RED BANK: PLAZA DETAILS STILL IN THE WORKS

red bank monmouth street 060220Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a pedestrian plaza all day on Sundays as part of a recovery plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDetails for turning two downtown Red Bank streets into part-time dining and shopping plazas hinge largely on pending clarity from Trenton, borough officials said Tuesday.

On a Zoom/conference call with merchants, borough officials said they need information from Governor Phil Murphy on key issues before they can finalize plans for allotting sidewalk and street space among restaurants, retailers and others.

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RED BANK: STREET CLOSINGS FOR DINING OK’D

red bank broad street 032720Broad Street would be closed from the intersection with Front Street, above, to Wallace Street three nights a week under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo major streets in the heart of downtown Red Bank would be closed to traffic to allow mid-street dining and shopping under action taken by the borough council Wednesday night.

The economic recovery measure needed lightning-fast approval so the business district “can to be ready the second we get the call” from Trenton about expected loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, said Councilwoman Kate Triggiano.

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RED BANK: DINING ‘PLAZAS’ ON THE TABLE

Customers dining in the sidewalk seating area of Robinson Ale House on Broad Street in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials have formed a committee to “creatively expand outdoor capacity for restaurants and retail sales” as the town embarks on a post-COVID-19 recovery.

One idea the committee is expected to chew over: use of public spaces for outdoor dining.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET DISRUPTION FEARED

red bank kristen winters 051820Kris Winters says her White Street shop, Cabana 19, was just getting back on its feet from last year’s streetscape disruption when the pandemic hit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

A Red Bank construction project looms large for some business owners as they start to crawl out from under one of the worst economic crises in American history.

They’re pleading for “empathy” as they try to avoid a third consecutive blow in one year.

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RED BANK: PICKUP PARKING ZONES SET

red bank pickup parking 051820Downtown shoppers will be able to park in designated spots for quick pickups from restaurants and retail stores throughout town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

With merchants starting to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank officials unveiled a temporary parking plan Monday aimed at helping them regain an economic toehold.

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RED BANK: GOOD EATING AND SHARING

red bank paradiddle 040820Leandro Batista, co-owner of Paradiddle Griddle on West Front Street in Red Bank, awaits customers picking up orders last week.

Here’s some updated information about restaurant operations in town, as well as a way to help feed healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: TRANQUIL SCENES ABOUND

fair haven harding bird sanctuary 040720red bank scenes 041220 A rare Redshirted Strollerpusher was spotted in the Harding Bird Sanctuary in Fair Haven Tuesday afternoon. A more common sight these days: a man with takeout dinner unconcerned about his safety crossing car-free Broad Street in Red Bank. 

Three weeks in, the COVID-19 shutdown of non-essential activity has turned the normally bustling Greater Red Bank Green into tranquil, nearly empty streetscapes, offices and shops. Check out the pictures below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LIFE BECOMES A MASK-ERADE

fair haven masks 040320.jpgred bank covid-19 masks 040420 3Mask-wearing workers installed a sign for a law office in in Fair Haven Friday. “It’s not as annoying as I thought it would be,” one said of the mask.

That day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people wear cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in settings where social distancing is difficult.

The suggestion was quickly taken up, as seen in the photos above and below taken on the Greater Red Bank Green Friday and Saturday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ COMMENTS LESS HEATED

red bank what's going on herefair haven dunkin This time a year ago, Fair Haven was a town divided. The issue? Whether to allow a Dunkin’ coffee shop to fill a vacancy in the River Road strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket. The back-and-forth on the Fair Haven, NJ Facebook page got so nasty that the moderator shut down commenting on the issue.

Well this week, seven months after the planning board approved the shop, the still-empty retail space got its Dunkin’ sign, and the moderator allowed a resumption of comments. So how’d that go?

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ON THE GREEN: QUIET STREETS

red bank broad street 032720One week into New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order, imposed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, downtown Red Bank was a well-lit ghost burg Friday night. 

In fact, the Greater Red Bank Green maintained a near-empty calm through much of the weekend. See additional photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: ESCAPING INTO FRESH AIR

red bank maple avenue joggerIt’s a bit incongruous: beautiful spring weather amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has the Greater Red Bank Green, and parts of the world, on near-lockdown.

