RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”
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RED BANK: DINER POURS FINAL CUP

Broadway DinerThe diner will reopen as a new restaurant, an owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, a gleaming all-night mecca of stainless steel, Formica and neon, has closed.

The Monmouth Street eatery ended an 18-year run owning to the death of one of its owners, Bob Russo, and a restructuring of the business.

By coincidence, Mayor Pasquale Menna and new borough school Superintendent Jared Rumage were the last customers, Menna told redbankgreen.

“We had the last cups of coffee,” he said.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? THIS, IN RED BANK

rb diner 013014Grilled chicken wrap with curly fries, at the Red Bank Diner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

morsels mediumThe seasoning on the grilled chicken in the grilled chicken wrap sandwich at the Red Bank Diner? It’s a secret.

And the dressing? Also a secret, teases owner Loui Kanellos, before allowing that it’s just a simple house concoction.

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RED BANK: YOUR PHOTOS, IN TILE AND GLASS

Theodoropoulus 112113 3Pete Theodoropoulus in his new Red Bank tile-art gallery, Tesserae, where works sell for $2,500 to $25,000. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Pete Theodoropoulus is still not an artist, though one might say his skills as a businessman are quickly approaching artistry.

As detailed by redbankgreen last summer, he’s a food guy, one who owns multiple Italian-ice stands and restaurants around New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. And he’s not yet 30 years old.

But Theodoropoulus believes he’s found a huge opening in the art world: a market for large images assembled from thousands of bits of cut and broken stone and glass. Art that weighs heavy on the walls and heavy on the wallet.

He’s seizing control of it. And his venture, in development for nearly two years, officially got a face this week with the opening of his gallery, called Tesserae – Greek for ‘mosaic’ – in a storefront on Broad Street in Red Bank.

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SEA BRIGHT: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, TO GO

Former Sea Bright restaurateur Joanne Garelli leads a food truck in a cross-country reality TV race that plays out this season on the Food Network, starting Sunday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a feature story about Joanne Garelli, the former co-owner of a Sea Bright luncheonette who’s turned the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy into opportunity.

Having lost Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch to the October 29, 2012 storm, Garelli recently headed up a three-person food truck that made its way across the United States as part of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a reality television series that starts its third season on the Food Network this Sunday night.

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RED BANK: MOSAIC SHOP TAKES BALLEW SPOT

Tessarae, featuring works like the 500-pound “Penthouse Views,” below, plans to open at 36 Broad Street in early July. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a 99-year run as a jewelry store and two-plus years as a vacant shell, the former Ballew Jewelers storefront in Red Bank is about to become an art store.

Sort of.

Tesserae, as it’s called, will feature only mosaics, all of them the brainchild of a 27-year-old restaurateur who’s only been in the creative realm for 18 months and leaves the execution of his ideas to someone else.

A budding Jeff Koons of the shattered-stone world, Pete Theodoropoulus makes no pretense to being an artist. What he’s selling, at prices ranging from $3,000 to $20,000, is home decoration – some of it weighing in at as much as 500 pounds, he tells redbankgreen.

“I wouldn’t consider myself an artist,” he said. “I have the vision – that this company could eventually have hundreds of stores worldwide.”

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INLAID-GLASS SIDEWALK ENDS LONG RUN

A stretch of glass-embedded sidewalk on Monmouth Street is slated for removal. Below, Teresa Manning with a sample of the original glass. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Easily overlooked by the hundreds of pedestrians who walk on it every day, a distinctive stretch of Red Bank sidewalk is about to vanish.

Running along the front of 37-43 Monmouth Street, the century-old sidewalk is inlaid with hundreds of thick squares of purple-tinged glass arranged in neat grids.

For observant walkers, the sidewalk is curiosity underfoot. For the tenants of the building fronted by it, and whose cellars extend underneath it, the sidewalk has been a source of eerie subterranean illumination.

“The light from outside would come right in,” said Teresa Manning, business manager for Rocar Properties, which owns the building.

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