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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: MONMOUTH MUSIC TO CLOSE

Monmouth Music owner Mario DiBartolo plans to open the STEM Music Academy in the space. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Even as he was buying Monmouth Music two years ago, Mario DiBartolo knew he was swimming against the current that has swamped so many small retailers in the past two decades.

Yes, he hoped to retain the Red Bank store’s loyal customers and continue selling guitars and other musical instruments, he told redbankgreen last year. But his investment was really in the Monmouth Street real estate that housed the 30-year-old business, he said.

Now, he’s throwing in the towel on retail.

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RED BANK: TWO D.I.Y. SIGN SHOPS OPEN

Joanna Rapuzzi in her newly opened AR Workshop, at 43A Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Do-it-yourself rustic signmaking is now the latest thing in downtown Red Bank, with the recent openings of two franchised workshops downtown.

 

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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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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RED BANK: WAWA TOUTS TRAFFIC PLAN

A site plan for the proposed project shows the store at center, the fueling area as the yellow rectangle, and center lane left-turn markings on Newman Springs Road, at bottom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rather than worsening conditions for motorists, a proposed Wawa convenience store and filling station in Red Bank would come with roadway upgrades to improve traffic flow and safety near a busy intersection, witnesses told the borough zoning board Thursday night.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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