Of course, Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order issued Saturday allows for socially-distanced outdoor exercise. And a redbankgreen swing through the Greater Green Thursday found plenty of residents taking in the fresh air, including a jogger on Maple Avenue in Red Bank, above. 

Check out more photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: SCENES FROM THE PANDEMIC

red bank breezeway 032120red bank jack's music 032120Panic? What panic? In the hours before and after Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order issued Saturday, redbankgreen‘s wandering lens found few outward signs of the anxiety that has certainly gripped the Greater Red Bank Green and much of the planet. In fact, an air of serenity pervaded the streets.

Above, a couple passed through the breezeway on East Front Street heading toward Marine Park in Red Bank, while a notice on the door of Jack’s Music Shop announced its closing, as mandated by Murphy’s order.

Check out more photos taken Friday, Saturday and Sunday below. (Photos by John T. Ward and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: HOPEFUL MESSAGES IN CHALK

Their activities limited by the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-at-home” order issued Saturday, neighbors on John Street in Red Bank decorated their walks and driveways with art and encouraging messages Sunday.

“A chalk walk is a perfect, socially-distanced way to get out of your house, and gives the kids something fun to do and see,” says resident Kate Mills.

More photos below. (Reader photos. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: TAKEOUT, ANYONE?

red bank good karma 031520Good Karma Café on East Front Street doing takeout-only business Sunday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

You need to eat, and restaurants, facing dire prospects during the COVID-19 pandemic, need customers more than ever before.

Downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter has compiled a list of borough eateries showing which are open for takeout business and which offer delivery.

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VIRUS IMPACTS: EMPTY STREETS DOWNTOWN

red bank streets 031720 1red bank bus 031720 1It’s like 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning,” Brian Benjamin, of Two River Mortgage and Investment, said of downtown Red Bank.

In fact, it was around 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day. Numerous businesses were closed, with no immediate plans to open, given Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order of Monday, mandating far-reaching limits on activity to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But the New Jersey transit bus to Asbury Park was still running, with a mask-wearing driver at the wheel. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

VIRUS IMPACTS: QUIET STREETS AT CURFEW

red bank broad st. 031620 1fair haven NO. 1 CHINESE 031620 1It’s not that no one was out on the streets of the Greater Green Monday night. Around 9 p.m., an hour into a voluntary curfew encouraged by Governor Phil Murphy earlier in the day, one could still see moving cars and the occasional pedestrian or cyclist.

But it was also possible to stand in the middle of Broad Street, above, or Shrewsbury Avenue, below, in Red Bank for long intervals without fear of being run over. 

“It’s like the zombie apocalypse,” one pedestrian said of the eerie quiet.

At right, a woman and her cellphone had the No. 1 Chinese restaurant in Fair Haven all to herself.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank shrewsbury avenue

RED BANK: STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED; SEATING AT BARS & RESTAURANTS BANNED

red bank catch 19 031520Customers gathered outside Catch 19 restaurant on Broad Street Sunday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenRed Bank officials declared a “local state of emergency” Sunday night in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, ordering bars, restaurants and other large facilities to cease operations at the end of the day Monday.

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FAIR HAVEN: PIZZERIA CLOSING

fair haven 583 river road 030420The building that’s been home to Umberto’s Pizzeria for decades will continue as a restaurant, according to a filing with the borough. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Umberto’s Pizzeria, a Fair Haven stalwart for at least 35 years, is closing at the end of the month, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page earlier this week.

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RED BANK: HOMEWARES SHOP MOVES RIGHT IN

red bank 19 monmouth st.City Barn/Country Penthouse has opened for business at 19 Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

Commercial real estate deals rarely happen as quickly as the one that led to Friday’s opening of a new homewares store in downtown Red Bank.

Read all about here in redbankgreen‘s latest edition of Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: BRUNCH, AND MORE, IN CHURN

red bank 20 broad brunch 020420Brunch opened last week at 20 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEaters have a fresh new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown Red Bank.

Read all about chef Ray Tutella’s venture and other business comings and goings in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT REVIEW BEGINS

red bank 121 monmouth stAn elevation showing the Monmouth Street side of the proposed Salerno project. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: The February 20 hearing for this project has been rescheduled at applicant’s request. No new date yet.]

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 59-unit apartment project should be allowed to exceed Red Bank’s height and density limits based on the objectives of the borough’s master plan, its architect testified Thursday night.

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