CHURNING ITALIAN ON BROAD AND WEST SIDE

racioppisAfter 15 years in Red Bank, Racioppi’s Kitchen locked its doors Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The last two years were tough for Joe Racioppi (no relation to this reporter). The last six to eight months in particular, he said, became impossible to weather. rcsm2_0105081

“It got to the point where I just couldn’t make the payments at home,” said Racioppi, who lives in the Navesink section of Middletown. “So it was at the point where I either found another job or got kicked out of my house.”

He chose the former, and on Sunday, months before the 16th anniversary of Racioppi’s Kitchen, Racioppi turned off the lights and locked the doors of his Italian deli and restaurant for the last time.

“It sucks,” he said. “It’s kind of depressing, but on the other hand, it’s kind of relieving.”

Racioppi’s is just one of a handful of businesses making an exit from Red Bank in recent weeks.

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