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COCKTAIL WEEK (SORRY) MUDDLES ON

081314 cocktail mixoff4Bartenders, preparing to compete at Taste Tuesday night. Chris Paseka, below, emceed the well-attended event. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

081314 cocktail mixoff3A feeling of autumn was in the air Tuesday night at Taste in Red Bank.

A Laird’s Applejack mix-off, a continuation of Cocktail Week, was in full swing, featuring nine enthusiastically adept bartenders and their apple-inspired concoctions.

Dressing up table displays with brightly colored fall motifs, the imaginative bartenders mixed cinnamon apple margaritas – and muddled everything from sage to peaches – while dipping the rims of tiny shot glasses in cinnamon sugar.

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RED BANK: KICKING-OFF A WEEK OF COCKTAILS

081014 kickoff cocktail 1 Jamie Gray prepares a cocktail at red‘s upstairs lounge bar. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumThere’s a party going on in Red Bank over the course of the next week, and it’s going to be a bit of a booze-filled frenzy.

At the kickoff of Cocktail Week Sunday night, bartenders prepared specialty drinks made with Leaf vodka, just one of several sponsors for the event organized by Red Bank Flavour.

Bartender Jamie Gray of red restaurant on Broad Street squeezed fresh limes for the Thai basil martinis while Matt Monaco was busy muddling mint for the Hendrick’s Gin mojitos served with cucumbers.

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RED BANK: COCKTAIL WEEK? IF YOU INSIST…

dee downtown 072514 2Downtown bartender Dee with some of his output, including a blackbery cosmo, below.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

downtown cocktail 072514 2To watch the one-named bartender Dee when the drink orders are coming in at Red Bank’s Downtown is to a witness unflappability amid a blur of glasses, garnishes, bottles and stainless-steel shakers.

“I have to be very quick,” Dee tells PieHole while rapidly muddling ingredients for a cucumber vodka mojito. Over 10 years of mixing and pouring, “I’ve developed speed,” says Dee. “Not every bartender likes to muddle, but I love the labor of this job.”

Starting August 10, the restaurant promotion group Red Bank Flavour plans to spotlight the town’s watering holes and the bartenders who keep their libations flowing with the first-ever Red Bank Cocktail Week.

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RED BANK: COUNTRY FEST IN THE RED

rb country lindner 062814 1 They danced, but they didn’t eat much, at the country music festival last month. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb country lindner 062814 3The music was a hit, but the cash registers rang out a sad song at the Red Bank Rockin’ Country Music Festival last month.

The two-day event in Marine Park drew only 10,000 to 12,000 paying customers, compared to a similar number who typically show up for the single-afternoon International Flavour Festival in the White Street parking lot in April, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: COUNTRY FANS KICK UP DUST

Scenes from the  first-ever Red Bank Rockin’ Country Music Festival, a two-day food-and-tunes event that raised funds for the Red Bank Public Library Foundation, the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, Red Bank Charter School Library and event host Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY

Maggie Rose headlines the first-ever Red Bank Rockin’ Country Music Festival, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday in Marine Park and continues Sunday. Hosted by Red Bank RiverCenter, the event will spotlight the culinary creations of borough restaurants. Profits will benefit the Red Bank Public Library Foundation, the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, Red Bank Charter School Library, and RiverCenter. Admission is $5 for anyone over 10 years old. Here’s the full entertainment schedule. (Click to enlarge)

 

COUNTRY MUSIC FEST COMING TO RED BANK

marine park stage 053113The mainstage-and-second-stage setup of RiverFest and other events at Marine Park will be replaced by two equal-sized stages for the Red Bank Country Music Festival, featuring Maggie Rose, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

maggie roseGet out the pointy leather boots and brush up on yer twang: Red Bank’s goin’ country in June.

A new event called the Red Bank Country Music Festival will set up camp in Marine Park for two days in late June, taking over a slot on an outdoor events calendar filled last year by Sippin’ on the River.

While Sippin’ won’t be back this year, its pioneering wet-your-whistle spirit will live on, as the country-themed food-and-music event will feature wine and beer sales, only the second such event in recent history to allow alcohol consumption in a borough park.

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LAST WEEKEND IN JUNE. DRINK IT ALL IN…

Beer and wine will be sold in a Red Bank park for the first time at this weekend’s Sippin’ On the River food festival at Marine Park. David Byrne and St. Vincent, below, bring a honkin’ big brass band to the Basie. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, July 28:

RED BANK: The Downtown hosts Daddy Pop, an eclectic cover band. Let the octuplet take you back with their renditions of hits by the Jackson 5 and Frankie Valli or leave you tapping your feet to the latest hits from Black Eyed Peas and J Lo. The show starts at 10 p.m. 10 West Front Street.

RED BANK: Co-founder of the Talking Heads, David Byrne returns to the Count Basie Theatre, where the concert film “Between the Teeth” was made. This time, he’s bringing Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, for the release of their collaborative album “Love This Giant.” Tickets are $35, $45, $59.50, and $75. The show starts at 8 p.m. 99 Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: FLAVOUR FEST FEEDS THRONGS

Does Red Bank know how to eat or whut?

