SEA BRIGHT: BACK TO THE BEACH @ DONOVAN’S

One of three bars at Donovan’s Reef is a thatched roof tiki bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Flip-flop wearing beachgoers can now drink their beverage of choice at any of three separate bars within the confines of the newly re-built Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. PieHole recently paid its first visit to the sprawling party palace since its resurrection from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

And is this the Jersey Shore? Swaying palm trees and ocean views could easily have your thinking you’re on a tropical vacation.
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RED BANK: AVOIDING THE CRUSH ON THE PATIO

Twilight on the back patio of Jamian’s Food and Drink finds bartender Rick Norman juicing oranges and pouring drinks. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Just down Monmouth Street in Red Bank from the Count Basie Theatre, Jamian’s Food and Drink  is packed before a show. Ticketholders dash in for a quick bite and something from the bar, and waitresses here know how to hustle, ensuring everyone gets in and out quickly.

Known for its varied live music scene, wall of locally produced artwork and surfer roots, it can be a little noisy and crowded inside. But out back, on Jamian’s patio, the vibe changes. Twinkling lights and background rock and roll make it easier to hold a conversation. This is where you’ll find a more relaxed scene. It’s also a good place to watch a game projected onto a big white wall.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT OPENS; DECK WON’T

“Upscale” 26 West on the Navesink opened Monday night in a building previously occupied by a string of nightclubs and Mexican restaurants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank got a new, upscale seafood restaurant Monday, even as its owners were a few blocks away, at borough hall, getting approval for an expansion.

But not the approval they originally sought.

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RED BANK: CHILLING AND MINGLING AT TEAK

Socializing on the rooftop at Teak with a cool Yellow Fever #2 cocktail. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Starting this week and for the rest of the summer, PieHole is giving its What’s For Lunch feature a rest. Instead, we’ll mingling and chilling out on the Greater Red Bank Green, visiting outdoor happy hours and ice cream stands, starting with today’s first stop:  the rooftop at Teak on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.
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RED BANK: RESTAURANT PLAN STILL IN FLUX

A rendering shows the proposed roof deck on the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company building, as seen from Union Street. (Rendering by Michael Unger. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After two planning board hearings, a proposal to convert the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company space in Red Bank to an upscale seafood restaurant remained undecided Monday night.

Still at issue: the impact of a planned roof deck on residences in the condo building next door.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT DECK PLAN SCRAPPED

26-w-front-elevation-011117A rendering of the remodeled former 10th Ave. Burrito Company building. An open-air deck proposed in January would now be enclosed under a revised plan. (Rendering by Cahill Studio. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The proposed conversion of the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company in Red Bank to an upscale seafood restaurant will have to wait at least two more weeks to move ahead.

The borough planning board scheduled a second hearing on the project Monday night after the West Front Street establishment’s new owner agreed to scrap plans for a second-floor deck.

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RED BANK: ADIOS, CANTINA; SEAFOOD COMING

26-w-front-011117-1A makeover into a seafood restaurant with a roof deck is proposed for the site of Caliente Cantina, a short-lived restaurant at 26 West Front Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Yet another Red Bank restaurant and bar is hoping to join the rooftop dining trend, and this one has a widescreen view of the Navesink River.

The plan to convert 26 West Front Street to a seafood restaurant follows the recent closing at that address of Caliente Cantina, itself a successor to the short-lived 10th Ave. Burrito.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A MOSTLY-NEW HARRY’S

100116harrys5The open-face steak sandwich at Harry’s is served on slices of garlic bread. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Dowdy decor was just one of the telling factors in the demise of Harry’s Lobster House in Sea Bright, and when it closed last January, and many thought that was the end of the institution that began 83 years earlier. And it was, sort of.

In its current, soft-opening phase, the restaurant now called simply “Harry’s” has been “reinvented” under new ownership, general manager Chris Christiano tells PieHole. But there are aspects here that haven’t changed at all.
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RED BANK: SUBS, BURRITOS, PIZZA & MORE

jimmy john's 090716 1Jimmy John’s has opened in the long-vacant former Wayne’s Market space on West Front Street.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA few quick bites of Red Bank restaurant news for this edition of Retail Churn:

• A sub shop, co-owned by a member of Gaslight Anthem, has opened.

• Two restaurants in town have changed their names.

• Actually, three, if you count the former Brannigan’s. In case you missed it, the Wharf Avenue mainstay has a new moniker to go with a dramatically new look.

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NEW YEARS EVE: BARTENDERS HAVE YOUR BACK

110815ryanat the belmonteRyan Matthews, bartender at the Belmonte, has a non-alcoholic cocktail for you. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumSo, what’s the plan for New Years Eve? Will be ringing in 2016 at one or more bars and restaurants on the Greater Red Bank Green?

