RED BANK: PEDESTRIAN STRUCK

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank woman suffered a minor injury when she was struck by a minivan while crossing Bridge Avenue in Red Bank on foot Tuesday night, according to police Chief Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: MONTHLONG ROADWORK TO BEGIN

bridge ave 092815 1The northbound lane of Bridge Avenue in Red Bank between Chestnut Street and Drs. Parker Boulevard will be closed between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily for the month of October for roadwork, according to borough Engineer Christine Ballard.

As part of the town’s road program, the street is to get new sewers, curbs and asphalt, and paving will necessitate a full closure for a day or two, she said. Motorists are advised to use Shrewsbury Avenue instead.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: MORE KIOSKS, YES; APPS, MAYBE

rb kiosk 121812Wiring for kiosks along Monmouth Street was installed when the street was refurbished two years ago. Kiosks on Bridge Avenue would be solar-powered. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank is about to get more parking kiosks, under action by the borough council Wednesday night. But it’s also looking into mobile apps that could make them unnecessary.

The council authorized spending $135,308 for 13 new kiosks, to be installed along Monmouth Street from Maple Avenue west to Bridge Avenue, and along a stretch of Bridge.

At the same time, officials said they would look into the possibility of integrating one or two  apps with the system: one that would allow an arriving motorist to find an open parking spot, and another to pay for it from the comfort of the car.

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CHOWDA HOUSE TAKES RED BANK DOWN EAST

Chef Glenn Kovacs at work in the new Chowda House, set to open Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s been almost a year and a half since redbankgreen first reported that Mary and Roy Jennings were planning a new seafood eatery on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank.

Sine then, apparently, the couple have been battening down the hatches, as indicated by the extensive use of a shipboard motif in the dining room of the Chowda House, their new restaurant located directly opposite the train station. Even the restroom doors look like bulkhead passages to a ship’s engine room.

It’s an environment that chef Glenn Kovacs says reflects the well-thought-out details of the business, which opens Saturday.

“There’s nothing like this around here,” in terms of atmosphere or menu, says Kovacs, whose travels have landed him stints in kitchens throughout the metropolitan region.

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AN OASIS OF COLOR

The traffic island at Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, home to a rail-crossing gate, was lush and bright with well-tended plantings Thursday. Anybody know who gets the credit? (Click to enlarge)

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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BRIDGE AVENUE VAN FIRE DOUSED

van-fire-082111A volunteer Red Bank firefighter gives a final wet-down to the engine compartment of a van parked behind a  house at 232 Bridge Avenue Sunday morning. Information about the cause of the fire, reported at about 8:30 a.m., was not immediately available. A garage just inches away appeared undamaged. (Click to enlarge)

SAFETY PUSH MAKES IT TO MASTER PLAN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

bicyclist1Red Bank’s team of two-wheeled street safety activists earned a small victory Monday night in their effort to make borough paths safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians.

As anticipated, the borough planning board voted to incorporate a lengthy bike and pedestrian safety report and recommendations into Red Bank’s Master Plan, the principle guiding document for development in town.

With the addition of the “Red Bank Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Project” report, the group’s vision of shared streets and consideration of walkers and non-vehicular riders in future planning is coming into focus.

“We’re hoping (Red Bank) is safer and more community friendly,” said Jenny Rossano, one of the founders of Safe Routes Red Bank, whose members pulled in a non-cash grant to prepare the 106-page report. “We’re hoping people will walk and bike more, and that makes a community better.”

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CALENDAR CONFLICT SPURS EVENTS REVIEW

boynton-councilFreddie Boynton and members of the Celestial Lodge had a beef to air about a block party. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It hadn’t happened in Council President Art Murphy’s seven years sitting on the Special Events Committee, and Mayor Pasquale Menna said he’s never seen it in his two decades in Red Bank government.

But a clogged calendar and miscommunication between two West Side groups is pushing the council to tighten up its processes to grant special event requests.

It came to a head Wednesday night, when members of the two groups locked horns over rights for coveted street space next month, and prompted the council, hat in hand, to ask each for a little help.

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NEW LOOK FOR PRIMAS, CIGARS ON WALLACE

new-primasThe new-look Primas features bright colors and luxurious merchandise at affordable prices, the owners say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rcsm2_0105081

Primas Home on Broad Street in Red Bank reopened last Friday, unveiling a new, bright space laid out with a lot of the eye-catching stuff it had before. Except this time, the price tags won’t make your eyes roll into the back of your head.

Back in April, the upscale furniture and accessory shop closed for renovations, part of its revamping of the business model to keep up with the economy.

