CHURN: CIAO, BIAGIO, CESAR & WOULD-BE BBQ

rb 12 broad 032514Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza has departed 12 Broad Street after less than a year and a half in town. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on the departures from downtown Red Bank of two businesses and the cold feet of one that never opened: a pizzeria, a jewelry store and a barbecue joint, respectively.

Gone, quite abruptly, is Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza. Going, once its home of 21 years is sold, is Cesar’s Creations Jewelry. And never seen was the highly-lauded Local Smoke BBQ, which bailed over the expected costs and delays of setting up downtown.

All three involve Broad Street addresses. We’ve also got news about new boutique coming to Monmouth Street.

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RETAIL CHURN: BOOTS, FOOD AND FIT KIDS

•dean ross 030714After 14 years in Fair Haven, Dean Ross is ready to take on double the rent to sell shoes in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on these developments:

• A Fair Haven shoe store specializing in Dr. Martens boots hopes to kick some butt in downtown Red Bank – and keep the lights on after other stores close.

• Two high-profile Broad Street restaurants have quietly gone idle.

• A fitness center for kids plans to open next month on Wallace Street.

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RED BANK: WOOLY MONMOUTH CLOSING

•dori k 030211Rcsm2_010508Dori Cohen Kershner with a customer at Wooly Monmouth in 2011. Kershner announced the closing of her 10-year-old Red Bank knitting store over the weekend in a post on her website, saying the recent birth of her second child had made her realize she wanted to focus on family life. (Click to enlarge)

CHURN: POOL CUES, THRIFT & CRAFTS EXIT

lucky break 021214•Tuns out Lucky Break could not survive its lengthy shutdown over BYOB issues, its owner says. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on the departures from downtown Red Bank of three high-profile businesses:

• Lucky Break Billiards, which was the subject of a bring-your-own-booze enforcement crackdown last year.

• The ARC of Monmouth Thrift Shop, a fixture on Monmouth Street for some three decades.

• Ten Thousand Villages, a Broad Street retailer of fair trade crafts.

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RED BANK: FIXX GETS 20-DAY SHUTDOWN

fixx 102113The settlement of charges calls for the West Front Street bar to meet a list of conditions involving security. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank nightclub Fixx, the scene of two sprawling street melees earlier this year, will close for 20 days next month under a deal approved by the borough council Wednesday night.

When it reopens, on or after January 21, the West Front Street bar will have to beef up security, report monthly to the police chief and hand over a list of the names of banned or ejected patrons, among other measures, Mayor Pasquale Menna said shortly before the council unanimously approved the deal.

“This demonstrates the seriousness, the severity and, pardon the pun, the sobriety with which the council is looking at this,” Menna said.

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RED BANK: AFTER 83 YEARS, RASSAS TO CLOSE

Aaron Rassas outside his Red Bank auto dealership. Below, the original location, at 21 Mechanic Street, in 1934. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Born in the Great Depression, and illuminated in recent decades by a bold ribbon of neon signage at a gateway to Red Bank, Rassas Pontiac both rode and symbolized the ever-rising fortunes of postwar America.

Round-shouldered sedans and coupes once crammed its showroom. Then muscle cars. Minivans. SUVs.

But now, the auto giants are in retrenchment. A few years back, General Motors scrapped the Pontiac line, leaving Rassas to switch over to Buick. Few car dealers can survive selling Buicks alone, said business owner Aaron Rassas: his is one of only two such shops in all of New Jersey, and 30 nationwide. But he failed in his efforts to land a second brand, as GM tries to right-size markets it considers overfranchised.

With that, and the approach of his 70th birthday, Rassas has decided to shut off the engine.

On April 26, after 83 years of selling new and used cars in Red Bank, Rassas Buick will go out of business.

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