Your local bartender has some advice on how to stay safe while having an enjoyable celebration. It starts with a plan — and, possibly, a designated driver.
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RED BANK: ARE WE THAT DRUNK?

rb beer cheese 031614 7The ranking methodology includes the number of bars per capita.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03Is Red Bank the fourth-drunkest town in New Jersey?

An infotainment website based in North Carolina claims it is.

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RED BANK: A FEW HAPPY HOURS

062915birravino2Happy hour choices at Birravino included organic house wine, beer and an appetizer, while at Robinson’s Ale House, below, a martini starred.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

063015robinsonsThough it’s ubiquitous in Red Bank, happy hour – that late-afternoon, discounted bar-tab menu option – should not be taken for granted. Many states, according to the National Center for State Courts, prohibit or limit what has become a traditional time of day to meet with friends and acquaintances in New Jersey.

Although most bars and restaurants offer special deals to lure customers, you might be surprised at how differently those two or three hours are interpreted. PieHole breaks down what can be considered an early bird special for the economically minded while others might call it a snack before dinner.

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ON THE GREEN: A BLUSTERY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

st. patrick 031715 7st. patrick 031715 25It’s a day of wearin’ of the green, donnin’ of the caudeen, and greenin’ of the hair when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around on the Greater Red Bank Green. The 2015 edition was accompanied by the usual revelry beginning Tuesday afternoon, as seen here in photos from the Dublin House Pub, Walt Street Pub, Molly Maguire’s Gastropub and Murphy’s Tavern. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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IN GOTHAM: HOLY SOUR MASH, BATMAN

Arty Homes GothamGotham’s Arty Homes helped PieHole navigate the Red Bank bar’s eclectic cocktail menu. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumLate on a winter afternoon with a bitterly cold wind howling down Broad Street in Red Bank, PieHole stopped in at Gotham. A few loyal readers mentioned to us the new bar’s vast whiskey selection, and it seemed like a good time and place to warm up with a Manhattan before heading home for dinner.

It was just at the early side of Happy Hour, and a half-dozen patrons, mostly well-dressed couples catching a pre-dinner cocktail, hung around at the bar, but otherwise there was not much of a crowd.

We grabbed a seat and spied at least three American rye whiskeys behind the bar: Michter’s, Bulleit and Dad’s Hat. Most area bars don’t stock even a single rye whiskey, and PieHole typically settles for Canadian Club when ordering a Manhattan, so this was a nice selection indeed.

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ST. PADDY’S: CHECKING IN ON THE EARLY SHIFT

redbankgreen made a lightning round of visits to four bars with Irish names on their doors – Molly Maguire’s and Murphy‘s in Rumson, Brannigan’s and the Dublin House in Red Bank –  late Tuesday afternoon to see what they were having on St. Patrick’s Day, 2014. Let’s see: there was some soda bread, a slice of pizza, and some corned beef sandwiches… (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LOCAL BARS, WHERE THE GAME TAKES WING

superbowlTommy’s Coal Fired Pizza in Red Bank’s Galleria has a few specials on tap for Sunday’s game. 

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumSunday’s big game – Super Bowl XLVIII, in case you’ve been seriously off the grid – will be watched by millions of viewers. But for a spectacle fueled by ads for beer, it’s kind of ironic that relatively few will be taking it in at a bar.

“It’s more of a family and kids event that people like to watch at home” says Tom Ganley, bartender at The Globe in Red Bank.  Unless, of course, the Giants are playing.

“When the Giants play in the Super Bowl, we’re packed,” says Ganley.

Still, if you’re headed out to a local bar on Sunday, besides having some decent elbow room, you can expect some specials. PieHole surveyed a few watering holes that we think are well-suited to football viewing.

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RED BANK: PARTYING IN THE NEW YEAR

The bubbly flowed, hips shook and lips locked as Red Bank bars welcomed the start of 2014 Tuesday night, as captured in these photos by redbankgreen‘s Peter Lindner. Police responded to a number of slip-and-falls, and there was one DWI arrest – but overall, New Year’s Eve was a routine night for the RBPD, according to Chief Darren McConnell. (Photos by Peter Lindner.)

RED BANK: O LORD, I NEED A DRINK

cocktail 2 050411The merriment no longer has to wait until 11 a.m, in Red Bank bars on Sundays. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six mornings a week, those with a yen to wet their whistles in Red Bank can do so in a bar as early as 7 a.m.

For decades, though, they’ve had to wait until the ungodly hour of 11 on Sunday – a whole nine hours after closing time, the poor things.

The borough council fixed that injustice Wednesday night.