After a makeover of the open-plan, vaulted ceiling space – built as the Merchants Trust Company, and later the longtime home of Carrolls Stationers – all the high-end merchandise, including the Althorp line, was sequestered to the loft space, and the 4,000-square-foot ground floor was filled with furniture, lamps and decorations with a palatable price tag.

“It’s affordable luxury. It’s like the look for less,” co-owner Valeria Ribeiro said. “We felt we needed to adjust.”

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DEVELOPER GETS REPAID, PLEDGES PROGRESS

rog-mumfordDeveloper Roger Mumford is getting his money back from Red Bank, and intends to continue his Lincoln Square project soon as possible. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Roger Mumford is off Red Bank’s torture rack.

After raising a stink over having to pay into the borough’s parking fund last month, the West Side developer is getting his money back — most of it, at least — and plans to get his Lincoln Square project back in action.

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INFURIATED BUILDER BLASTS RED TAPE

r-mumfordRoger Mumford says he won’t proceed with his West Side development project until he gets more cooperation from the town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Roger Mumford is pissed.

Infuriated, in fact, by what he calls the “non-stop torture” of dealing with Red Bank red tape.

And he says he’s not going to move forward on his self-funded Lincoln Square project on Bridge Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard until he gets more cooperation.

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BOBBY’S BACK, SERVING… TAKE A GUESS

bobby-chiafulloAfter a two-year hiatus, Bobby Chiafullo has returned to the pizza scene. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Bobby Chiafullo had the front door open, the ovens on high and was strapping a tomato-sauce stained apron around his waist when a man came in, noticing the sign outside that read ‘Bobby’s Back,’ and asked if Chiafullo was open for business.

He wasn’t yet, but told the man to order some pizza anyway.

“We’re giving it away today,” said Chiafullo, a barrel-chested man with beady eyes and a perpetual grin.

Chiafullo, who spent 37 years flipping pies on Bridge Avenue before making an exit to the Navesink section of Middletown, wants to make it clear: Bobby’s back.

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RED BANK’S FIRST LADY OF LANDSCAPING

karen-siciliano2Karen Siciliano, seen at Riverside Gardens Park, is celebrating her company’s 75th year in business. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Something isn’t quite right inside Karen Siciliano’s Park Street office.

It isn’t the collection of framed awards and flattering magazine and newspaper stories tacked on the wall. It’s not the picture of her cockapoo, Geli, on her desk. Nor is it the scent of gasoline that funnels in from a stable of lawnmowers in the attached garage.

Ah, must be the black potbelly stove in the middle of the room.

“My father thought it was a good luck charm,” Siciliano, 49, said. “It wasn’t my good luck charm. It was his.”

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LITTLE PROJECT, BIG IMPACT, BUILDER SAYS

roger-mumfordRoger Mumford has plans that he says will transform part of the West Side. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

On the corner of Bridge Avenue and Cedar Street sits a tan-colored, nondescript building that, if not for a couple of cars parked in the lot, could easily be mistaken for another one of Red Bank’s vacant spaces.

With just a couple of windows and minimal signage, 247 Bridge doesn’t at all look like the nerve center of an operation that might spark a transformation of the rundown area that adjoins it.

But Roger Mumford, a 54-year-old home builder who commands the happenings inside the office, has big plans for the stretch of Bridge from Cedar to Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The Little Silver resident has approvals to knock down four existing homes, plus a corner bodega, and rebuild the site from the ground up with a new bodega and five luxury homes.

You read that right. Luxury homes.

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PLAN TO TRANSFORM WEST SIDE BLOCK OK’D

lincoln-sq-050610Roger Mumford discusses his plan at Thursday’s zoning board hearing. Below, a view of the homes to be built along the east side of Bridge Avenue; the current site of a bodega on the corner of Drs. Parker Boulevard is at right. (Click to enlarge)

A sweeping plan to overhaul one of Red Bank’s most dilapidated blocks won approval from the borough zoning board Thursday night.

Builder Roger Mumford’s plan calls for bulldozing four run-down houses on Bridge Avenue between Cedar Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, plus a corner bodega.

In their place, and stretching east along Parker to the existing Bergen Square condo complex, will come five spanking-new luxury residences — and a new corner storefront that may house the same bodega, assuming the tenant wants to return, Mumford says.

“Bridge Avenue is a great place,” he tells redbankgreen, noting the presence of the Two River Theater, the Galleria at Red Bank and other attractions nearby. “Now, more of Bridge Avenue is going to be part of that excitement.”

bridgeave-050710

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