54° Clear

RED BANK: FEST BRINGS TASTES OF SPRING

The on-again, off-again start to Spring 2018 felt gloriously on again as thousands of food and music fans packed the Red Bank International Beer, Wine & Food Fest Sunday.

Jim Scavone, executive director of event host Red Bank RiverCenter, told redbankgreen that the event, held under cloudless skies with temperatures cracking 60 degrees, was packed within 15 minutes of its noontime start, with attendance levels holding steady over the course of the next seven hours.

Monday’s weather outlook is for more of the same, according to the National Weather Service: ample sunshine and a high of about 60 degrees, though the on-again, off-again isn’t quite over. Here’s the forecast through the coming week:  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Read More »

RED BANK: GLOBAL MUSIC SPICES FOOD FEST

Metalachi is scheduled to end its current East Coast tour in Red Bank Sunday. (Photo by Dave Burke. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Metalachi, billing itself as ‘the World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band,’ is scheduled to help spice up the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest Sunday.

The band’s sonic and visual mashup adds a new dimension to the event, slated to take place under sunny skies in the borough’s White Street parking lot.

Read More »

RED BANK: FOOD, CLOTHES & MORE IN CHURN

JJ’s Delicasies, at 21 West Front Street, features a swirling logo on the sidewalk out front, thanks to a projector. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, one of Red Bank’s hot vegan restaurants is building a separate takeout place, while a 24-hour gym, a barber shop and a cryotherapy spa all have plans to set up shop downtown.

Meantime, two businesses — a restaurant and a women’s clothing shop — have opened in recent days.

Read More »

RED BANK: CARLO’S STAYING PUT; PHO LE OUT

Carlo’s Bake Shop has a new partner, Mike DeStafano, who says the business isn’t going anywhere. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, there’s something a little different: news about a Red Bank business that’s neither freshly opened nor closing — Carlo’s Bake Shop, owned by TV ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro.

Plus, as usual, a few lines about businesses that have closed, as well as news about an Indian restaurant coming downtown.

Read More »

RED BANK: MORE DESSERTS DOWNTOWN

Kayla Barbuto in her newly opened Lady K’s Bake Shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Cakes, tarts, ice-cream and other sweet treats: downtown Red Bank is adding to its dessert menu with the recent opening of a specialty bakery and plans for a new ice cream shop.

Read all about it in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: TRIUMPH TO OPEN… ‘SOON’

Triumph Brewing won approval to add outdoor dining on the Edmund Wilson Boulevard side of the building, facing the Two River Theater. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s been a couple of years, literally, in development, and yet the only person who can say when Red Bank’s Triumph Brewing Company might open has been steadfastly mum.

Well, finally, there’s some news.

Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANT SCENE IN CHURN

After months of idleness, gut-job renovations are underway at the Melting Pot in the Galleria on Bridge Avenue. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank restaurant is preparing to reopen after a long hiatus and change in ownership.

Meantime, another eatery has shut its doors after only six months in business, and a bicycle retailer has pedaled off into the online ether.

Details are below in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: SICKLES ENTERING LIQUOR BIZ

With a ’boutique’ liquor store now part of the plan, Sickles Market Provisions will take the entire first floor of the former Anderson Storage building on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a century-plus of operation, Little Silver-based Sickles Market will get into the liquor business when opens its new store in Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

Read More »

RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS SOME RETRO FIZZ

Fizz Soda Fountain opened Wednesday in the Monmouth Street space formerly occupied by Red Bank Sub Shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It took almost a year and a half longer than expected, but Fizz Soda Fountain has finally bubbled to life in Red Bank.

Done up in turquoise and gleaming stainless steel, the tiny burger-and-shake joint is as effervescent as the poppiest tune on a 1950s diner jukebox.

Read More »

RED BANK: VAPE SHOP, GROCERY OPEN

 Smoke Theory features display cases filled with water pipes and other smoking products, as well as a walk-in cigar humidor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo new retail shops opened in Red Bank this week: a neighborhood grocery on the West Side and a smoke shop downtown.

Read all about them in this winter-doldrums edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: ANIMA OPENS, CAFÉ REBRANDS

Women’s clothing store Anima has opened in the former home of a Duxiana bedding shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe’ve got a new women’s boutique, a new gym and a new name for a restaurant in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: EATERIES SPOTLIGHT STRAWS

Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue, above, is one of eight Red Bank restaurants participating in a monthlong effort to reduce the number of plastic drinking straws that don’t make it into the recycling stream.

Read More »

RED BANK: CUBAN, TWO POKE EATERIES SLATED

A poke restaurant plans to open at 26 Monmouth Street by February 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn comes bearing food: two restaurants offering Hawaiian poke, and a third with a menu of Cuban dishes, plan to open in downtown Red Bank in coming months.

Also in this report: a pilates gym takes a portion of a long-empty former drugstore, and a pop-up holiday shop… pops up for the holiday season downtown.

Read More »

RED BANK: O BISTRO TAKEOUT? MAIS OUI!

