BUSKING IN THE GLORY OF STREET LIFE

Clockwise from top left: A Cool Blues Duo, Jeff & Elaine, The Al Wright Unit and Peas & Carrots are among the acts taking it to the streets for Red Bank Street Life, the 2012 slate of which kicks off this Saturday evening.

It happens right about the time that Riverfest sounds the keynote to summertime in Red Bank. The sidewalks, storefronts and greens of the Shore’s favorite beach-free destination town ring out with great evening music every Saturday night in the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Other towns may stake a claim to being Where Music Lives, but when Red Bank StreetLife returns on June 2, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.

Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter (with funding assistance from the Monmouth County Arts Council), Street Life offers up a shuffle-mix that ranges from acoustic Americana to ethnic, and from sweet-Adeline harmonies to a little bit of harmonic dissonance.

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SANTAS, EDDIES TO OCCUPY BROAD STREET

christmasvacationIt’s full! The number of aspiring Cousin Eddies taking part in the second annual EddieCon pub crawl has been capped at twenty — but there’s still room for not-so-secret Santas to hitch up to the SantaCom team, also going on around Red Bank this Saturday afternoon.

By TOM CHESEK

bad-santaHe appears right around this time each year, making people smile; a familiar figure instantly recognizable by his trademark headgear and his distinctive transportation.

We’re talking of course about Cousin Eddie, the boorish ne’er-do-well played by Randy Quaid in various Vacation movies — specifically Christmas Vacation (and its direct-to-video sequel). The image of Eddie, clad in bathrobe and flap-eared trapper hat, has been burned into our nation’s pop-cultural consciousness in recent years. And on Saturday, December 17, downtown Red Bank revelers and strolling shoppers may encounter another “thing you can’t un-see,” when nearly two dozen Cousin Eddies take to the streets (and saloons) in support of a worthy cause, as part of the newly minted local tradition known as EddieCon.

And by some Christmas magic, Saturday also marks the first appearance in Red Bank of SantaCon, the international pub-crawl phenomenon described as “a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.”

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DUBLIN HOUSE HIT FOR $1.1M IN DWI DEATH

hot-topic rightRed Bank’s Dublin House pub is on the hook for more than $1 million of a $3.3 million jury award to the family a man killed by a drunk, off-duty State Trooper in Middletown four years ago, the Asbury Park Press reported Thursday last week.

Also having to pay into the settlement is the defunct Ashes Cigar Bar nightclub on Broad Street. A third Red Bank watering hole that was sued was spared from the judgment.

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A COMEDY SPECIAL (HOLD THE CHEESE)

covertCovert operations: Elsie’s Subs co-proprietor Chris Covert (pictured in his night job as stand-up comic) brings the latest in his ongoing Comedy Night Live series to the Dublin House on Friday, August 26.

By TOM CHESEK

Maybe you like your humor DRY, and your subs WET — maybe vice versa. Either way, he’s got you covered.

Most days of the week, Chris Covert presides over one of the most beloved institutions within the Red Bank state of mind — Elsie’s Subs, the 52-year-old Monmouth Street landmark that’s been owned by his wife Tish for over 20 years.

As the steward of a brand about which native Red Bankers tend to get territorial (it’s not uncommon for in-the-know visitors to grab an Elsie’s special immediately after coming in from the airport — and to order a no oil/vinegar “dry” sub for the flight back home), Covert loves nothing more than to keep serving a loyal clientele that consists of “99 percent repeat customers – the best kind there is.”

That said, the honorable earl of sandwich has been known to have his other pursuits and fancies — not the least of which is an artistic bent that’s manifested itself in a series of quirky mosaic portraits, as well as a cutting-edge flair for custom-carved Halloween pumpkins.

As if he weren’t in danger of slicing himself too thin already, this Caravaggio of the capicola has an altogether separate, nocturnal calling — as a practitioner of the art of stand-up comedy, and ringmaster of a regular series of Comedy Open Mic events at the equally iconic Dublin House. It’s to the second floor of The Dub that Covert returns this Friday, August 26, for the fourth and latest in a monthly menu of Comedy Night Live events.

