RED BANK: THOUSANDS PACK OYSTERFEST

Sunny and cool weather provided ideal conditions for the return of the Red Bank RiverCenter-hosted Guinness Oyster Festival Sunday.

After a missed year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s 11th edition saw fewer local restaurants owing to staffing shortages. But thousands of attendees packed the White Street parking lot, waited patiently in lines for food and drinks, and partied with friends in front of two stages as in the past.

Were you there? Look for yourself and your friends in redbankgreen‘s beaucoup photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK REOPENS ITS DOORS

Lunch Break’s kitchen staff stands ready to again serve in-person guests. (Lunch Break photo. Click to enlarge.)

(Press release from Lunch Break)

red bank, nj, done good,After 15 months of operating as a take-away facility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is again offering its guests seated meals onsite, the food security and social services resource announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK PLANS $12M PROJECT

Additional facilities and parking would be created on lots adjacent to Lunch Break’s home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lunch Break, the food security and social services resource, announced the start of a $12 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of its Red Bank home Monday.

An addition to its facilities at at 121 Drs. James Park Boulevard is needed “to accommodate the growing needs of the community,” the nonprofit said in an announcement.

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RED BANK: FOOD WRITER SUSAN ERICSON DIES

Susan Ericson, notepad in hand, at New Corner Pizza in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Food writer Susan Ericson of Red Bank died Friday at home under hospice care after a lengthy illness. She was 66 years old.

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RED BANK: KIRKPATRICK QUITS RIVERCENTER

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420Laura Kirkpatrick addressing the Red Bank council in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time in just 17 months, the downtown promotion organization Red Bank RiverCenter is losing its executive director.

After just one, pandemic-filled year, Laura Kirkpatrick has resigned as operational head of the agency that manages the borough’s special improvement district, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS HELP FEED THE HUNGRY

Brigid Hempstead, right, with her twin sister Siobhan and teacher Brian Nesci planting vegetables on the lot last Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,On a vacant lot in Red Bank, students from Red Bank Catholic High School are mixing the ancient lessons of agriculture with new technology to help tackle food insecurity amid a global pandemic.

They’re also hoping to create a new model for food-sharing.

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RED BANK: YMCA PIVOTS TO HELP IN CRISIS

Crystal Rubins, membership director at the Red Bank Family YMCA, helps staff a food drive to support area residents served by Lunch Break in Red Bank. (Photo by Joshua Reed.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County pivoted immediately when its facilities shut down in March as the COVID crisis started. The gym floors, exercise spaces and pools were vacant, but employees and volunteers jumped into action to respond to critical community needs.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS LEAD FOOD NONPROFIT

Compañeros de Comida 052620.pngCompañeros de Comida includes, from left, Catherine White, Charlotte Stant, Katherine Busch, Brooke Bosonac, Julia Lazarescu, Charlotte Shenman and Margot White. (Not shown: Brett Cetnar Garrett.) (Click to enlarge.)

[Press release from Compañeros de Comida]

 

There is an exciting new community collaboration in Red Bank. Several weeks ago, Lunch Break introduced a community grant program offering families financial assistance during the COVID Pandemic. At that time, Itzel Perez of American Friends Service Committee, Isabel Escalante, a parishioner at St. Thomas Church, Charlotte Stant, a rising senior at RFH and Risa Clay, Tinton Falls councilwoman and retired Red Bank Regional High School principal began working with the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative (GRBWI) Immigration Committee to help identified families complete their applications.

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RED BANK: STEWARTS DONATE YEAR’S HARVEST

Comedian Jon Stewart and wife Tracey Stewart have donated this year’s harvest from their Colts Neck farm to Red Bank’s Lunch Break to help the nonprofit meet the rising demand for food assistance in COVID-19 crisis. (Video and photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FRESH TAKE ON FOOD INSECURITY

red bank kitch organicKitch Organic, on Leighton Avenue, is offering donation-powered “Kitch Kares” deliveries of organic groceries, below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Kitch Organic in Red Bank plans to roll out a new offering to help fill a void in the COVID-19 crisis: food packages that emphasize fresh vegetables and fruits rather than non-persishables.

