SMASHING INTO TREES BUT KEEPING COOL


12:24 p.m.
Molly Fallon of Middletown might have be doing little more than crashing into virtual trees in a racing game at Yestercades, but she’s just happy to be keeping cool indoors as the temperature outside pushes past 90 degrees. The retro gaming arcade on Broad Street in Red Bank was the first place Molly’s dad, Vinny, thought to bring her for heatstroke-free entertainment.

“Today, we decided to do something to get out without actually being out,” he said, while trying his own hand at a game of pinball. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

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TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOYSTICKS

Here’s a video that tracks a couple of Red Bank kids as they explore Yestercades, the retro gaming emporium that’s been the buzz of Broad Street since even before it opened in October.

Niko Porter, a fourth-grader at the Red Bank Middle School, and Patricio Vera, a senior at Red Bank Regional, took a whirlwind tour of the arcade, which features such classics as Pac Man, Frogger, Space Invaders and Tetris.

Niko, by the way, no longer sports that awesome mop of hair. He recently donated it to be made into a wig for a cancer patient.

redbankgreen‘s picture person Trish Russoniello did the edit.

RACK ‘EM UP: BILLIARDS MAY RETURN TO RB

14-w-frontIf approved by the zoning board, a billiards hall called Lucky Break will move into the long-vacant storefront at 14 West Front. (Click to enlarge)

[This article was updated with new info at 12:25 p.m. Thursday, September 21.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna’s push for more after-hours activities downtown appears to be gaining momentum.

The prospective tenant of a West Front Street storefront that’s been vacant for more than three years is proposing to create a pool hall there, redbankgreen has learned.

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ARCADE (BEEP!) RUNS THE BOARD (BWOOP!)

yestercades003An artist’s rendering of the ’boutique’ video game arcade planned for 80 Broad Street. Below right, owner Ken Kalada shares a laugh with zoning board member Tom Williams after the board’s unanimous approval. (Click to enlarge)

ken-kaladaAs a Pac-Man-loving preteen in Lincroft, Ken Kalada used to weep, he said, because his father wouldn’t allow him to visit a video game arcade in Eatontown because it was too seedy.

By the time he was 12, though, Kalada was collecting video games and pinball machines of his own, acquiring them via Usenet groups before eBay was a gleam in anyone’s eye. He was also spending time soaking up the atmosphere at a a retro pool hall that opened in the Galleria at Red Bank in the ’90s.

Neither experience, he said, wrecked his morals. In fact, people of his cohort – he’s 29 – and up to their late 40s are deeply nostalgic for the Mario Brothers and other electronic games of their youth, he said.

To answer that need, Kalada intends to transform a 2,800-square-foot former clothing store on Broad Street in Red Bank into a “boutique” video game lounge, one that’s open as late as 2 a.m. to satisfy the joystick cravings of eternal adolescence.

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