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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RED BANK: CRISIS DELAYS FARMERS’ MARKET

Mother’s Day is still five weeks away, but this year’s edition won’t be accompanied by the customary opening of the Red Bank Farmer’s Market.

George Sourlis, whose family-owned Galleria of Red Bank hosts the popular Sunday market, tells redbankgreen that this year’s start has been indefinitely postponed by the COVID-19 crisis. It will open once the pandemic has passed, he said.

The seasonal farmstand typically runs through November.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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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RED BANK: FOODTOWN STATEMENT

red bank foodtown produce 031220Nearly empty shelves in the produce department at Red Bank Foodtown Thursday night. (Photo by Matt Anderson. Click to enlarge.)

Foodtown in Red Bank is “working hard” to ensure a steady supply of essential products and has intensified its cleaning and sanitizing efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broad Street supermarket said in a statement issued Friday.

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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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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN UP FOR REVIEW

red bank 121 monmouth streetA rendering of the Monmouth Street side of the project proposed for the Monmouth Street site, below. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank 121 monmouth streetOn the Red Bank zoning board’s agenda Thursday night: a 59-unit apartment project proposed for the onetime site of Clarence ClemonsBig Man’s West rock venue.

Also up for review: a restaurant instead of a laundromat on Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: SHELL GETS SHOP OK ON THIRD TRY

red bank shell stationThe car wash at left is to be replaced by a convenience store. (April, 2019 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a favorable zoning change last year, Red Bank’s lone Shell station won approval to add a convenience store Monday night.

A neighbor called the proposal “lipstick on a pig.” The planning board’s chairman called it “a better pig.”

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FAIR HAVEN: SIGNS OF WINTER SCENE HERE

fair haven jim fitzmaurice muralfair haven jim fitzmaurice muralAs he does with each change of season, artist Jim Fitzmaurice of Rumson created a mural on the side of Fair Haven Hardware in Fair Haven Thursday afternoon. His latest tableau depicts ice skaters on a pond surrounded by snow.

Nature is expected to deliver its own version of winter to the Greater Red Bank Green in coming days. Though freezing temperatures Friday are unlikely to produce much ice on local waters, the area could get a bit of snow and sleet Saturday.

Here’s the extended forecast. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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FAIR HAVEN: AN ELEGANT ENIGMA ON DISPLAY

red bank what's going on herefair haven haute coutureThe window display at Haute Couture Creations as seen last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Luminously elegant in her strapless white gown, she swans through a flock of origami doves behind full-length windows in the heart of Fair Haven’s quaint business district.

For more than a decade, that mannequin and another on display at Haute Couture Creations have been something of an enigma for passersby: their outfits never seem to change. But thanks to a Facebook thread, only recently have locals collectively realized something even odder: the boutique itself is never open for business.

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RED BANK: CHURNING OUT A THIRD VENTURE

toss'd erica lieberman nick napoletano 010820Erica Lieberman and Nick Napoletano in their third Monmouth Street restaurant, called Toss’d. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, retail, retail churnWhat’s the secret to surviving as owners in Red Bank’s crowded dining market?

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, a pair of accidental restaurateurs share some insights as they prepare to launch their third concurrent venture in the heart of downtown.

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RED BANK: SCAVONE TO LEAVE RIVERCENTER

scavone menna red bank, nj,Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at the opening of RiverCenter’s offices on Broad Street in October, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Jim Scavone, who led Red Bank RiverCenter for the past six years, is leaving the downtown promotion organization.

He won’t be going far, though: he’s taking a job at Hackensack Meridian Health at Riverview Medical Center, just on the edge of special improvement district he managed.

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