The former Red Bank Pizza storefront on Bridge Avenue has been reincarnated as the to-go counter of O Bistro Francais. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

When chef Marc Fontaine opened O Bistro Francais in Red Bank a year ago, local gourmets rejoiced at the return of top-quality French cooking after a six-year absence from town.

Now, Fontaine has turned the disused former storefront pizzeria end of his Bridge Avenue restaurant into a takeout counter to supplement the linen-napkin dining room. And once again, Francophile eaters are over the moon.

Read More »

RED BANK: HEAT TRIMS OYSTERFEST CROWD

With temperatures hovering in the mid-80s, it was “ten degrees too hot” to draw the usual elbow-to-elbow crowd to the eighth annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Red Bank Sunday, one vendor told redbankgreen.

“The weather is not our friend today,” said Jim Scavone, executive director of event sponsor Red Bank RiverCenter.

Still, the turnout was strong, he said, and “people here having fun, and they’re drinking lots of beer.”

Some pix from the event follow… (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS PARTY TIME

The soulful vocals of Remember Jones, below, add to to the vibe when Guinness Oysterfest returns for an eighth annual stand Sunday. 

While efforts are underway to restore oyster populations in the local waterways that once boasted them in abundance, Red Bank celebrates the opening of oyster season by, well, opening a few thousand oysters — not to mention a beverage or two.

Read More »

RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE GETS A REBOOT

The former Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, has been rebranded A1 Liquors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that had a seedy reputation was getting ready to reopen last week with a new look, a new business plan and a new approach to customers, its owners said.

Read More »

RED BANK: JJ’S ORGANIC, FUN AND FAMILIAR

Chalkboards list menu options at JJ’s Organic Grill ordering station. Below: waffle sticks. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

The Dugo family is betting that certified organic, non-GMO is the future of fast food, and so far, so good: their month-old Red Bank restaurant, JJ’s Organic Grill, is already becoming a popular choice for foodies.

Healthier alternatives for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, no frills environment is what you’ll find here in the former Sicilia space, at the corner of Broad Street and Peters Place.

Read More »

RED BANK: COOLING OFF AT THE LIGHTHOUSE

Twilight at Strollo’s Lighthouse finds pint-sized customers getting their chill on. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Winding down the summer, PieHole seeks out a cooling oasis at the end of an oppressively hot and humid day and finds sweet reward at Strollo’s Lighthouse in Red Bank.

Wedged, literally, at the junction of Rector Place, Bridge Avenue and Riverside Avenue, the ice cream shop is a beacon to behold at the foot of Cooper’s Bridge.
Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: FIREMEN’S FAIR TURNS 58

Oh yes, Mr. Teapot, the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair returns for its 58th annual edition starting Friday.

It was the late summer of 1960, and even as storm watchers were keeping tabs on a tropical depression named Donna, the thoughts of most folks were with squeezing the last bit of enjoyment out of another hard-earned vacation season.

The American Football League was still a week or two away from kicking off its first game, and precious few people were aware of a little band named the Beatles, but taking advantage of a change in state laws governing raffles and midway-style games of chance, volunteer firefighters in launched an event that returns for its 58th annual edition this week: the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: SNAPPY HOUR AT BEACHWALK

Bartender Erin O’Keefe makes a Long Island Ice Tea while customers, some still in beach garb, make themselves comfortable on the deck over the river. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Timing it just right, PieHole showed up for happy hour at BeachWalk’s Tiki Bar recently to find beers in hand and fishing poles in the Shrewsbury River for a snapper derby competition.

Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright has its fair share of bars, but this might be the only one where you’ll find children and adults competing for bragging rights and the prize of an overnight stay at the attached motel.
Read More »

RED BANK: ICE CREAM & A MOVIE

The Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand in Riverside Gardens Park is the place to be a sultry summer evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Riverside Gardens Park, sandwiched between West Front Street and the Navesink River in Red Bank, is a hive of activity on warm summer nights. Swarms of kids stop by to view the boats on the river, catch a glimpse of the sunset and maybe enjoy the weekly entertainment put on by the folks at the borough Parks and Rec department.

Enticed by the aroma of fresh baked waffles being shaped into cones, PieHole finds a place in line to see what everyone is ordering at the Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand there.

Read More »

RED BANK: MIDSUMMER NIGHTS AT TEMPLE BAR

The Temple Bar at the Dublin House is a lively spot for music lovers on a warm Sunday evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly reported that Dead Bank was scheduled to play at the Dublin House on Saturday, August 5. They’ll be at Jamian’s Food and Drink that night.]

By SUSAN ERICSON

It’s twilight on a warm summer evening when PieHole strolls over to the Dublin House in Red Bank, taking in the sight of customers finishing their meals in the courtyard out front.

But we’re not here for dinner. Making our way through the side alley from Monmouth Street to the rear of the restaurant, we hear the deep, raspy strain of rock music and the low chatter of customers surrounding the bar named for a famous street in Dublin, Ireland: Temple Bar.

Read More »