The #15 Italian sub from the 58-year-old Elsie’s Sub Shop in Red Bank. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
On a visit to Elsie’s Sub Shop in Red Bank back in September, PieHole met Michael Mullins, a retiree from Middletown now living in Arizona. Whenever he returns to his Monmouth County roots, he told us, he makes a point of stopping at Elsie’s.
“In 1959, I’d take the bus down to the Carlton Theater [now the Count Basie Theatre] from Middletown. Back then the bus was ten cents,” he said. “Before I caught the bus to go home, I’d stop at Elsie’s for a number five,” or a turkey-and-cranberry-sauce sub.
A team of painters, including 13 students from the visual arts program at Red Bank Regional, worked on the mural throughout the day Saturday and into early Sunday. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Racing to finish before an expected rain, a team of artists and volunteers painted a two-story mural in downtown Red Bank over the weekend.
Overlooking the parking lot for Buona Sera restaurant at Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue, the mural promotes a film festival scheduled to light up movie screens in town next month.
A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.
The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.
Funnyman Joe De Vito returns to The Downtown for a Friday night fracas, another Covert operation from the Jersey Jokers stable.
Red Bank may no longer be able to boast its own dedicated “Chuckle Hut” sort of comedy club, but it’s got something infinitely more valuable than another brick wall, low ceiling and two-drink minimum — it’s got Chris Covert, sandwich sculptor to the stars, and a man whose not-so-secret night gig (as impresario of the Jersey Jokers comedy collective) has almost single-handedly kept the laugh light burning for a new generation of standup stalwarts in and around the borough. Tonight — as he’s done every first Thursday of the month, for as long as anyone can recall — Covert plays ringmaster to an Open Mic Comedy card that commences 8 pm upside the Dublin House on Monmouth Street. Get there early for sign-up if you’d like to test your own comic kung foo at the friendliest “tough room” in the area — or just enjoy the show, and if you’d like to keep the laughter going, take it over to Front Street on Friday night, where Covert and company will be welcoming back a special guest stander-upper to the Downtown.
LAST COMIC STANDING semifinalist Erin Jackson, top, headlines Red Bank’s first-ever Comedy in the Park event, while (L-R) Tim Belford, emcee Chris Covert and Matt Perkins set the stage for the free show Wednesday night.
By TOM CHESEK
Like somewhat more ornery (and somewhat less romantic) cousins to the vampires of legend, stand-up comics are true creatures of the night or, more to the point, creatures of the nightclub. Which is why, day or night, it’s unusual to find them doing their thing in the Great Outdoors, breathing in the fresh atmosphere, swatting away junebugs and skeeters like so many Chuckle Hut hecklers.
On Wednesday night, however, Red Bank Parks and Rec offers up something that few if any have attempted here in the season of beach chairs and blanket bleachers: an open-air Comedy in the Park event that lets loose its crack-up Krakens in the pleasant waterfront setting of Riverside Gardens Park.
As “free-range” as it is free of charge, the 8 pm program is headlined by Erin Jackson, a season six semifinalist on NBCs Last Comic Standing and a frequent sighting on Comedy Central, BET and TV Guide Channel. The daughter of Washington, DC will be joined on the bill by a contingent of Jersey Jokers among them a familiar figure who’s fast becoming an impresario in local laugh-maker circles.
Covert operations: Elsie’s Subs co-proprietor Chris Covert (pictured in his night job as stand-up comic) brings the latest in his ongoing Comedy Night Live series to the Dublin House on Friday, August 26.
By TOM CHESEK
Maybe you like your humor DRY, and your subs WET maybe vice versa. Either way, he’s got you covered.
Most days of the week, Chris Covert presides over one of the most beloved institutions within the Red Bank state of mind Elsie’s Subs, the 52-year-old Monmouth Street landmark that’s been owned by his wife Tish for over 20 years.
As the steward of a brand about which native Red Bankers tend to get territorial (it’s not uncommon for in-the-know visitors to grab an Elsie’s special immediately after coming in from the airport and to order a no oil/vinegar “dry” sub for the flight back home), Covert loves nothing more than to keep serving a loyal clientele that consists of “99 percent repeat customers the best kind there is.”
That said, the honorable earl of sandwich has been known to have his other pursuits and fancies not the least of which is an artistic bent that’s manifested itself in a series of quirky mosaic portraits, as well as a cutting-edge flair for custom-carved Halloween pumpkins.
As if he weren’t in danger of slicing himself too thin already, this Caravaggio of the capicola has an altogether separate, nocturnal calling as a practitioner of the art of stand-up comedy, and ringmaster of a regular series of Comedy Open Mic events at the equally iconic Dublin House. It’s to the second floor of The Dub that Covert returns this Friday, August 26, for the fourth and latest in a monthly menu of Comedy Night Live events.