RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

18 broad 061315At 18 Broad Street, now concealed by scaffolding, the Art Deco foyer seen below will be replaced by one more reminiscent of the building’s 19th-century origins, the architect said. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

18 broad 040615Accelerating downtown Red Bank’s flight from retail to food, the zoning board approved the conversion of a longtime shoe store to a restaurant Thursday night.

Dominating the two-hour hearing were two issues: whether the new owner of 18 Broad Street should be permitted to have three apartments upstairs, rather than the two allowed under the zoning ordinance, and whether the Art Deco foyer should be saved or replaced.

Barely mentioned: the impact of the 76-seat restaurant on parking.

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RED BANK: FOCUS ON FOYER WINDOWS

18 broad 040615The foyer of the former If the Shoe Fits store is the last remaining example of Art Deco design downtown, say preservationists. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: The zoning board meeting on the 18 Broad Street proposal was cancelled. The application was rescheduled for June 18.]

18 broad 010715A proposal to turn a former downtown Red Bank shoe store into a restaurant and replace its distinctive curved-glass entryway is slated for review at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting.

Preservationists have raised concerns about the plan for 18 Broad Street, which is located in the historic district, because, they say, it would eliminate the last remaining example of Art Deco design in the commercial district.

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RED BANK: MORE TABLES COMING?

12 w front 111114The owners of the Downtown, at right above, hope to expand into the vacant retail space at left for more seating, including a rooftop dining area. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe already head-spinning rate at which downtown Red Bank is abandoning retail in favor of restaurants may soon accelerate.

Borough officials are weighing two new change-of-use proposals for eateries in the district.

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CHURN: DESIGN CENTER FINDS NEW DIGS

rb design ctr 110914 3Plans for an art gallery are out, but the Red Bank Design Center is in, opening next month at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Five months ago, a giant image of a cannabis leaf in the papered-over windows at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road led some passersby to wonder if Red Bank was getting a medical marijuana dispensary.

Nope to dope: that was just artist David Benegas being provocatively playful about his plans to occupy the long-vacant Lamplighter space with an art gallery.

Well, those plans have now gone up in smoke. Fortunately for the landlord, however, so did Amy Manor‘s plan to create a design mecca for interior decorators over on West Front Street.

This edition of Retail Churn has the details…

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CHURN: BLING, BUBBLE TEA AND BUSTED DEALS

15 white 101014After just a year and a half, Shore Scoop closes, giving way soon to Chill Bubble Tea at 15 White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThere’s lots to report here in the 200th installment of Retail Churn, as the comings and goings of storefront businesses and restaurants on the greater Red Bank Green is as lively as we’ve seen yet.

Take it past the jump for a thumbnail tour.

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CHURN: PUMPING NEW LIFE INTO FRONT

danielle buccellato 042214Danielle Buccellato in her new fitness studio, Renaissance Pilates. Below, the facade of the long-empty Love Lane Tuxedos is about to get a makeover. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

25 w front 3 050214Pretty much equidistant from the northern end of Broad Street in Red Bank, two new businesses are revitalizing long-dormant storefronts on East and West Front Streets.

To the east, Renaissance Pilates has taken a chunk of space in what used to be Kislin’s Sporting Goods.

And on West Front, a decade of disuse and dilapidation is being reversed for the Red Bank Design Center, a furniture-and-finishes showcase to serve the interior design trade.

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RED BANK: SHOWING SMOKERS THE DOOR

Amy Manor is closing off the vestibule to her design studio, above, because of damage she said has been done by nighttime smokers. Below, Manor with cigarette butts left behind the shop. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Amy Manor is sick of blood, vomit, and broken windows.

She’s giving the vestibule of her eponymous Red Bank interior design studio, at 4B West Front Street, a makeover in reaction to damage that she says patrons of local bars have repeatedly inflicted.

At a cost of about $12,000, Manor is enclosing the vestibule.

The small cubby in front of the shop received particular abuse because of its ability to provide shelter to patrons of nearby bars. Partygoers have been known to huddle in the space during the winter to shield themselves, and their cigarettes, from the harsh elements.

Naturally, trouble ensued.

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ELECTRICAL FAILURE SMOKES OUT FEMME

A cleaning crew and electricians were at work at Femme By Ashley Monday afternoon after all the merchandise and drapery had been removed. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just five weeks in business, Femme by Ashley, the Red Bank lingerie and swimwear store owned by former tabloid queen Ashley DuPre, was closed this weekend as a result of a small electrical fire.

A transformer connected to the lighting system malfunctioned last Thursday morning, Dupré’s boyfriend, T.J. Earle, tells redbankgreen.

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DUPRÉ PLUGS FEMME IN POST SWAN SONG

A screen grab of Ashley Dupré’s final sex-and-relationship advice column, which ran Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Moving on to what she calls “the next chapter in my life,” Ashley Dupré – the high-priced escort in New York’s 2008 ‘Luv Guv’ scandal –  has pulled the plug on her career as a New York Post sex-and-relationship advice columnist in order to focus on her new Red Bank lingerie and swimwear store, she says.

In her swan-song column, published on Saturday, Dupré thanked readers “for helping me find my path in life” while at the same time plugging her Broad Street boutique, Femme by Ashley.

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ASHLEY DUPRÉ SETS UP SHOP AND MOVES ON

Ashley DuPré embarked on a new life Monday with the opening of Femme by Ashley, her Red Bank swimwear and lingerie boutique, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Can a Jersey Girl whose work as a 22-year-old prostitute helped derail a political career in spectacular fashion return home and remake herself as a small-town retailer?

Four years after her high-priced hotel romps with Eliot Spitzer dynamited his tenure as governor of New York and made her infamous, Ashley Dupré says she turned a page Monday with the opening of Femme by Ashley, a lingerie and swimwear boutique on the choicest block in downtown Red Bank.

The shop, Dupré told redbankgreen in an exclusive interview, “is almost like the beginning of the rest of my life.

“I made a bunch of mistakes when I was younger, and I feel like, for the first time in my life, I’m growing into an adult, and I’m really excited about that,” she said.

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