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ROOM FOR PINTS, PASTA, JAVA AND SUSHI

dubThe Dublin House is adding a second-story room to its Monmouth Street location. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Dublin House on Monmouth Street is making a little more elbow room for its customers. rcsm2_0105081

Red Bank’s authentically Irish pub grub spot won approval earlier this week to knock down a wall next to the upstairs bar and extend the area with additional seating and a stairway to the northeast end of the Victorian structure, Dub co-owner Euegne Devlin said.

“It’s just going to be like a little lounge room,” he said. “It’s basically only for the convenience of my customers.”

The addition of 20 to 25 seats in a 400-square-foot room — to be done in the same style and colors of the public house’s update four years ago — plus a staircase leading directly to it, will eliminate the slightly awkward walk through the upstairs dining area to get to the second-floor bar, Devlin said.

“People were complaining about going through the dining room,” he said. “When you come upstairs, (now you can) walk right into the bar.”

More business news from Red Bank after the jump.

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A LEANER, MEANER CUT OF RIBEYE

slim-tim-cronin21Alone in an idealized Red Bank of the mind, Tim Cronin models a new look and readies a new edition of The Ribeye Brothers for a Memorial Weekend wingding at The Dub.

By TOM CHESEK

It’s the first question on the mind of anyone who happens into the English Plaza entrance of Jack’s Music Shoppe, where Tim Cronin “steers the back of the firetruck” from his perch near the posters, the listening kiosk and the certified pre-owned vinyl.

The answer, of course, is NO — as in “no, this is NOT a register.” But if there’s time for a followup, the answer might be YES — as in why YES, I did lose a couple of DJ milk crates’ worth of weight, or as he puts it, “I’ve gone from morbidly obese, to not so morbid.”

Fans of the Ribeye Brothers will be relieved to know that the beloved frontman for the Red Bank-based swamp/ stomp/ “detached garage” band hasn’t shed more than 60 pounds out of any sickness, addiction to Enerjets or ill-advised hunger strike keyed to the Mets closing above .500 this season. Rather, it’s as simple and as effective as a dietary regimen that says nix to the butter, bacon and salt — with a big boost from “sugarless gum, black coffee and tons of hot sauce.”

This is all pertinent because, when the latest edition of the Brothers Ribeye returns to The Dublin House for a holiday-weekend hullabaloo on Sunday evening, May 29, the band will be serving up a sound and a set that’s as meaty and beaty as ever, while arguably just a healthy bit less big and bouncy.

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BASIE PLANS OUTDOOR TERRACE & BAR

basie-patio1A mapped aerial view of the area the Count Basie Theatre is proposing to build an outdoor patio. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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Bumping up against an informal deadline in an informal agreement with “friends,” the Count Basie Theatre is ready to make a move on a vacant lot next door.

The theater has submitted plans to the planning and zoning office at Red Bank Borough Hall, on the opposite side of Monmouth Street, to build an outdoor patio area on some 29,000-square-feet of space between the theater and abutting Buona Sera.

Basie executives will present the plan to the planning board next week to seek approval for a number of variances to get the L-shaped space clear for construction.

If approved, the patio will add yet another amenity to an ever-growing list of improvements at the historic theater, Basie CEO Numa Saisselin tells redbankgreen.

“It would make the building a lot better to use if there was a bigger meeting area,” Saisselin said.

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‘COUSIN EDDIES’ DO A CHARITY CRAWL

eddiecon11A cadre of ‘Cousin Eddies’ made their way around Red Bank Saturday night in a successful bid to get loopy and raise some money. (Photos courtesy of Robert Kern. Click to enlarge)

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Eighteen area men took to Red Bank’s bars and restaurants dressed in bathrobes and trapper hats Saturday night.

In a twist on Santacon, a somewhat raunchy gathering of faux Santa Clauses held annually in New York and elsewhere, the men did a pub crawl dressed as their favorite movie character: “Cousin Eddie,” from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Led by Chris Kenny of Shrewsbury and Dave Carr of Rumson, the mostly thirty-something robesmen hit more than a dozen watering holes on both sides of town, eating, indulging in cold beverages and shaking a pail all along the way to raise money for the Monmouth Day Care Center.

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NO PLANS YET FOR ‘ACCIDENTAL’ LICENSE

eugene-devlin-2007

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It happened by “accident,” Eugene Devlin tells redbankgreen, that he walked out of Ashes Cigar Club‘s public auction yesterday the owner of the defunct nightclub’s liquor license.

