath Gilhool, right, with Frances Rooney, whose hot dog stand was given some decorative touches in yarn last week. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Mixed in among the many Memorial Day celebrations and reopenings in recovering Sea Bright over the weekend, a rogue group of vandals struck one of the town’s most beloved landmarks.

During the chilly, rain-soaked early hours of Friday morning, a dozen women swarmed an Ocean Avenue lot with one mission in mind: to leave their mark on the town. They diligently went to work, covering the fence that encloses Frances Rooney’s hot dog stand with their own personal ‘tags.’

After they politely asked her permission, of course.

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RED BANK: RIVERFEST TO HEAT UP WEEKEND

Scenes from the 2012 edition of Red Bank Riverfest, which returns to Marine Park for a thre-night run starting Friday. (Click to enlarge)

Three days of heat and eats await visitors to Red Bank this weekend.

For the third consecutive year, after a decade-long layover, Riverfest returns to the banks of the Navesink River in Marine Park Friday night for a stay that extends into Sunday night.

And what this event be without a touch of sultry-bordering-on-threatening weather?

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AUTHOR TO MEN: SAUTÉ WITH SWAGGER

Debra Picard, author of Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men, says there’s nothing sexier than watching a guy cook. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Rumson’s Debra Levy Picard thinks men and women cook differently.

“A woman might cook because she wants to prepare something to look beautiful and perfect and impressive,” she says. “A guy just wants to eat – he’s hungry, and is happy to eat out of the pot without a bouquet garni

A 52-year-old north Jersey native and lifetime foodie, Picarrd has traveled extensively in Europe, Israel, the United Kingdom – she’s lived in both England and Switzerland – and the United States, enriching her understanding off cooking and culture. She recently published a cookbook, Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook For Men, to help men “just get food from the grocery store to the plate.”

redbankgreen sat down with Picard to talk about why women are turned on by a man behind the stove, how come guys always seem to get stuck at the grill and learn what local celeb doesn’t know his way around a kitchen.

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YOUR WEEKEND OPTIONS, RIGHT HERE

Images of 20th century Red Bank and other Monmouth County locales are featured in a show of photos from the Dorn’s Collection beginning Saturday at Red Bank Frameworks. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 10:

RED BANKSandy Hackett’s Rat Pack infests Count Basie Theater. Join faux Frank, Sammy and Dino for performances produced by the legendary Buddy Hackett. Tickets are $19.50, $29.50 and $39.50. 99 Monmouth Street.

RUMSON: The third annual “Gayla!” prom, a fun and safe evening with food and DJ takes place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The Rumson Fair Haven Gay-Straight Alliance partners with Make it Better for Youth to provide support kids ages 13-19 in middle, high, or home school. The prom runs from 7 to 10 p.m. tickets are $20; parental permission required. 74 Ridge Road.

RUMSON: The boys from Madison Avenue are back and will perform at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn. The show begins at 9 p.m.132 East River Road.

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RED BANK: FARMERS RETURN TO MARKET

Among the myriad culinary and craft-shopping options available throughout the Green on Mother’s Day is one that bristles with green freshness: the Red Bank Farmer’s Market, above, which reopens Sunday for its six-month season in the parking lot of the Galleria of Red Bank, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue. The open-air market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through mid-November. (Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: COPPER FROGS TO PERK UP THE YARD

At Bain’s in Rumson: outdoor furniture and frog sculptures. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Looking to add some levity to the yard? Hop over to Bain’s Outdoor Living in Rumson to see Beau Smith’s chic home décor frog sculptures.

Store owners Tom and Donna Bain came across Smith’s sculptures featured in a magazine. They contacted the artist, interested in selling his pieces.

“They actually drove down to Atlanta to get some of my work and sell it in their store,” said Smith.

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SEA BRIGHT: BUS SHELTER TO RETURN

A piece of the painted rug, above, is all that remains of the trompe l’oeil cozy cottage that Megan Heath Gilhool created in the bus shelter in October, 2011, below. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Before Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright’s downtown bus shelter, elaborately painted to resemble a typical beach-front bungalow, was one of the little things that gave the shore community an indelible sense of character and charm.

Post-Sandy, however, all that remains of the decorated stop is a bit of faux flooring on a slab of broken concrete, with the rest of the structure washed away into oblivion.

Fortunately for Sea Bright straphangers, that’s about to change.

Sea Bright Rising, a charity group that arose in the storm’s aftermath to aid the ailing community, is planning to rebuild the Ocean Avenue shelter and restore it to visual glory with help from artist Megan Heath Gilhool.

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ON THE GREEN: YARD SALE SEASON

Shots from the 2012 edition of the Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, which was bustling despite periodic drizzles. (Click to enlarge)

Tis the season wherein one person’s junk becomes another’s bargain find, and the next two weekends on the Green promise riches for sellers and buyers alike in Lincroft and Red Bank.

First up, this Saturday: the Lincroft Village Green Association holds its ninth annual Lincroft Community Yard Sale at homes throughout that corner of Middletown from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A week later, on April 27, comes the Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, a borough-spanning extravaganza of household goods recycling

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CHAR DESIGNER HEATS UP THE DINING SCENE

Restaurant designer Jeff Cahill at the new Char Steakhouse, below, which opened on Broad Street Wednesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now rising from the ashes in Red Bank: Char Steakhouse, the most widely anticipated business to debut downtown since Blue Water Seafood landed one block north on Broad Street in June, 2011.

Will it generate the economic oomph to match the dollars – not to mention the expectations of nearby merchants – that have been poured into it? Restaurateur Matteo Ingrao is betting on it: he’s rumored to have dropped $2 million on renovations to the former Ashes Cigar Bar space with hopes of creating a dining mecca.

But also clutching his Sharpie on the sidelines is Jeff Cahill, a soft-spoken, self-taught interior designer who’s gradually transforming the look and feel of dining out on the Green, one dazzling location at a time.

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