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WEEKENDER: BARGAINS, BANDS AND THE BARD

Bargains line the brick walkways of downtown Red Bank for the annual Sidewalk Sale this weekend. Below, fans of the Haven find shelter at the Walt Street Pub Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, July 26:

RED BANK: Shop, rock & stroll through Red Bank for the 59th annual sidewalk sale. The weekend-long bargainfest lets shoppers snag clearance and sale items at shops throughout the downtwon. The sale runs 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SHREWSBURY: Learn the basics of email at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library. The session is free and begins at 7 p.m. 1001 Route 35 North.

RED BANK: Chazz Palminteri stops by Count Basie Theatre for a special one-man performance of his play-turned-big-screen-hit “A Bronx Tale,” about a murder Palminteri witnessed when he was young. Tickets are $55, $65, $85, and $150. VIP tickets include a meet and greet with the star. “A Bronx Tale” begins at 8 p.m. 99 Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: JAMIAN’S OUTDOOR BAR OK’D

Jamian’s plans an open-air bar out back, replacing a garage on Gold Street, below. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

Another open-air bar is set to join the Dublin House‘s Temple Bar and the yet-to-be-built rooftop bar atop Teak on Red Bank’s Monmouth Street.

Jamian’s Food and Drink won borough planning board approval Monday night for a plan to to expand its restaurant and bar operations by adding back-door dining patio with eight tables and an 11-seat bar.

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ON RUMSON’S AGENDA: BOOZE BOARD

The mayor and council are expected to form an Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee to hear complaints against bars. (Click to enlarge)

On the agenda for Tuesday night’s bimonthly meeting of Rumson council: the creation of an Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee.

And the first item on the committee’s docket: hearing a complaint against a borough tavern for maintaining a disorderly establishment.

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FIXX BUYS TIME: 15 MINUTES FOR 90 DAYS

fixx-ext-082411Music at Fixx will be cut off at 1:30 a.m. for the next three months under a deal worked out with the borough council. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With its liquor license on the line, Red Bank’s most problematic bar reached a temporary compromise with borough leaders Wednesday night that will give it time to prove it has gotten its chronic problems under control.

Mike Gilson, owner of Fixx on West Front Street, agreed to implement more than a dozen fixes he negotiated with police Chief Steve McCarthy over the past two months in an effort to reduce the need for police presence at closing time. Many of the changes, including beefed-up security Thursday through Saturday nights, have already been implemented, Gilson said.

But one change McCarthy insisted on led to a stalemate: he wanted Gilson to shut off the music at 1:15 a.m. in order to encourage a peaceable wind-down to a 2 a.m. closing. Gilson refused, saying it would kill his business.

“It seems like a small matter to the average person, but we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think that was a very, very important aspect of our ability to function in this economy,” Gilson’s lawyer, Rob Williams, told the council.

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A RANDOM WALK THROUGH A TODDLIN’ TOWN

A hot summer night, dazzling smiles, an irresistible rhythm, a bit of flesh revealed…

Saturday nights have been hopping in downtown Red Bank of late, so redbankgreen dispatched photographer Peter Lindner to the streets and bars last Saturday to capture the post-sundown vibe.

He filed this set of 102 shots, from the couple enjoying a quiet dinner to the guys and gals on the prowl to to the folks who make it all happen in an orderly, law-abiding sort of way. Enjoy!

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

SIP ONE, PURL TWO

knit1

Red Bank’s knitters sure know how to have a good time.

Longtime redbankgreen readers may recall our March 2007 feature story about Wooly Monmouth, the Monmouth Street knitting-supply store that doubles as an Algonquin roundtable of sorts for the pointy-needle set.

It’s a place where, one night a week,  food, conversation and the occasional bottle of wine flow amid the constant knitting and purling.

Last night, a handful of the Wooly Monmouth faithful took their moveable feast down the street to the open-air bar/restaurant Jamian’s, for the first of what organizer and Wooly Monmouth owner Dori Cohen Kershner says  will be a monthly event.

Why the change of venue? “I like to knit, and I like to drink,” Kershner says with a laugh.

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ON TAP: MASTER PLAN CHANGES

dogs-of-pavlov-fixxThe Fixx, on West Front Street, is the only licensed nightclub in Red Bank. Officials plan to address the fuzzy distinctions between ‘lounge’ and ‘nightclub’ in borough ordinances.

A raft of proposed law changes that could spark high-density residential development around the Red Bank train station moves into its final stage next week.

The borough council is expected to introduce ordinances at its bimonthly meeting Monday night that would codify some or all of the recommendations of a master plan review now winding down at the planning board.

The board, meanwhile, has decided it wants to tackle at least one more issue before it wraps up its work on the plan: the definition of ‘nightclub.’

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