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RED BANK: WHAT, NO PONY RIDES?

Coming soon, if Coffee Corral has its way: bocce and horseshoe courts and a fire pit. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nobody can say Russ Crosson isn’t adaptable. When the real estate industry took a nosedive a few years back, Crosson schooled himself in the craft of coffee-roasting and transformed his onetime construction office on Red Bank’s West Side into a must-hit place for consumers with a jones for fine java.

Now, just a year after opening his Coffee Corral, at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, Crosson is feeling his oats and ready to expand the operation.

But not in the way one might expect. Rather than seeking permission for on-premises consumption of joe at his takeout-only store, Crosson wants to supplement the business with horseshoes, bocce, a hot dog cart – and maybe a little live music.

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EX-BUILDER WARMS TO BEAN ROASTING

russ-crosson-091311Russ Crosson plans to remake his one-room office space on Drs. Parker Boulevard into a take-out specialty coffee shop. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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At a recent Red Bank zoning board meeting, redbankgreen was surprised to learn that builder Russ Crosson had closed his 20-year-old construction business.

Crosson was seeking board permission to convert his company’s headquarters, on Wallace Street, back to a two-family home, which it had been before he turned it into something of a restoration showcase a block from Broad Street just three years ago.

His company, Crosson told the board, had gone under, a victim of a near-stoppage of work in public works, and he no longer needed the space. The hearing on the request, which faces opposition from neighbors, is scheduled to continue Thursday night.

But what, we wondered, did the failure of Crosson Construction mean to its plan for a strip mall on the borough’s West Side?

It turns out that dream, which gained informal approval just 17 months ago, is also dead. But another, more modest one has taken its place, and for coffee lovers, it’s one that’s sure to smell heavenly.

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