RED BANK: TRIO GUILTY OF TEACHER’S MURDER

jonelle meltonRed Bank teacher Jonelle Melton was slain in her Netpune City apartment in 2009.

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAlmost a decade after the death of Red Bank Middle School teacher Jonelle Melton, three men were found guilty Tuesday of her vicious torture and murder.

A jury in Freehold found the trio guilty of all charges in the case, according to a Twitter announcement early Tuesday afternoon from the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

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RED BANK: BASIE PIMPS STAGE TO PRESS

Signage touting the Asbury Park Press brand will be installed in front of the stage and projected elsewhere in the venue before and after shows. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After some 90 years as a lights-down sanctuary from the outside world, visitors to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre will be greeted by heavy pre- and post-show branding by the Asbury Park Press starting Tuesday.

According to an “exclusive” report about itself Monday, the Neptune-based Press will have its name in lights throughout the entertainment space: in front of the stage, on a drop-down screen, and on the walls before and after performances and during intermissions.

“You will be seeing an act that is performing on the Asbury Park Press Stage,” Basie CEO Adam Philipson is quoted as saying.

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RUMSON: SIGN OF CHANGE

russell-bettes-110416
wyb-021269As part of the rebranding of Rumson’s What’s Your Beef restaurant, new owner Marilyn Schlossbach had the sign removed last week, and in the process uncovered evidence of a past identity of the place: Nolan’s. 

A quick search of the Red Bank Register archive indicates the business operated as Jack Nolan’s, a “gay ’90s night club,” in the early 1960s, but wound up in receivership. 

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RUMSON: “IT’S NO LONGER WHAT’S YOUR BEEF”

what's your beef 020416After a remodeling, What’s Your Beef will reopen Monday with a new name: Russell & Bette’s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Seven months after restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach and partners acquired What’s Your Beef in Rumson, alarming some stalwart customers, the remodeled restaurant will reopen Monday with a new name: Russell & Bette’s.

It will also boast another change that’s likely to get some snouts out of joint: the salad bar where customers used to line up and load up while awaiting their self-selected steaks has been eliminated, Schlossbach told redbankgreen Wednesday.

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RUMSON: WHAT’S YOUR REAL BEEF?

whats your beef 061516 1marilyn schlossbach 061516Jersey Shore restaurant maven Marilyn Schlossbach, below, hosted a free-food-and-drink “coming out party” Wednesday night at Rumson’s What’s Your Beef, which she and partners acquired in March.

The event was held, in part, to counteract “negative chatter” among some commenters about the change in ownership to the 47-year-old River Road chophouse, Schlossbach told redbankgreen

“We just wanted people to see that we’re approachable and kind, as well as to highlight some of the new menu items,” Schlossbach said, as a full-house crowd sampled new menu items, such as beef bourguignon, mussels in garlic and white white wine, and pork and shrimp dumplings. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON: WHAT’S YOUR BEEF CHANGES HOOVES

what's your beef 020416Jersey Shore restaurant maven Marilyn Schlossbach and partners have acquired What’s Your Beef in Rumson. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach is used to expectations: when she opens a new place, customers come looking for out-of-the-box creativity. Whether it’s been the casual fare of Langosta Lounge or Pop’s Garage, or the fine dining of now-gone Trinity and the Pope, foodies salivate when she introduces something new.

But with her latest endeavor, Schlossbach and her partners find themselves having to tamp down expectations. Why? Because the restaurant in question — What’s Your Beef, in Rumson — isn’t new, and its devoted, carnivorous fans aren’t looking for change.

“They have a very strong customer base here of loyal people who come every week,” Schlossbach told redbankgreen. “We don’t want to scare them away.”

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RED BANK: SHEEHAN RACE LEAVING TOWN

sheehan race 061315 136Runners cooling down on Broad Street after last year’s race. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

Red Bank, it seems, has hosted its final George Sheehan Classic, the road race named for the longtime borough physician credited with fostering the worldwide mania for amateur running.

The five-kilometer event, traditionally held in June, will be merged with the Asbury Park 5k in August, according to a cryptic, two-sentence post on the event’s website.

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RED BANK: BOULANGERIE OPENS ART SHOW

100214 boulangerie2Exhibit No. 9 gallery owner Tom White, center, discusses the artwork now showing at Antoinette Boulangerie in Red Bank. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

100214 boulangerie5Curated art exhibits that could previously only be seen in Asbury Park at Exhibit No. 9 gallery can now also be enjoyed avec croissants and other treats onMonmouth Street in Red Bank.

Antoinette Boulangerie opened its doors last week to art and pastry lovers alike with in an exhibition titled “Dessert for the Eyes.”  The stylish opening reception, hosted by bakery owners Ayca User and her sister, Zeynep Ozdimer, featured works from around the globe, chosen by Exhibit No. 9 owners Tom and Lois White.