Mais oui! As proof, thousands of visitors jammed the White Street parking lot Sunday for the second annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival, bringing appetites not only for food, served up by two dozen of the town’s restaurants and food stores, but for dancing and general bonhomie.

redbankgreen was there with its point-and-shoot. Were you? Check out our collection of 75 snaps if you’re unsure.

Up next: Sippin’ on the River, in June.

RED BANK: EAT THE WORLD, ON WHITE STREET

It’s one of the inarguable upsides of immigration: the tickling of America’s taste buds. And visitors to Red Bank are among the beneficiaries this Sunday as the White Street parking lot morphs into a smorgasbord of border-crossing cuisines for the second annual International Flavour Festival. Sponsored by Red Bank RiverCenter, the event highlights the output of grilles, ovens and stoves of two dozen Red Bank restaurants and food retailers, with live entertainment and thousands of friendly faces from noon to 7 p.m. Rain date: May 5.  (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ADAMS QUITS RIVERCENTER HELM

Nancy Adams with RiverCenter vice chairman Tom Fishkin, center, and board secretary Michael Warmington in 2011. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The top job at downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter is vacant following the abrupt departure of Nancy Adams as executive director Friday.

Adams announced her resignation in an email to redbankgreen, describing her departure as neither a firing nor a forced resignation but as an amicable split with RiverCenter’s board of directors.

“It was a mutual thing,” she said in an interview Saturday. “Overall, I think the board was very happy with what we did to move forward from economic devastation.”

But she cited “ruffled feathers,” scapegoating and what she said was a relatively short lifecycle for heads of state-chartered Special Improvement Districts among her reasons for leaving.

Readie’s Market Café owner Tom Fishkin, one of three board members whose meeting with Adams Friday prompted the resignation, attributed the move to “some creative differences” and a desire for a “fresh start.”

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RED BANK: SIPPIN’ AND CHOWIN’ EVENT OK’D

The logo for next summer’s Sippin’ on the River two-day food-and-drink fest, to be held in Marine Park. The event joins a seasonal roster that also includes the International Flavour Fest, held in the White Street municipal lot, as seen below. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Red Bank is about to get its fourth outdoor food fest, one that allows, for the first time, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public park.

Sponsored by the culinary alliance Red Bank Flavour, the two-day ‘Sippin’ on the River’ chowdown won clearance from the borough council Wednesday night to set up its tents in Marine Park on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, in Marine Park.

“In addition to the charity aspect, which all our festivals have,” said Flavour founder and restaurateur George Lyristis, “this festival is designed to give people a great reason to come down to Red Bank to try out some of the best local food around, and have some wine or beer.”

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FOOD FOR… SPORTS GEAR AND FIELD LIGHTS

Done3

Upcoming: Thursday, August 16

Red Bank Flavour, a culinary campaign driven by the borough’s restaurants and food stores, presents “A Night on the Navesink: A Flavour Summer Soiree” at the Molly Pitcher Inn on Thursday, August 16.

Held at Red Bank’s newly renovated riverfront hotel, the evening, co-sponsored by hotel owner J.P. Barry Hospitality, will offer guests culinary samplings from more than 20 borough eateries, as well as wine samplings, libations and craft beer selections from New Jersey breweries.

A portion of proceeds from “A Night on the Navesink” will benefit Lunch Break and the Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation.

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WEEKEND: PINKHATSYARDSALEFOODFEST

Red Bank becomes a bargainhunter’s paradise on Saturday. On Sunday: food, acres of food. (Click to enlarge)

As the headline suggests, the weekend that awaits is jammed with the potential for good times.

We’ve got the fifth Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, this one making a migration from fall to spring.

We’ve got one of the inaugural events of this year’s weeklong Paint the Town Pink festivities to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

And capping it all off, rain or shine, is the first-ever Red Bank International Flavour Fest, an outdoor celebration of the wide variety of cuisines available year-round at Red Bank restaurants.

And Mother Nature appears to be in a mood to cooperate.

Details, as they used to say when that was still a two-syllable word, are just below.

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STANDING UP FOR FOOD AND SONG

Several hundred visitors packed the lobby of the Two River Theater to sample the culinary offerings of more than a dozen Red Bank restaurants as the appetizer to a buffet selection of Broadway show offerings Monday night. Restaurant-promotion group Red Bank Flavour organized the event, which was billed as Broadway in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

‘FLAVOUR’ TO TEASE TASTE BUDS AND MORE

rb-flavourA screen grab from the Red Bank Flavour website. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A restaurant-and-bar-led consortium has rolled out a multi-front web marketing campaign to boost Red Bank’s profile as a cultural destination.

Dubbed Red Bank Flavour, the campaign’s aim is to resharpen the town’s dulled edge as Monmouth County’s go-to place for dining and nightlife, a distinction it lost in recent years with the rise of Pier Village in Long Branch and the two-fisted resurgence of Asbury Park’s downtown and boardwalk.

“It’s about bringing people back to Red Bank, and letting people know that we’re still very vibrant,” says Valerie Aufiero of Front Street Trattoria.

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