FINAL INNING AT FAMEABILIA

JuliebaronYogi said it ain’t over ’til it’s over, but after seven years on Monmouth Street, Julie Baron and husband Bruce are signing off at their memorabilia showcase store.

By TOM CHESEK

RETIREMENT SALE. EVERYTHING MUST GO. 50% OFF.

The signs went up on Monday morning across the windows of the downtown Red Bank storefront, pretty much taking all who saw them by surprise.

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Even owner Julie Baron admitted to some mixed feelings when she first viewed the new signage from across Monmouth Street. But then, it was Julie’s decision, finalized just this past Sunday night, to close the doors of Fameabilia, the high-profile memorabilia and collectibles business that she and her husband Bruce have operated at 42 Monmouth for nearly seven and a half years.

Bittersweet as the decision may have been, it represents a clean break for the Rumson residents, who have no plans to seek a buyer for the established business, or to continue as an online entity. The owners are committed to staying open through Christmas Eve — “even if there’s just one thing left hanging on the wall,” in Baron’s words — and the store’s regular seven-day schedule is expected to be observed for the duration.

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FUTURE UNFOCUSED FOR EYEWEAR SHOP?

Img_2431A sign on the door says Chic Optique lost its lease. Records indicate the property is about to be sold.

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Chic Optique, the upmarket eyewear shop that raised eyebrows over its ample amount of unused floorspace when it opened less than two years ago, is gone.

A handwritten note taped to the door of the storefront at 65 Broad Street says the business lost its lease. “We are in the process of rebuilding in another location in Red Bank,” says the note, signed by “Management.”

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A ROLL OF TAPE, BUT HOLD THE CHERRIES

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We thought we had a big scoop when we reported back in July, 2006 (yes, newbies, redbankgreen is that old) that Ben & Jerry’s was planning to open a store on White Street.

The western end of the block, which sees relatively little foot traffic past Clearview Cinemas, would come alive with new businesses, triggering a land rush, we speculated. And things would only heat up if the long-debated parking garage was ever built on the White Street municipal lot.

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Well, that vision gradually melted away. Though a sign touting the ice cream purveyor’s anticipated arrival stood for months in the window of a vacant storefront at 68 White, the butter pecan, cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby frozen desserts never materialized.

But now, at least, the storefront is no longer vacant, thanks to the constant churn of retail establishments downtown, which are born, trade spaces and die with sometimes alarming frequency.

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