“The art in the gallery will change often, so it won’t always be the same thing on the walls,” User said, while guests snacked on decadent chocolate-covered strawberries and coconut macaroons.

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RED BANK WINS ‘GREAT’ DOWNTOWN VOTE

broad st rb 061512A view along Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The votes are in, and Red Bank is the most popular downtown in central New Jersey, according to the state chapter of the American Planning Association.

In online voting, the borough outpolled Asbury Park by just 35 votes, out of nearly 6,900 cast, with Somerville close behind in the three-way contest.

The designation is another feather in the cap for the borough, which was named the third-best small town in America by Smithsonian Magazine in 2012. It’s also something Red Bank RiverCenter can leverage in its efforts to fill store vacancies and bring in shoppers, said executive director Jim Scavone.

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RED BANK: IS THIS A ‘GREAT’ DOWNTOWN?

broad st rb 2 061512A view along Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03What’s your favorite New Jersey downtown?

The state chapter of the American Planning Association is asking the public for its input on the question, and Red Bank is among the candidates.

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RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”
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RETRO FASHION OUT, ASIAN EATERY PENDING

43 broad 020414Backward Glances’ owner cited rising rents and diminishing cool as factors in her decision to leave Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508After 28 years in Red Bank, vintage clothing and accessories boutique Backward Glances has departed for Asbury Park.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen Retail Churn: an Asian restaurant hopes to open in English Plaza, just a few doors away from a new hair salon that’s readying for its debut.

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RED BANK FIRE HERO IN MORE HOT WATER

robert womble 122111Robert Womble Jr. at Red Bank borough hall in December, 2011, when he was honored for heroism. (Click to enlarge)

just_in1A Red Bank man who was lauded for heroism in a 2011 fire is in legal trouble again.

Robert Womble Jr., 53, of Evergreen Terrace, was arrested by Asbury Park police Saturday and charged with trying to steal a $40 item from a Rite Aid store in that city, according to a police report.

Police said Womble scratched the hands and arms of two employees who tried to stop him.

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RUMSON OUTDRAWS ASBURY IN GUN BUYBACK

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01A two-day gun-buyback program aimed at getting unwanted firearms out of circulation ended with a bit of a bang this weekend.

Police in affluent, suburban Rumson collected more weapons than their counterparts in urban Asbury Park.

The outcome surprised even Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, whose office oversaw the program. And it made the anonymous donor who funded the program look “brilliant,” he told redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: GUN BUYBACK, NO QUESTIONS ASKED

AUTHORITIES_RUMSON2Rumson is one of two Monmouth County towns that will serve as collection sites Friday and Saturday for a gun buyback program.

Weapons may be surrendered anonymously, with no questions asked, at the borough police department and at a site in Asbury Park under a program run by the county prosecutor’s office.

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RED BANK: CHEATING, FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete styles the hair of Maritza Soler of Port Monmouth last week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Done2In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, Red Bank hair stylist Christine Zilinski jumped in as a volunteer to help residents of Union Beach cope with the aftermath.

It didn’t seem like enough, though. Zilinski said she wanted to do more. She wanted to use her strongest skills.

Of course, the answer to what that might mean was right there in her mirror. And it came with a sexy catchphrase: “Cheat on your hairdresser.”

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WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR SONGS AND STORIES

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank is the kickoff site for the three-day event. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?

Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.

Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.

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IN ASBURY AND IN PRINT: RATS AND BARFLIES

Cliff Galbraith with his two recent comic books, above, and talking with fan John Hanley on Broad Street, below. (Click to enlarge)

This Saturday, a pair of Red Bank comic book aficionados – dealer and Comic Book Men star Robert Bruce, and author/illustrator Cliff Galbraith – are putting on Asbury Park Comic Con 2, reprising an event they debuted in May. redbankgreen spoke with Galbraith recently about his own relationship with the printed form of his work.

By JOHN T. WARD

It took a kind of SMACK! to the head, but Red Bank’s Cliff Galbraith learned his lesson:

When it comes to comic books, the web isn’t nirvana.

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RUNNING FOR THE KIDS

Done3Nicole Corre, seen below running this year’s Boston Marathon, plans to tackle the five boroughs of NYC for the Boys & Girls Club in November. (Photo provided by Nicole Corre. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

When Nicole Corre, a Rumson native, heard about the Monmouth County Boys & Girls Club’s recent struggles, she knew she wanted to do anything she could to help out. So she turned her favorite hobby into a fundraiser.

Corre has done a lot in recent years to connect her free time with helping charities, most notably – as called out by redbankgreen in 2011 – working to start a Jersey Shore chapter of WGirls, a nonprofit network focused on helping women and children. An avid runner, she typically dedicates her races and marathons to local organizations.

This year, she’ll be running her second New York City marathon, her fifth overall, this time for the Boys & Girls of Red Bank and Asbury Park, as well as dedicating her 31st birthday to the cause.

