RED BANK: NEW PHARMACY APPROVED

A drugstore and two adjoining stores would occupy space formerly used by a Chinese takeout restaurant and a portrait studio near the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Rcsm2_010508Less than a year after losing its last independent drug store, Red Bank is getting a new one, and it’s located just across the street from the vacant shell of its predecessor.

Pharmacist Kamlesh Patel won approval from the borough planning board Monday night for an independent pharmacy at 141-1431 Broad Street, nearly opposite the former home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

RED BANK: ANOTHER DRUGSTORE WANTS IN

The proposed Red Bank Family Pharmacy and two retail stores would fill the space formerly occupied by Jade Garden restaurant and Kramer Photography. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Walgreen’s isn’t the only drugstore sensing opportunity in Red Bank’s pulse.

A Middlesex County pharmacist hopes to open a drugstore on Broad Street, almost directly opposite the vacant former longtime home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

Kamesh Patel’s application to open what he’s calling the Red Bank Family Pharmacy landed at the borough planning office Monday, less than two weeks after the giant Walgreen’s chain filed to build a 14,000-square-foot drugstore at the former Rassas Buick location, also on Broad Street.

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FIFTH-GENERATION FIREMAN ELECTED CHIEF

Chief-elect TD Doremus, facing camera, with his father, Tom, center, and Chief Josh Sanders at the fire department election party. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

There’s a new fire chief-elect in Red Bank, and though he’s heading into his first term at the helm of the all-volunteer squad, it’s certainly not a new title in his family.

A fifth-generation firefighter and third-generation chief, 29-year-old Thomas Doremus, known as “TD,” will begin his one-year command with the traditional New Year’s Day swearing-in at borough hall, succeeding current chief Josh Sanders.

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TODDLERS OUT OF EARSHOT, MOMS JUST TALK

Young moms assemble at a recent meeting of Mothers of Preschoolers in Red Bank. Jenni Keatts, below, says she appreciates the chance to chat “hands-free.”  (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Twice a month, swarms of weary moms march across the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank at Tower Hill, preschoolers in one hand and diaper bags in the other.

They corral their kids into classrooms upstairs, and after wiping a few tears, offer a smile of thanks to the volunteers who will watch their little ones for the next two hours. They then hurry downstairs to the St. Andrews room, where they’re warmly greeted with a “so nice to see you” from nearly everyone they see.

They’ve come for Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), a twice-monthly support group for moms of little ones, and this is their refuge.

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THIRD GENERATION SETS UP SHOP IN MALL

Sandi Vilacoba demonstrates a core-strengthening device in her new Pilates studio at the Fair Haven Shopping Center. Below, Vilacoba and her grandmother, Ofelia Schwarz, who owns the center. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

A drive down River Road in Fair Haven, with its quaint mom-and-pop shops, can be something of an escape from mainstream consumerism.

But even the borough’s most prominent strip mall, the Fair Haven Shopping Center, anchored by an Acme supermarket, has a family story to it. The Schwarz family’s story.

After nearly a decade of teaching Pilates elsewhere in Monmouth County, Sandi Vilacoba opened her own classical Pilates studio, dubbed The Pilates Project, over Memorial Day weekend. With that, the third generation of her family cemented its ties to the center.

“My grandparents immigrated from Cuba to Fair Haven in 1960 with nothing and built a business from scratch,” said Vilacoba, of Belmar.

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