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Img_8893Sneak peak at the interior of the Westboro Post Office during renovation work this spring.

Like the check one waits for the mail carrier to deliver, the Westboro Post Office on Shrewsbury Avenue will arrive. Just not quite when expected.

The facility, at the intersection of Oakland Street, is set to reopen tomorrow, four months later than expected. It’s been closed since November 2005, when an employee complained about mold and mildew.

The reopening is sure to be a relief for West Side residents, many of whom who were forced to go out of town or contend with parking issues at the Broad Street post office for their mail needs.

Residents and business owners from Fairview, River Plaza and elsewhere were also frequent users of the storefront facility.

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Bob Colmorgen did it again, identifying last week’s shot as a boarded-up door at the former Anderson Brothers cold-storage warehouse at Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue.

Bob, a longtime Red Bank fireman in who continues to volunteer though he now lives in Eatontown, explains that the ‘F.O.’ on the sign alerts emergency responders to the presence of a floor opening they should look out for, lest they fall through.

With his answer, Bob wraps up Year One of Where Have I Seen This? which debuted with redbankgreen on June 1, 2006. And for the seventh time in the past 11 weeks, we’ve got one of the three Colmorgen siblings in the winners circle.

They know their home turf well, those Colmorgen kids.

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In the ever-chipper language of public relations, this year’s “Shopper Bowl Shuffle,” a downtown sales push in conjunction with the Super Bowl, is “bigger and better,” says a press release from RiverCenter.


The “better” remains open to interpretation, but in fact, Shopper Bowl II is shaping up as somewhat smaller than last year’s version. And the falloff in participation among downtown businesses illustrates the challenges that organizers face in corralling large numbers of merchants for themed, collective efforts.

RiverCenter, the nonprofit administrator of the downtown Special Improvement District, lists 41 stores, restaurants and salons that plan to be open and offering discounts of 20 percent or more this weekend. A year ago, there were 53. And only 38 of this year’s participating stores are expect to be open both days of the two-day event, down from an estimated 48 last year.

Nineteen businesses that were on last year’s list aren’t on this year’s, a drop partly attributable to store closings and relocations. Furnishings retailer Vizzini & Company, for example, moved from Monmouth Street to the Galleria, which is outside the district. Old Monmouth Candies, on Broad Street for the past two years, recently retrenched to its original Freehold location. The Paper Rose, a card store on Broad, is closing for renovations.

But it’s not only a matter of the steady churn of retail faces that accounts for the decline. A dozen businesses that held sales last year and still operate in the district didn’t re-up, even though nearly all of them plan to be open Saturday anyway. They are: Agostino Antiques, Coco Pari, Mustillo’s, Primas Home & Cafe, Surray Luggage, Maxwell & Sophie, Drummer’s Alley, Readie’s Fine Foods, Seldin’s Jewelry, Cigars Plus, Grieco’s Bakery and Quicksilver Handcrafted Jewelry.

What gives?

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Now winding down a 16-year stint as Mayor of Red Bank, Edward J. McKenna is scheduled to be feted by borough employees at a party scheduled for 5p Monday, Dec. 18, at the Two River Theater.


The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10 each. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Here’s something else to nosh on. redbankgreen sat down recently with McKenna in a conference room of his law firm, McKenna, DuPont, Higgins & Stone, for a look-back and look-forward interview. And he was as sentimental and pungent as ever.

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Ten questions for John and Rachel Decker, owners of Graman’s Vacuum & Appliance Parts Co. on Monmouth Street, at the corner of West Street. They live in Tinton Falls.

How long have you owned this business, and who had it before you?
John: We’ve been here for four years. I bought it from Gene Graman—“Uncle Gene,” though he’s no blood relation whatsoever. When I was growing up in River Plaza, Gene was the older guy in the neighborhood who never got married and had all the toys and all the fun: boats, motorcycles, Jet skis, snowmobiles, wave runners. My parents knew him before I was even born.

His shop was in Red Bank for 47 years, and in this location since 1964. He was previously closer to Broad on Monmouth Street. And surprisingly, there was a parking problem then, too.

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Sue Malmi of River Plaza (Middletown) was the first reader to pin down the location of the Doelger’s Antiques sign. It’s on the south side of the East Side Cafe on Broad Street, next to the Verizon building. So close, in fact, that, you can catch a glimpse of it only from just the right angle while walking or motoring by, and slowly at that.

Sue writes:

Weird coincidence—I noticed the “Doelger’s Antiques” for the first time on Monday as I was parking the car to go the Post Office, followed by lunch at (where else?) the East Side Cafe.

Anybody out there know when the Verizon (or presumably, the New Jersey Bell) building went up? Because its construction left Doelger’s announcing its presence to a brick wall just a few feet away. Which may help explain why Doelger’s, as far as we can tell, no longer has any presence at all.

Congrats to Sue. The answer box is now open for guesses about the location of this week’s Where. Send your entries via e-mail, please.

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First, our apologies to Deborah Harry for blowing her cover—if that’s what we’re doing. But surely all flame-haired singers and actresses who patronize the Red Bank Post Office on Broad Street know that some day, one way or another, they’re gonna get outted.

It seems the frontwoman for Blondie has a house on The Green. Records on file in Freehold show that Harry paid $1 million for a 2.1-acre property on Shadow Lake in the River Plaza section of Middletown in April, 2003. The seller was the Edwin J. Dobson III Trust.

OK, so this is three-year-old news. But searches in Google and area newspaper archives turn up just one reference to Harry’s domicile buried deep in an article about a fundraiser that ran last September in one of the Greater Media weeklies. And OK, so one of Harry’s neighbors tells us, in a what-cave-do-you-live-in tone, that Harry’s been a fixture in these parts for way longer than than three years. Still, her presence is news to us and every one of the other townies we asked about it, so we’ll score this as a mini-scoop. And we eagerly await a torrent of clicks from Blondie fans for whom no scoop is too mini.

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