“I don’t need or want much, so I asked my friends to just donate whatever money they would have spent if we had gone out for dinner or drinks,” said Corre. Two days after her birthday is the 26.2-mile marathon, an event Corre said can be “pandemonium.”

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BEWITCHED ON BRIDGE

glen-18-48-18A Manhattan transplant turned go-getter on the greater Green, stylist Glen Goldbaum hosts “a magical evening of fantasy, hair, art and more” at his two West Side salons. (Photo by Danny Sanchez)

By TOM CHESEK

From the day that he opened the first of his two neighboring hair/ eye/ makeup studios on Red Bank’s Bridge Avenue, superstar stylist Glen Goldbaum has operated with an ulterior motive of racking up a to-die-for client base.

The Manhattan transplant, who earned a following as an instructor with Vidal Sassoon and the celeb-packed NYC salons of Patrick Melville and Kim Lepine, relocated his residence to the River Plaza side of Middletown a few years back with his wife Stephanie and kids — and promptly hit the ground running (or, more often than not, pedaling his bike) on a mission to “introduce a totally new creative energy to Red Bank’s West Side.”

Known as much for his charitable endeavors as for the public-invited art/ music happenings he’s hosted both inside and outside his salons, Goldbaum ups the ante on the “Left Bank” groove factor Saturday night with an event that defies easy description, even as it draws from the energy of two of Asbury Park’s most styling storefronts.

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RED BANK RENEWS PUSH FOR LATE CLOSINGS

rb-late-nightBars and restaurants are doing their job keeping doors open late, some say, but more merchants must stay open to attract more visitors. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As Red Bank continues to claw its way out of an economic hole it hasn’t seen since the we-don’t-like-to-talk-about-it Dead Bank days, Mayor Pasquale Menna tends to periodically jab downtown’s retailers with a reminder that it’s going to take work to bring Red Bank back as a top destination in the region and beyond.

Lately, though, he’s taken a firmer approach.

At a council meeting last month, when two requests for car shows on Broad Street appeared on the agenda, he paused from the typical rubber-stamping of such requests.

“This is a chance to tickle, pinch, smack our retailers to stay open on Sunday,” Menna said, and then pointed to Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams, who was seated in the audience. “Get the word out. Tell them to stay open on Sunday. I might start smacking instead of pinching.”

It was another lash at a limp horse he’s been flogging since before Red Bank’s business dipped with the national economy. For years, Menna has been urging merchants to move away from the nine-to-five mindset and keep the lights on after dark and on Sunday, when too many stores, he says, are closed.

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JAZZ & BLUES TOO HOT TO HANDLE

jazzblues-2011-1jazzblues-2011-2Torrid heat and humidity, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, made the early hours of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival at the Middletown Arts Center a hard sell Saturday afternoon.

Formerly held in Marine Park in Red Bank, the festival this year splits its venues between Middletown, Long Branch and Asbury Park over three months. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

IN RED BANK, AN INSTANT FAMILY ADDITION

clappsJeff and Donna Clapp with their adopted son, Cristopher, outside their home on Rector Place. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Jeff and Donna Clapp decided long ago they would never have children. The couple, who’ve been married 17 years, were busy with their careers, loved traveling and enjoyed life alone in their first-floor apartment in Red Bank.

But that all changed last year, when the Clapps fell hard for a long-haired boy who Donna Clapp says shares “spiritual DNA” with them.

Before they knew it, the couple were signing paperwork to officially adopt a son — a 17-year-old on the edge of legal independence, making for a story that summons a Hollywood script a la The Blind Side.

Today, there would a be a hole in this unexpected family if that boy weren’t around telling jokes or playing video games in his bedroom.

“I can’t imagine what things would be without him,” Jeff Clapp, 42, said.

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CLEMONS RECALLED AS A TRUE ‘BIG MAN’

clarenceClarence Clemons, right, backs up Stormin’ Norman Seldin, behind the piano, at the Lock, Stock and Barrel in Fair Haven sometime in the late ’70s. (Photo courtesy of Norman Seldin; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’d already soared into the music industry stratosphere alongside Bruce Springsteen when Clarence Clemons bumped into an old friend, the guy who helped get him his start in the Jersey Shore music scene, and asked if he could sit in, like old times, playing the saxophone.

The late-1970s encounter took place in Sea Bright, where Clemons had a home and was known for towing local kids around with fishing poles for some post-tour R&R.

And earlier this year, to celebrate his 69th birthday, Clemons bought a plane ticket for a longtime friend and former bandmate to fly down to Florida to sing at the party.

Clemons, who passed away Saturday from complications of a stroke, invested as much of himself in his friends and community as he did in his music, friends told redbankgreen in interviews this week, following the Big Man’s death.

Flags will be flown at half-staff throughout New Jersey in Clemons’ honor Thursday. A funeral service was held Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida.

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