The idea: to address rising food insecurity with healthy, organic produce and dairy products, said borough Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who hatched the idea with Kitch owner Joe Durso.

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RED BANK: GETTING FED, AND HELPING TO FEED

red bank lunch break 042020.JPGThe kitchen at Lunch Break remains busy preparing grab ‘n go meals as well as meals for delivery to the homebound. (Photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: The Parker Family Health has paused its monthly food distribution, so that entry has been removed from this list.]

With job and income losses in the COVID-10 crisis, food insecurity is spreading, and Red Bank-area charities are stepping up to help ensure no one goes hungry.

At Lunch Break in Red Bank, for example, volunteers have distributed 65 percent more meals and 56 percent more groceries since March 16 than in the comparable 2019 period, said executive director Gwen Love.

Here’s a starter list of charitable efforts to feed the hungry in Red Bank, with links to make monetary donations. This list will be updated periodically.

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RED BANK: GOOD EATING AND SHARING

red bank paradiddle 040820Leandro Batista, co-owner of Paradiddle Griddle on West Front Street in Red Bank, awaits customers picking up orders last week.

Here’s some updated information about restaurant operations in town, as well as a way to help feed healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FOODTOWN STATEMENT

red bank foodtown produce 031220Nearly empty shelves in the produce department at Red Bank Foodtown Thursday night. (Photo by Matt Anderson. Click to enlarge.)

Foodtown in Red Bank is “working hard” to ensure a steady supply of essential products and has intensified its cleaning and sanitizing efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broad Street supermarket said in a statement issued Friday.

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RED BANK: SCAVONE TO LEAVE RIVERCENTER

scavone menna red bank, nj,Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at the opening of RiverCenter’s offices on Broad Street in October, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Jim Scavone, who led Red Bank RiverCenter for the past six years, is leaving the downtown promotion organization.

He won’t be going far, though: he’s taking a job at Hackensack Meridian Health at Riverview Medical Center, just on the edge of special improvement district he managed.

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FAIR HAVEN: A DAY OF COMMUNITY

The seventh annual Fair Haven Day once again offered borough residents an evening of food, games, music and community at Fair Haven Fields Saturday.

redbankgreen was there to capture the event in pixels, right down to the spectacular fireworks finale. Click ‘read more’ for additional photos. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: OLD-TIME SODA SHOP PLANNED

FIZZ 081916Fizz Soda Fountain, featuring burgers, shakes and a 1940’s-era soda dispenser, is to replace the Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThrowing in the towel on the increasingly competitive market for subs, a Red Bank eatery is going old-school.

Canio Paradiso’s Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street, which closed for renovations earlier this summer, plans to reopen next month as Fizz Soda Fountain.

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RED BANK: JUST BROWN AND SERVE

Food Network star Alton Brown takes the Count Basie stage for a presentation that just might get a bit messy.

morsels smallThe last time the Count Basie Theatre designated a “splatter zone” in the front seats was during the farewell tour of the notorious melon-mauling comedian Gallagher. But when the TV personality and best-selling author Alton Brown visits the venerable venue this Wednesday night, the patrons in row A (and maybe B and C) will sit duly forewarned — while the plastic ponchos, we are assured, will be “larger and more protective.”

The occasion is the Red Bank whistle-stop of Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, an audience-engaging stage presentation that the Food Network star is in the process of bringing to some 40 U.S. cities.  Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: JERSEY GIRL’S SHORE FOOD TOUR

deb smith 033016 3Deborah Smith, author of “The Jersey Shore Cookbook,” outside Ama in Sea Bright last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels mediumThe flavors of the Jersey shore really burst into fullness in the summer, helping to draw millions of visitors to our sun-splashed sands.

Somehow, though, it seems no one had thought to ask the most iconic beachfront restaurants for their top recipes, with the idea of sharing them in book form.

It took a Jersey Girl from Red Bank with an insatiable palate to finally tie it all together.  Read More »