Devlin, co-owner of The Dublin House (seen at right in 2007), had previousy left the auction because he heard somebody else had placed a successful bid on the license. Then he got a phone call from John Anderson, son of Jack Anderson, who owns the Broad Street building Ashes occupied, that there was a problem with the bid, and suggested Devlin return.

He did, and for $395,000 came away with the liquor license. Now he and business partner Sean Dunne have to figure out what to do with it.

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME… POETRY?

dub-readings-1The crowd was all ears at the Dublin House for last month’s River Read event. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

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That’s right, Sunday is not solely about football. Another kind of contact event — one also best enjoyed with a cold beverage — has been claiming a regular monthly audience in Red Bank.

The River Read series, dedicated to poetry, fiction and any other literature that might be read or recited aloud, continues this Sunday at its home of the past year, the Dublin House.

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A PASSION FOR FASHION & KEEPING IT LOCAL

A crowd that spilled over onto the Monmouth Street sidewalk packed the courtyard of the Dublin House Pub Wednesday night for the second alfresco fashion show held there in three months.

Like the last one, held in April, this one was organized by Rosa Davis of Bella Mystique on Broad Street. It also again featured amateur models from in and around Red Bank, and was supported by local hairdressers, modeling advisors and makeup artists. A series of raffles raised money for Lunch Break, the soup kitchen on the West Side.

But even with the parochial slant, the event had the frisson and throb of its more urbane counterparts. redbankgreen photog Peter Lindner was there with his gear to capture it all in pixels.

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BUSTIN’ IT AT THE DUB, TAKE TWO

sinead-dunneSinead Dunne models a swimsuit that will be featured in the show. Below, Ruthie Chaparra in a kimono-style dress. (Click to enlarge)

ruthie-chaparra

Somehow, little old Red Bank survived its first century-plus of existence without an outdoor fashion show featuring skimpily clad amateur models.

Rosa Davis of Bella Mystique filled that cultural void with panache on a chilly night back in April. That’s when several dozen customers of her Broad Street boutique strutted a red carpet laid down outside the Dublin House on Monmouth Street.

The place was packed, the music was throbbing, and there was enough jiggle in the courtyard to boost the ambient temperature by a couple of degrees.

So why wait another century to do it again? Even if the temperatures are now tropical quality.

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A RANDOM WALK THROUGH A TODDLIN’ TOWN

A hot summer night, dazzling smiles, an irresistible rhythm, a bit of flesh revealed…

Saturday nights have been hopping in downtown Red Bank of late, so redbankgreen dispatched photographer Peter Lindner to the streets and bars last Saturday to capture the post-sundown vibe.

He filed this set of 102 shots, from the couple enjoying a quiet dinner to the guys and gals on the prowl to to the folks who make it all happen in an orderly, law-abiding sort of way. Enjoy!

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FASHION SHOW DAZZLES DOWNTOWN

Putting their customers and friends to work, Rosa and Liam Davis of womens’ casualwear shop Bella Mystique brought downtown Red Bank its first open-air fashion show in memory Tuesday night.

The event, held in the courtyard of the Dublin House on Monmouth Street, featured several dozen amateur models — high school students, a bank teller, a toy store employee, a radiology lab worker and others — in dazzling spring and summer outfits.

redbankgreen was there, from start to finish, making full use of its all-access pass to document the show both on the runway and backstage.

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RED BANK BOUTIQUE PLANS FASHION SHOW

bella-mystique-2-042210Some of the women who will be modeling clothes from Bella Mystique gathered at the store recently. Store own Rosa Davis is at center in the tall boots. (Photos by Anthony Trufolo; click to enlarge)

Downtown Red Bank will be the scene of its first open-air fashion show in recent memory next Tuesday evening.

This one is shaping up as an all-local affair, featuring the clothing of a Broad Street boutique (Bella Mystique), amateur models recruited from the store’s customers, a runway set up at a Monmouth Street bar/restaurant (the Dublin House) and other in-town touches.

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GREEN DAY ON THE GREEN

redbankgreen hit the streets and taverns from Red Bank to Sea Bright Wednesday in search of St. Patrick’s Day celebrants, and found no shortage.

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