By Tom Chesek
As reported earlier in redbankgreen, the recently opened Red Bank branch of 10th Ave. Burrito Company made its debut in the downtown restaurant wars equipped with an arsenal of assets that ranged from “165 seats, a coveted liquor license and primo views of the Navesink,” to more than 100 varieties of tequila and a not-so secret weapon: “live music – cover bands need not apply.”
While the town doesn’t often get mentioned in the same breath as Asbury Park and other musically-minded burgs, the fact remains that most every night of the week finds something for music aficionados to choose from; be it at the Basie or one of the borough’s bars, beaneries, sidewalk bumpouts or black-box performance spaces. But even as Red Bank regulars like Sonny Kenn, Quincy Mumford and Matt O’Ree have made a habit of stocking their saloon sets with generous amounts of originals, the town hasn’t truly seen a full-time venue for homegrown originals and national touring acts since the long-ago heyday of Big Man’s West. It’s a situation that 10th Ave owner Brian Katz and manager Chris Masi (formerly the music booker at the Downtown) seek to address with an attention-compelling slate of up-and-coming talents, cult favorites and best kept secrets that range from deliriously anarchic alt-rock to urban-hipster roots Americana, and even an unexpected visitor from across the pond — a schedule that really clicks into place as summer turns to fall.