RED BANK: FRESH “JAM” AT PARK STAND

Steve Farley, left, and Bill Huwyler at Riverside Park Jam, the former concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park that they’ve reinvented as a gourmet-quality takeout restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after it ended decades of underutilization, the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank has a radically new mission.

Call it the no-concessions stand, because it’s not summer-only, and it’s not hot dogs and sodas — not by a long shot.

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RED BANK: SIDEWALK CAFÉ, STAND ON AGENDA

A proposed ordinance change would allow Catch 19, a seafood restaurant that’s zoned as a club, to set up sidewalk dining like other downtown eateries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A downtown Red Bank restaurant that’s zoned as a club would be able to join the trend of sidewalk cafés under a law tweak up for consideration Wednesday night.

Also on the borough council agenda: a new vendor for the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park.

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ON THE GREEN: CATCH THESE OUTSIDE

The reverb-drenched surf rock sounds of  the Sharkskins close out the concert season on the Fair Haven Municipal Dock Thursday night.

From star-kissed surf and free-range country to plein-air pickin’ and fresh-air film, the season of outdoor diversions remains very much in effect on the Greater Red Bank Green. We’ve got the roundup of public-welcome events under the summer sky — and over the next seven days and nights — all of them free as a breeze.

It all starts tonight, weather permitting, with the latest installment of the Summer 2017 Movies in Riverside Gardens Park series, sponsored by Red Bank Parks and Recreation and brought to you by Shore Flicks.

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RED BANK: ICE CREAM & A MOVIE

The Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand in Riverside Gardens Park is the place to be a sultry summer evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Riverside Gardens Park, sandwiched between West Front Street and the Navesink River in Red Bank, is a hive of activity on warm summer nights. Swarms of kids stop by to view the boats on the river, catch a glimpse of the sunset and maybe enjoy the weekly entertainment put on by the folks at the borough Parks and Rec department.

Enticed by the aroma of fresh baked waffles being shaped into cones, PieHole finds a place in line to see what everyone is ordering at the Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand there.

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IN THE AIR: FREE MUSIC, MOVIES AND MORE

Week two of this summer’s Movies in the Park series in Red Bank features an entry from the ‘Star Wars’ catalog. Below, Layonne Holmes fronts the Motor City Revue in a return to Sandy Hook Wednesday.  

There’s a chance to imagine yourself as part of the biggest franchise in film fantasy history. Some power pop on the dock. A heat-blast of Latin-flavored jazz in the park. A little beach-music soul on the sands. And one of the world’s most beloved plays on yonder grassy knoll.

It’s all going on beneath the setting sun and stars of the Greater Red Bank Green — and all fabulously free of charge in the evenings to come.

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RED BANK: JAZZIN’ THE PARK IN JULY

Yes Yes Nonet: Saxman/bandleader Mike Kaplan and his Nonet sound a brassy keynote for a new summer series of free Jazz in the Park concerts Thursday night at Riverside Gardens.  

“Summertime, and the livin’s easy,” sang Satchmo and Ella in their symphonically jazzy take on Porgy and Bess — but if you’re one of the folks from the Jazz Arts Project, you might find the season of beach blankets, barbecues and bug zappers to be busier than a drum solo by the late great Buddy Rich.

It’s an interlude that swings things in classic night-owl style via this weekend’s inaugural entry in the long-running Summer Jazz Cafe series — about which more to come here on redbankgreen. But before all that, Red Bank-based nonprofit that brought you December’s annual Sinatra Birthday Bash and April’s Talkin’ Jazz lecture series jumps into July with the first in a weekly Thursday schedule of free Jazz in the Park events at Riverside Gardens.

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RED BANK: ORGANIC FOOD, BOOZE & CONES

Chef Josh Agnello of JJ’S Organic Grill, now setting up shop in the former Sicilia space at 128 Broad Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe’ve got some intel on a new organic restaurant, a liquor store expansion and the return of a seasonal ice cream stand in Red Bank in this here edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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COOL INSIDE: SUMMER FLOATS AWAY

TOAST_082816A Root Beer Float from Toast City Diner. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

toast 082716Is it really over already? No! Say it isn’t so!

As the summer of 2016 fades into history, it is with great reluctance that PieHole‘s Cool Inside series closes out (sniff!) with a simple classic: a root beer float.

It’s the 15th entry in the series that has served up everything from a waffle bowl to an egg cream, with lots of variety in between. Each was carefully selected to deliver maximum mouthfuls of flavor and bone-cooling effect on a hot summer’s day.

But remember, dear reader: summer doesn’t actually end until September 22. So if you missed any of our stops, there’s a complete list at the bottom of this article to help you keep cool in the interim —and beyond. Because really, if you think about it, does summer actually have to end?

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COOL INSIDE: TALL AND COOL IN THE SADDLE

CoffeeCorral_081816The Peanut Butter Protein Blast from the Coffee Corral. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

coffee corral extThis week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets its recommended daily allowance of the primary food groups — caffeine, peanut butter and chocolate —all in one cold cupful at a popular Red Bank coffee stop. Read More »

COOL INSIDE: A ‘BOMBA’ OF SUBTLE FLAVORS

BOMBA_081116A Juanito’s ‘Bomba,’ packed with flavor and texture. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanito's bakery 081116This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series sinks a straw into a thick, cold beverage that’s kind of a mash-up of a fruit smoothie and a chocolate milkshake.

It’s called a “Bomba,” and the guy who made it for us swears it’s a great way to start your day. Yes, for breakfast. And we found it delivers a payload of satisfying flavors and textures while cooling us to the core on a sweltering August afternoon.

