A straw clutch by Mud Pie is among the fashion items available in what had long been just a boating supply store. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)
By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO
After a rough off-season that included severe damage from Hurricane Sandy, the owners of Sea Bright’s Anglers Marina & Beach Boutique, Fred Leonardis and his wife, Elizabeth, worked hard to reopen their Ocean Avenue shop.
My husband has always believed that we are in a service business, a seasonal business, and that we need to be here for our customers, said Elizabeth. So we take that very seriously.
Perhaps unnoticed by many motorists passing by, however, Leonardis has been developing a side project within the marina store to go along with the boating hardware: a beach-themed accessory shop selling everything from chairs, towels, tote bags and more. Her experience in retail sparked the idea for the accessory shop.
I said We should have beautiful beach bags, and we should have shoes,'” she tells Window Shopping the Green. “Last year, I brought in jewelry, and it just evolved.”
An 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)
As 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.
“My business is recession-proof,” says Doubletake owner Marci Kessler. (Click to enlarge)
As a handful of employees raced about earlier this month to set up for the next day’s opening of Doubletake Consignment Boutique in Red Bank, owner Marci Kessler appeared the embodiment of calm.
The racks were nearly bare of the high-end clothing and accessories expected to fill the store, located on Broad Street next door to Pizza Fusion. But Kessler, eating a salad at the cash register, was unflustered, and confident the shop would be fully stocked for its first customers.
“We’ve been doing it for 18 years,” she told redbankgreen.