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: KIDS SERVE UP GARDEN & MURALS

Students working on a mural in the background as new plants soak up the sun in the community garden at the Coffee Corral. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On a mostly vacant corner lot in Red Bank that was to have been the home of a new restaurant, the kids have taken over.

In recent weeks, students from the borough’s middle school have planted a community garden behind the Coffee Corral, at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. Others are in the process of transforming two sides of a garage into lush, coffee-themed murals.

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RED BANK: KIRKPATRICK QUITS RIVERCENTER

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420Laura Kirkpatrick addressing the Red Bank council in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time in just 17 months, the downtown promotion organization Red Bank RiverCenter is losing its executive director.

After just one, pandemic-filled year, Laura Kirkpatrick has resigned as operational head of the agency that manages the borough’s special improvement district, redbankgreen has learned.

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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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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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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER CHANGES RIPPED

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420RiverCenter Executive Director Laura Kirkpatrick speaks at a council session in March as Business Administrator Ziad Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard listen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna ripped a proposed overhaul of the bylaws of downtown promotion agency RiverCenter Wednesday night.

With two council members joining his critique, Menna said several of the changes would reduce council and public oversight of the agency, which he called “repugnant.”

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RED BANK: MENNA APOLOGIZES TO MURPHY

Governor Phil Murphy, right, and First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Red Bank Classic in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he apologized to Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday for an incident in which Murphy and his family were harassed by louts as they ate dinner downtown Sunday.

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RED BANK: MURPHYS HECKLED AT DINNER

red bank BROAD STREET PHIL TAMMY JOSH MURPHY 061820Governor Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy and their son Josh eating dinner at Char in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicGovernor Phil Murphy took an understanding tone Monday, less than 24 hours after he and his family were harangued by foulmouthed passersby while eating dinner in Red Bank.

Asking critics to “leave my family out of this,” Murphy also used the verbal assault as an indication that New Jerseyans need to seek common ground during “an incredibly stressful time.”

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