RED BANK: A BRIEF BOUT OF ANGLOMANIA

red bank royal visit 1939 2A detail from the front page of the Red Bank Register’s June 15, 1939 edition. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIt was a day unlike any ever seen before or since in Red Bank, turning hordes of area residents and visitors into Anglophiles, at least for a late-spring morning.

Imagine: an estimated 200,000 people jamming downtown Red Bank and the roadways through Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright to catch a glimpse of king and queen of England.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? HOT DOGS IN SEA BRIGHT

rooney hot dogs 082715Hot dogs from the cart of Frances Rooney, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mrs rooney 082715It’s noontime on a gorgeous, late-summer day in beautiful downtown Sea Bright, and PieHole is hungry.

What’s for Lunch? Plenty, and more to choose from every month, it seems, on this back-from-the-brink spit of sand. You’ve got pizza, seafood, Japanese and more, at places ranging from beachware casual to near elegance, all within a one-mile stretch of Ocean Avenue.

But it’s not just food we’re craving. We’re nursing a palpable, please-don’t-ever-end yearning to make this day of blue skies and soft breezes just keep going and going. Sitting down indoors just seems… criminal.

So, hello, Mrs. Rooney.

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SEA BRIGHT: ROONEY BUILDING APPROVED

sb mrs rooney 040314The Ocean Avenue lot where Frances Rooney, seen above in April, has sold hot dogs from a cart since 1977 will become Rooney Plaza, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rooney plaza 081214Mrs. Rooney selling hot dogs indoors?

To Sea Brighters and other passersby, the idea that Frances Rooney, the hardy weiner merchant who sometimes defies the pleas of her children not to go out in arctic weather, would no longer ply her trade in the elements might seem unnatural.

But with the planning board’s approval Tuesday night of a four-story, mixed-used structure on her gravel lot at Ocean Avenue and Surf Street, it may happen, she told redbankgreen.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WINDMILL DOGS

windmill dog 070314The dog and truly artful fries at the Windmill. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumMid-July in Jersey. Is there another time-and-place combo that shouts “hot dog” more loudly?

A sweat-soaked, wiener-wanting PieHole took it over to the Windmill on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank for lunch recently, and the place was jumping.

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HOT DOG CART AND CHIC EATERY BACK IN BIZ

Hot dog seller Frances Rooney poses for a photo with admirers, including Councilwoman Peggy Bills, at right above. Below, Pat Trama in his restored restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

One of Sea Bright’s oldest food businesses reopened this week, and one of its newest was scheduled to do so Friday night, two signs that the storm-battered town is cooking up a recovery.

Frances Rooney, affectionately known as “Grandma Hot Dog,”  fired up the gas on her cart this week and was soon attracting lines of hungry and loyal customers.

“My son was the one who really encouraged me to come back out here and start serving people again – sooner rather than later,” she told redbankgreen, “He thought it would be a comforting sight for everyone to see me back in business, up on my feet.”

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ONE HOT HOT DOG TRUCK

12:00 p.m.: Going by the thermostat in George Laboussis’ hand, the temperature inside the G&G Hot Dog Truck in Red Bank had already edged past 95 degrees by noontime – and that was with the air conditioner running.

Laboussis has been manning the truck for the past three months with his wife, Dimi, for his father-in-law, Gus Tangalos, who’s owned the Shrewsbury Avenue institution-on-wheels for 40 years and is recovering from a triple bypass operation. (Click to enlarge)

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MAN BITES TUBE STEAK

hotdog_ir2

In honor of National Hot Dog Month, redbankgreen tips its trucker’s cap today to the men and women of the The Green who work the roller grills and ‘dirty water’ pots to provide us with a favorite culinary indulgence.

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