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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: 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 CHURN: VEGAN TAKEOUT OPENS

 Good Karma Café’s new takeout shop, Karma 2 Go, at the West Side Lofts. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA vegan mecca opens a new takeout shop, a framing business consolidates, and a party-services business holds a moving sale…

Read all about all three Red Bank businesses in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: AFTER SCATHING REPORT, WHAT?

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in front of the large-screen monitor he uses in staff meetings to track projects. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that a scathing review of municipal operations has landed on their desks, what will Red Bank’s leaders do with it?

It won’t go into a drawer to be forgotten, says the newly hired official charged with implementing most of its recommendations. In fact, he says, change is already underway.

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RED BANK: TWO EATERIES AND A ‘WILD EYE’

The Melting Pot features induction heating elements in tabletops to keep the pot contents melted. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A long-closed Red Bank restaurant re-opens, a new one headed by a pair of vaunted chefs announces its debut, and a new retail shop arrives with an intriguing pitch…

All in the latest edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER REBOOT BEGINS

Attendees filling out questionnaires at the RiverCenter strategy session at the Oyster Point Hotel Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid intensifying competition regionally for business investment and shoppers, Red Bank RiverCenter kicked off a four-month effort to redefine its vision for the downtown Monday night.

About 70 people, most of them merchants, gathered in a ballroom at the Oyster Point Hotel to hear from a consultant on how to determine “what you want this place to look like in 10 years,” as he put it.

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RED BANK: RETHINKING RIVERCENTER’S JOB

The downtown promotion agency RiverCenter kicks off a mission review next week, and is seeking public input, its officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Through his Monmouth Street store, the Cheese Cave, Steve Catania has been doing business in Red Bank for seven years. And for much of that time, he’s been involved in efforts to advance the interests of downtown retailers like himself.

But if you ask them, most probably couldn’t tell you what Red Bank RiverCenter‘s job really is, says Catania. And that’s a problem, given that it’s supposed to be their advocate.

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RED BANK: SIGNS OF CHURN DOWNTOWN

Sonya Cashner plans to open Broad & Brush at 26 Monmouth Street, one of two similar shops coming to town this summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two businesses that offer do-it-yourself instruction in making rustic signs plan to open in downtown Red Bank this summer.

Yeah, that’s a thing, apparently, part of what one of the new contenders calls a trend in “farmhouse decor.”

Read all about that, and more of course, in this custom handcrafted edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER KICKS IN ON PARKING

The borough council is expected to choose a consultant next week to assess parking needs in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Stalled since the November election, an effort to address parking issues in downtown Red Bank appears about to get back on track next week.

That’s when the borough council is expected to designate a parking consultant, to be paid for in part with funds from Red Bank RiverCenter.

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RED BANK: DISH TO SET FINAL TABLE

Dish will serve its last entrees and desserts on Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThere will be a changing of the tableware in coming weeks as one restaurant leaves downtown Red Bank and another takes its place, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

Also in this edition of Churn: a four-year-old ballet studio is growing by, um, leaps and bounds.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL PLAN OK’D

An exhibit used in the Coffee Corral hearing illustrates the placement of the new building, which would on Shrewsbury Avenue at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The existing shop would be used for roasting beans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Coffee Corral won approval for an ambitious West Side building plan Monday.

The borough planning board gave a unanimous OK for owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, to transform vacant land at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home for the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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RED BANK: LOOKING UPSTAIRS FOR PARKING

Local officials say the usage mix and vacancy rates of upper floors downtown factors into parking needs and taxes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

As the Red Bank council goes back to the drawing board in search of  parking solutions after last year’s abandoned flirtation with five developers, local officials admit they’ve got a problem upstairs.

They don’t know how much parking to allocate for upper-floor office and residential tenants downtown. Nobody, it turns out, has been keeping tabs.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL LOOKS TO EXPAND

Coffee Corral owner Courtlyn Crosson hopes to build a new, larger coffee shop, and a separate deli, on the empty lot at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six years after it opened in a tiny West Side construction office, Red Bank’s Coffee Corral is rarin’ for bigger pastures.

Owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, are scheduled to go before the borough planning board next month with an ambitious plan to transform the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home to the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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RED BANK: INDIAN, WITH A MEXICAN TWIST

Sourabh ‘Sam’ Jain plans to open Bombay River Indian Restaurant Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just two months of vacancy, the space that held Red Bank’s only Vietnamese restaurant is about to open as an Indian restaurant — with a culinary twist.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: news of a beauty supply shop putting the cap on its lipstick one last time.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANTS IN CHURN

A well-regarded New Jersey chef has won borough approval to open a restaurant, called Café Loret, at the corner of Broad Street and Peters Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallDowntown Red Bank is losing one restaurant and gaining another, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

Also in this roundup of comings and goings at street level: a signmaker has a new space, though you wouldn’t know it given the absence, so far, of any signage on the storefront.

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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.

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RED BANK: SIDEWALK CAFÉ, STAND ON AGENDA

A proposed ordinance change would allow Catch 19, a seafood restaurant that’s zoned as a club, to set up sidewalk dining like other downtown eateries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A downtown Red Bank restaurant that’s zoned as a club would be able to join the trend of sidewalk cafés under a law tweak up for consideration Wednesday night.

Also on the borough council agenda: a new vendor for the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park.

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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.

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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.

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RED BANK: UGLY BUILDING RAZED

Nominations are now being accepted for the designation of downtown Red Bank’s ugliest building, now that unofficial title holder has been razed.

What’s Going On Here? Click ‘read more’ for the answer. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE REDO PLANNED

The former Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank could see two nearly identical former firehouses getting makeovers in coming months.

The new owner of the former Independent Engine Company firehouse, at 32 Mechanic Street, is planning to create commercial space in the bay where firetrucks were once parked.

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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.

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