RED BANK: RED TANK BUBBLES TO LIFE

red bank, nj, red tank, microbrewery, john arcaraJohn Arcara in the newly completed, 100-seat Red Tank Brewing microbrewery earlier this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo years from dream to reality, Red Tank Brewing is set to open in the heart of Red Bank Thursday night, the start of a new venture for wedding photographers John and Lovina Arcara.

It may also be the start of a fresh wave of craft suds in town.

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RED BANK: LIGHT ‘NOT FEASIBLE’ SAYS DOT

A car, at right, waits for a break in the traffic to turn onto Riverside Avenue from Bodman Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Creating a new signal-controlled intersection on a busy stretch of Red Bank highway near the Molly Pitcher Inn is “not feasible,” according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Still, Mayor Pasquale Menna is hoping the DOT will reconsider its oft-stated position if and when there’s a new owner of the former VNA Health Group headquarters building, located on a problematic corner, he told redbankgreen Monday.

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RED BANK: BEER AND MORE AT BIRRAVINO

Customers enjoy pizza, salads, wine and beer on a breezy Sunday evening at Birravino’s new beer garden.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Basil T’s Brew Pub was ahead of it’s time when it came to brewing beer in-house in New Jersey. Three years ago, Vic Rallo and partners rebranded the Red Bank restaurant and bar, naming it Birravino and giving it an updated industrial look. But they continued to brew their own beer.

The recent addition of an outdoor beer garden, built off to one side of the original structure, allows customers to wet their whistles under star-studded skies while chilling to the cool breezes coming off the Navesink River. PieHole stepped up to the window for one of the 10 local brews on tap before settling into a cherry-red Adirondack-style chair on the patio.
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RED BANK: THREE WEEKEND DEBUTS PLANNED

The paper comes off the windows Saturday at Cos Bar, a cosmetics store opening next door to Tiffany & Co. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo new Red Bank businesses kick off their residencies, and the summer of 2017, with openings planned for the Memorial Day weekend, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

In addition, a longtime veteran of the town’s restaurant and bar scene is unveiling a new outdoor expansion.

 

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RED BANK: BEER GARDEN, VEGAN PLANS OK’D

img_5866Birravino’s proposal for a 1,500-square-foot beer garden, as shown to the left of the existing restaurant in renderings below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Renderings by Michael James Monroe. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

birravino-plan-120516Two Red Bank restaurants won approvals for expansion plans Monday night.

• The borough planning board gave unanimous a OK to Good Karma Café, the only vegan restaurant downtown, to triple in size by leasing vacant retail space next door.  Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANT PLANS ON AGENDA

Good KarmaGood Karma Café has proposed expanding into the East Front Street space vacated earlier this year Creative Kitchens, which relocated to Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s rapidly growing restaurant scene once again dominates the attention of the borough planning board Monday night.

That’s when a vegan restaurant expansion, a beer garden addition to another restaurant, and the possible creation of a new one occupy a busy agenda.

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RED BANK: BASIE WHETS THE ‘APPETITE’

jacques-pepinCristianCeppasCeleb chef Jacques Pépin, above, gets things cooking at the Basie this afternoon. (Photo by Christian Ceppas)

appetiteContinuing with the ever-eclectic menu of entertainments that has distinguished and defined its audience-pleasing mission, the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank serves up a new slate of offerings under the “Appetite Chefs” series banner in coming hours and days, starting with a matinee appearance Saturday by the Original Iron Chef himself and continuing next Wednesday by a beloved master of Italian cuisine.

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RED BANK: WTF? UPS ITS OWN CHALLENGE

unterman orderingJason Unterman keeping the lunch tab low at Jr’s Burgers in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumWhether it’s sticking to locally-sourced produce or trying to avoid gluten, it’s not uncommon for people to set food-related goals.

As previously reported by PieHole, Jason Unterman has imposed another kind of limit on himself: eating at a different lunch spot somewhere on the Greater Red Bank Green every week, and trying to keep the tab under $10. But the developer at Red Bank-based Defined Logic has managed to lead his colleagues on more than 200 such outings, and has the blog to prove it.

Now, with some changes to the endeavor he calls WTF? –  for Where’s the Food? – Unterman met with PieHole at Jr’s Burgers on West Front Street recently to share some of the wisdom he’s gleaned after all those restaurant meals.

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CIAO, BASIL’S. IT’S ‘BIRRAVINO’ NOW.

091014 birravino ralloVictor Rallo in the bicycle-decorated atrium of Birravino. Below, one of the long communal, or feste, tables in the dining room.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091014 birravino5The Old World charm of Basil T’s Brew Pub is gone, along with its popular mug club, where members had personalized mugs hanging at the bar. Remodeled and repositioned as Birravino, however, the Red Bank trattoria is just as welcoming, warm and suds-friendly as its predecessor.

Nursing a broken leg from a running accident, Victor Rallo showed up earlier this week to make sure everything was running smoothly after a makoever that included completely restructuring and redecorating his Riverside Avenue institution in about a month. Before some customers even realized  the restaurant was temporarily off-line, a new name was on the building and the changes were well underway, he said.

The result? “I wanted an industrial, rustic look like you see in the trattorias or osterias of Italy,” he told PieHole,  amid the exposed brick walls, honed wooden tabletops, galvanized metal seats and an open kitchen. “Definitely something more casual” than Basil’s, he said.

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RED BANK: ‘APPETITE’ SATISFIES HUNDREDS

At this weekend’s three-day ‘Appetite‘ extravaganza at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, hundreds of visitors feasted on food, wine, beer and culinary wisdom.

Susan Ericson’s food blog, Flavor Chronicles/Chefs in Motion has additional coverage.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Mouse-over to pause.)

RED BANK: RALLO REPOSITIONING BASIL T’S

basil t 073014The exterior’s already gotten a facelift and one is underway inside at Basil T’s, soon to reopen as Birravino, says owner Vic Rallo Jr., below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rallo 3 090713After 27 years in business, Red Bank’s Basil T’s brewpub will close this Saturday to undergo a makeover that will transform it into Birravino.

Basil’s owner Vic Rallo Jr. tells redbankgreen he’s repurposing his Riverview Avenue eatery he founded in 1987 with his brother and late father to mirror a dining style he’s come to appreciate on repeated trips to his ancestral home for his television show, “Eat, Drink, Italy.”

Overhauling a successful restaurant, and taking a flyer on a concept that affects everything from the menu to the awnings? Is Rallo nuts? Apparently, we’re not the first to ask.

“I’ve heard it all,” Rallo said. “My friends are saying, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ Or ‘did you go bankrupt?’ ‘Are you a heroin addict? Getting a divorce?'”

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RED BANK: MORE ON THE MENU AT ‘APPETITE’

080214 appetite8080214 appetite16They came for the wine with local restaurateur Vic Rallo and stayed for the food trucks, beer and make-your-own bloody Mary’s Saturday at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, hosting its second annual ‘Appetite‘ food festival.

The action continues Sunday under the theme of ‘Blues and Brews,’ spotlighting  craft beers, artisanal cheeses, butcher Stew Goldstein – offering a demo on preparing a pork loin Marco roast and more. According to the National Weather Service, it’s not going to be a beach day, so why not come out? More details here.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)    080214 appetite27