CHURN: DESIGN CENTER FINDS NEW DIGS

rb design ctr 110914 3Plans for an art gallery are out, but the Red Bank Design Center is in, opening next month at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Five months ago, a giant image of a cannabis leaf in the papered-over windows at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road led some passersby to wonder if Red Bank was getting a medical marijuana dispensary.

Nope to dope: that was just artist David Benegas being provocatively playful about his plans to occupy the long-vacant Lamplighter space with an art gallery.

Well, those plans have now gone up in smoke. Fortunately for the landlord, however, so did Amy Manor‘s plan to create a design mecca for interior decorators over on West Front Street.

This edition of Retail Churn has the details…

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RED BANK: A POT STORE? WELL, SHOOT…

147 broad 062114 1147 broad 062114 2Is Red Bank getting a medical marijuana dispensary? That was the takeaway for a number of redbankgreen readers when they saw the painting above, which went up in a window of the long-vacant Lamplighter store at Broad Street and Harding Road over the weekend.

It’s our understanding that an art gallery is taking the space, though neither artist David Benegas – whose painting of a gun is in another window there – nor building owner Scott Diamond could be reached for immediate comment.

[UPDATE] Benegas tells us he’s opening an art gallery there in August, and that the pot image is “just a publicity stand to show how the power of Art can get a message to people.”  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

ALL STARS OF RED BANK RAISE ROOF; FUNDS

poppa_and_gary_j_posada_shotPoppa John Bug (left, with Gary Wright) and Xenia Sky (below) are among the locally based luminaries performing on the debut project by The Downtown All Stars of Red Bank. The release of the CD will be celebrated tonight with a special fundraiser mega-show, upstairs at The Downtown. (Poppa John photo by John Posada)

Preservation Hall had its Jazz Band; The Stone Pony its house band Asbury Jukes. Joey Dee and the Starliters taught ’em how to do “The Peppermint Twist” at that namesake Lounge — and beginning tonight, The Downtown on West Front Street marks its own milestone, with the debut event featuring The Downtown All Stars of Red Bank.

xeniasky copy

As defined by Larry Sherman, Downtown All Stars is not so much a gigging band as it is “a community organization formed of local musicians and supporters who are working together to raise money for local charities…using the power of music.”

For their maiden-voyage event, Sherman and his fellow members of the All Stars’ Board of Directors will be presenting a CD Launch Party celebrating the release of Bright Lights on Broad Street, a compilation of original songs written and recorded by eighteen locally connected bands and solo artists.

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CHURN: POOR CAT CURLS UP ON BROAD STREET

A display in the window of the newly opened Poor Cat Designs. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Rcsm2_010508The story of Poor Cat Designs begins with a soggy kitten Joe Romanowksi found sitting on his doorstep in the rain on the eve of his sister’s death about five years ago.

Unable to find the cat’s owner, Romanowski decided to keep him, naming him Felix. Every morning as he left for work, the cat would look at him sadly, and Romanowski would tell him, “You poor cat.”

During that time, Romanowski was developing a new jewelry line. Suddenly, he tells redbankgreen, a light bulb went off in his head, telling him to name the line “Poor Cat,” in homage to both his sister and his adopted feline.

Now, Poor Cat has found a home in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: MORE ART, LIVE AND ON THE HOOF

The locator map for Friday’s Art Walk, and one of Gabriela Rusu’s paintings (right) in a show that opens tonight. (Click to enlarge)

Coming off Sunday’s highly successful roll-out of an outdoor art exhibition, Red Bank hosts two more art events this week, starting with one tonight.

That’s the opening of Dynamic Constructions and the Body as a Pretext, a collection of some 50 paintings by Gabriela Rusu. The Romanian artist will be on hand for an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at 25 Bridge Avenue.

Rusu will also greet evening visitors on Thursday and again Friday, during the next edition of Red Bank ArtWalk.

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RED BANK ART WALK GETS BACK ON ITS FEET

Works by Kathy Polenberg, above, and other local artists are showcased as part of the rejuvenated Red Bank Art Walk event on Friday.  

It looked for a while as if it might never regain its footing — but after sitting out the past couple of years, the Red Bank Art Walk makes its return this Friday, hot on the heels of the borough’s selection (by Smithsonian Magazine) as one of the top three Best Small Towns in the USA for culture and quality of life.

A three-hour, self-guided tour through the downtown Green and points west, the Art Walk is both rejuvenated and reconfigured in its 2012 incarnation, with a new cast of participants joined by several “non-traditional spaces” where Art Happens, from restaurants and retail stores to at least one transformed place of worship.

Going on between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, this first in a projected new series of events is being spearheaded by a relatively recent arrival to town — Gallery U and Boutique, the rather Unique and Unorthodox artspace that opened its doors at 80 Broad Street last year.

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SAVOUR THE HOLIDAY FLAVOUR

sonnykennmcoconnorJersey Shore guitar master Sonny Kenn provides the sonic spice as the Red Bank Flavour culinary campaign kicks off with a special holiday season smorgasbord benefit Thursday night at the Oyster Point.

The culinary consortium that is Red Bank Flavour marks its first holiday-season interlude with a happening that could be the start of a new December tradition on the picturesque banks of the Navesink, when the river-view ballroom of the Oyster Point Hotel hosts a special Holiday Flavour event Thursday evening.

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IN CHURN: ART, PACMAN & WAFFLES

banegasBanegas Fine Art Gallery plans to take over the Broad Street storefront last inhabited by Bella Mystique. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe work of a single artist will constitute the merchandise at an art gallery that plans to open in Red Bank later this month.

David Banegas, a Bolivian native who splits his time between Long Branch and Delray Beach, Florida – where he opened his first gallery three months ago – will move his paintings in next door to Backward Glances and Via 45, says P.J. Schrantz, his partner and agent.

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