RED BANK: FARMER DEFENDS PRODUCE TOSS

red bank farmers market kurt poehlerKurt Poehler at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market in May, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe farmer who trigged a backlash over disposed produce at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market Sunday defended the practice as a normal result of sorting Wednesday.

In addition, an organization that puts surplus produce into the hands of those who need it backed him for donating carloads of fruit and vegetables weekly, including Sunday.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK REOPENS ITS DOORS

Lunch Break’s kitchen staff stands ready to again serve in-person guests. (Lunch Break photo. Click to enlarge.)

(Press release from Lunch Break)

red bank, nj, done good,After 15 months of operating as a take-away facility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is again offering its guests seated meals onsite, the food security and social services resource announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK PLANS $12M PROJECT

Additional facilities and parking would be created on lots adjacent to Lunch Break’s home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lunch Break, the food security and social services resource, announced the start of a $12 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of its Red Bank home Monday.

An addition to its facilities at at 121 Drs. James Park Boulevard is needed “to accommodate the growing needs of the community,” the nonprofit said in an announcement.

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RED BANK: COFFEE SHOP JAZZES UP CORNER

A customer checks her email at one of the new seating areas at Coffee Corral. (Photo by Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

It’s a warm summer night as Jessica Olszewski relaxes in an Adirondack chair while her wife and young daughter dance to live jazz under glimmering lights outside the Coffee Corral in in Red Bank.

A new, post-pandemic vibe has captured the attention of locals at the busy corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. There, owners Courtlyn Crosson and Erich Reulbach have developed their business into what Reulbach said is now “more than just a coffee shop on the corner.”

“It’s family-friendly. I have my wife and daughter here, and she’s able to run around and enjoy the live music,” says Olszewski, of Tinton Falls. “It’s a lot of what we couldn’t do for so long.”

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RED BANK: MORE RESTAURANTS COMING

Elli’s Backyard plans to open in the space vacated last year by Via 45. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallGoing all-in, a young restaurateur plans to open his first business venture in downtown Red Bank in coming weeks.

That story and more in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: EPOXY, SOAP & GOLD TUB IN CHURN

The former Anima space at 37 Broad is getting a new tenant, while the facade of the now-vacant storefront next door (at left) is getting a makeover. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEpoxy-and-wood tables; “occult” bath products; and news about two downtown restaurants get the spotlight in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: FOOD WRITER SUSAN ERICSON DIES

Susan Ericson, notepad in hand, at New Corner Pizza in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Food writer Susan Ericson of Red Bank died Friday at home under hospice care after a lengthy illness. She was 66 years old.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK DRIVING RECOVERY

Broadwalk bars vehicular traffic to enable restaurant expansions into Broad Street between Front and White Streets. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the second season of Red Bank’s Broadwalk about to begin in earnest – weather permitting – downtown merchants say the pedestrian dining and shopping concept is doing what it’s intended to do: improving their receipts.

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RED BANK: ‘RE-ENTRY’ THROUGH THE KITCHEN

State Senators Declan O’Scanlon, left, and Vin Gopal flank ex-Governor Jim McGreevey as he speaks with Re-Entry participants at Soul Kitchen Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

“Nobody should be defined by their worst decision,” former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey said on a visit to Red Bank Thursday.

That’s particularly true for ex-felons who may never have learned the basic skills needed to become self-sufficient members of society, he said.

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RED BANK: ‘GOOD LIFE’ CHURNS INTO TOWN

Melvin and Anita Pierce outside their healthy-eating restaurant at 60 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSweethearts since high school, a Shrewsbury couple has staked a claim in downtown Red Bank with their first-ever business venture.

Read all about them and other news in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS HELP FEED THE HUNGRY

Brigid Hempstead, right, with her twin sister Siobhan and teacher Brian Nesci planting vegetables on the lot last Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,On a vacant lot in Red Bank, students from Red Bank Catholic High School are mixing the ancient lessons of agriculture with new technology to help tackle food insecurity amid a global pandemic.

They’re also hoping to create a new model for food-sharing.

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RED BANK: COOKIES, SOAP, TATS, GOLF & MORE

Sweet Bee Bakeshop has taken over the space vacated by Sugarush cupcakes at 37 East Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAn established, and local, wholesale cookie baker is making the move to storefront retail in Red Bank as soon as next week.

Also in the works downtown: an ‘occult’ soap shop, a tattoo parlor and a ‘golf lounge.’ Read all about ’em this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: JEWELERS RETIRE, SELL BUILDING

Vance Valente at Quicksilver Handcrafted Jewelry on Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn might be titled “keeping churn to a minimum.”

Because while we’re reporting the closure of a downtown shop – due to retirement, not the economy – the change comes with a significant real estate deal aimed at keeping small shops alive.

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RED BANK: SKATE SHOP ROLLS INTO TOWN

Feet First opens on Monmouth Street, having skated across the Navesink from Middletown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: a skateboard shop rolls into downtown Red Bank, a comic book shop relocates, and the pandemic economy claims another handful of stores.

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: CENTER DEBATE CONTINUES

Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center of bottom row, prevailed on a resolution regarding the Redevelopment Agency. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSarcasm and insults flew Wednesday night as the Red Bank council yet again clashed over the future of the mothballed Senior Center.

This time, residents provided much of the ire. Read More »

RED BANK: BROADWALK II ON AGENDA

red bank broad street plazaVisitors dining on (and in) Broad Street in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn effort to spark downtown business activity as the pandemic nears its second year is among the items on the Red Bank council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: HOSPITAL TO OWN GARAGE

The garage, built in 1983, became the subject of a lease-purchase deal between the town and Riverview 17 years later. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIt’s a mere formality, but Riverview Medical Center is slated to become the owner of Red Bank’s only publicly-owned parking garage Friday.

At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the borough council authorized officials to sign off on a property transfer worked out when the current council president was in middle school.

The deal adds to the nonprofit hospital’s growing portfolio of real estate.

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ AIMS FOR FRESH START

The new shop as it appeared before dawn Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicAfter nearly two and a half years of town-splitting arguments, Fair Haven now has a Dunkin’ coffee shop.

Considering the wringer he went through to get to this point, owner Domenic Sequeira was in a pretty affable mood Wednesday morning.

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