FAIR HAVEN: SANDY REFUGEE JOINS INFLUX

Newly opened Sadie James Boutique offers laid-back, “coastal-inspired” women’s wear. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Chelsea Delaney was all set to close on the purchase of Sea Bright boutique CoCoTay when Hurricane Sandy hit last October 29.

The business, like nearly all others in town, was wiped out, and the deal fell apart.

But Delaney moved on, and earlier this month opened a new shop, dubbed Sadie James Boutique, in Fair Haven, becoming part of a sudden makeover underway on River Road.

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STAYING CLOSE TO THE FIREHOUSE

Vince Sarullo, right, and Colin Seitz on the fire escape of their new office, next door to the Navesink Hook & Ladder on Mechanic Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This was going to be an article about a building.

redbankgreen‘s original impulse on this story was to call attention to the fact that a prominent second-floor space in downtown Red Bank had been filled after a prolonged vacancy – yet another sign of the business district’s robust comeback from the economic woes of recent years.

But things changed when we found out who occupies that space, and what their presence says about their sense of responsibility and commitment to a place they don’t even call home.

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YOUNG SHOPPERS PRIME DOWNTOWN PUMP

shoppers-3Is it just us, or are more young people shopping in downtown Red Bank than in recent years? Below, Leanne Navarette of Backward Glances. (Click to enlarge)

By MOLLY MULSHINE

leanne-nAutumn Byrd, 14, may not have a driver’s license, but the Colts Neck resident  still finds a way to shop, eat and hang out in Red Bank whenever she can.

“My daughter is always like, ‘Let’s go to Red Bank, let’s go to Urban Outfitters, let’s go to Funk & Standard,'” Autumn’s dad, Avery Byrd, said as he paid for a purchase at Backward Glances recently.

Autumn eschews the mall in favor of Red Bank because of the town’s artsy feel, she said. “A lot of the styles I’m into, I can find here,” she said. “And I feel safe in this town.”

If any trend is apparent in downtown Red Bank this summer, it’s the return of teens and young adults, lured to modest-priced clothing stores and eateries, including relative newcomers Urban Outfitters, women’s clothing boutique Dor L’Dor and Mexi-Cali chow purveyor Surf Taco, as well as staples like Funk and Standard.

Merchants see the influx of teens as a rebuke to the idea that the town is becoming too upmarket and squeezing out younger shoppers and others with moderate incomes.

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‘IT’S ALL ABOUT COSTUMING’

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By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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At about six feet tall, with his always-on mascara and mop of jet black hair tousled just-ever-so, Blaise Lucarelli was made to stand out in a crowd.

“My parents named me Blaise, so I was destined to be different,” he tells redbankgreen‘s Human Bites.

Different? How? Well, it can hardly be reduced to words. One must experience Blaise, a larger-than-life Red Bank native and aspiring fashionista now working — and, he’s the first to tell you, performing — at Dor L’Dor, a womenswear shop on Broad Street.

On hiatus from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising to gain experience in the fashion industry, the Red Bank Catholic alum returned to the borough  after taking a couple years to live in New York, where he says he really started to feel comfortable with who he was. While there, he had a beauty mark tattooed next to his right eye.

“My mother always told me, ‘know your audience,’ ” he says. “I’m never going to change who I am, but I can change the level or degree of who I am.”

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COMING TO BROAD: WOMEN’S CLOTHING SHOP

chelsea-homeDor L’Dor’s owner hopes to open in mid-May. (Click to enlarge)

Rcsm2_010508A Manhattan-based clothing store catering to women aged 16 to 36 has signed a lease in downtown Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

Dor L’Dor, a financial-district casualwear shop that also has stores in Brooklyn and Hoboken, will take over the space last occupied by Chelsea Home furnishings at the corner of Broad and Mechanic streets, real estate agent Karen Gagliano confirms.

A person affiliated with the store — whose name means “from generation to generation” in Hebrew — said the family-owned business expects to fit in well with fashion-oriented emporiums downtown, including its largest new magnet retailer, Urban Outfitters, which opened less than a block away in November.

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