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COOL INSIDE: PARTY IN A CUP

CHOCO-WORKS_080416Presenting the Candy Wonderland Shake. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chocolate works 080516 1This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series spotlights what may just be the eye-poppingest drinkable treat you’ll ever lay eyes on.

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COOL INSIDE: INSIDE THE BUBBLE

CHILL_072816A Lemon-Strawberry Ice Bubble from Chill Bubble Tea in Red Bank. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chill bubble tea 5This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets a little bubbly and fruity with a cold drink that pops in your mouth.
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COOL INSIDE: A RIVERSIDE MILKSHAKE

GRACIE-DUDES_072216A chocolate milkshake from Gracie and the Dudes in Red Bank. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

gracie dudes 071916 1This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series features an old fatithful cold drink you can now enjoy overlooking our beautiful Navesink River from Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank.

For those who missed the news: the snack stand in the park, which has barely been used over its two-decade existence, is now operating as a third location for Gracie and the Dudes Homemade Ice Cream. Read More »

RED BANK: THE PARK AWAKENS

rb movies park 071916 6rb snack bar 071916A combination of cool weather, a family-friendly film, virtual Pokémon characters popping up on cellphones all over the place, a newly opened ice cream stand and of course that gorgeous sunset drew hundreds to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park for a movies-in-the-park screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Tuesday night. 

Parks and Rec Director Charlie Hoffmann said the crowd may have been the largest ever for the weekly summer series presented by Shore Flicks.

Up next in the series: “Zootopia,” followed on August 2 by “Jaws,” in connection with this summer’s 100th anniversary of the Monmouth County shark attacks that inspired the film. The rest of the schedule is here, and Hoffmann reminds attendees that canned food goods are accepted for donation to to Lunch Break and other local charities. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

rb pokemon 071916 3

RED BANK: ICE CREAM STAND OPENS

gracie dudes 070616 1WhatsGoingOnHereFor the first time in its two-decade history, the snack bar in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park is operating as a regular daily business. 

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream of Sea Bright opened in the West Front Street facility without fanfare last weekend under a two-year contract entered with the borough in April following a bid process. For most of its existence, the building was open only sporadically during borough events.

The contract is for two years, with a three-year renewal option. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: JAZZ IN JULY AND BEYOND

Warren VacheTrumpeter Warren Vaché sounds the keynote for a new series of Summer Jazz Cafe events at Two River Theater this weekend. Keith Marks, below parks it at Riverside Gardens for the first in A slate of free outdoor jazz concerts Thursday night.  

Keith MarksAlthough it keeps a year-round beat that includes December’s annual Sinatra Birthday Bash, the spring series of Talkin’ Jazz lectures and the ongoing sessions of the Jazz Arts Academy, summertime means the livin’ is also busy for the Jazz Arts Project, the nonprofit arts organization based here in Red Bank, the borough that gave the world Count Basie (to say nothing of the late and legendary Johnny Jazz).

It’s a flurry of activity that really hits home in this first full week of July, as Jazz Arts and artistic director Joe “Mooche” Muccioli introduce a new schedule for a seasonal signifier — the celebrated Summer Jazz Café at Two River Theater — along with the return of a relatively recent warm-weather diversion: the free series of Jazz in the Park concerts at Riverside Gardens Park.

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RED BANK: GETTING ‘JURASSIC’ IN THE PARK

jurassic_world_still_6Stake out a place on the grass; bring a food drive donation and enjoy the ride, as free summer movies return to Riverside Gardens Park on July 5 with a screening of the blockbuster JURASSIC WORLD.

“Just picture perfect…a beautiful backdrop” is how T.J. Brustowicz of Shore Flicks described Riverside Gardens Park, the open-air setting for a summertime series of free feature film screenings (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation) that enters its ninth season this coming Tuesday, July 5.

Even with Brustowicz and his Shore Flicks crew bringing their pumped-up inflatable screens and beefed-up sound systems to beaches, parks and community centers all over Monmouth County, there’s no arguing that the sculpted terraces and waterfront walkways of Red Bank’s Gardens represent the Shore’s premier place to catch your favorite cinematic stars beneath the stars. From the super sight lines of the sloping lawn to those complimentary Navesink River sunsets — and even the busy energy from the nearby Front Street main drag — it’s an experience you’ll be hard pressed to match anywhere else. And, with the anticipated opening of the new Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream at the park’s (historically under-utilized) snack bar, the stage is set for a family friendly diversion that continues Tuesday evenings through August 23.

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FAIR HAVEN HARVEST FEST A SUCCESS

Harvest Fest 1From left, Harvest Fest Co-Chairs Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy and Sickles School Nurse Nora Navarro and her daughter Sophie display information and ideas for the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Saturday, October 3 came in on a wave of coastal flood warnings and hurricane trackings — but despite having to relocate from its usual out-of-doors venue to the All Purpose Room of Knollwood School, The Fair Haven School District’s annual “Harvest Fest” was once again a resounding success. And on an autumn afternoon more soggy than crisp, the inclement weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of volunteers or attendees at the fundraiser for the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association.

Harvest Fest 2015 featured a plethora of games, a pumpkin decorating contest, and exciting live performances. Refreshments available for purchase included soup and sandwiches from BFF Market in Fair Haven. Seed to Sprout, a new Fair Haven eatery, generously donated cookies to the bake sale, which also featured homemade baked goods.

Approximately 100 parent and school-age volunteers (from seventh grade through high school) kept the action going for the large crowd. PTA Co-Chairs for this year’s Harvest Fest were Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy.

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