LINCROFT: BCC SEEKS ASPIRING CHEFS

BCC11-scholarshipPress release from Brookdale Community College

The Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation (JOCEF) is currently accepting applications for 2016-2017 scholarships. Monmouth and Ocean County residents enrolled in the culinary or baking programs at the Culinary Education Center at Brookdale Community College are eligible. After completing a written application and essay, selected finalists will move on to a hands-on cooking demonstration.

Scholarships will be awarded to students of the Culinary Education Center, the collaboration between Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Vocational School District. Funds for JOCEF scholarships are raised through donations and JOCEF”s annual “Recipe for Success” gala fundraiser.

On Monday, March 14, the gala will be held at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown. The event features tastings from over 25 of the Jersey Shore’s finest restaurants, a chance auction, 50/50, wine pull raffle, the opportunity to taste rare wines by the glass and a display of food prepared by scholarship recipients and students at the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park.

Read More »

CHURN: BUZZ @ WEST ELM, CHIPOTLE & THE BEE

west elm 100815 3Letters for a West Elm sign were laid out on the sidewalk for an installer last Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of Retail Churn:

• News about Brooklyn-based boho furniture retailer West Elm‘s new store…

• a women’s clothing store called the bee plans to build a nest in a long-vacant space downtown…

• and signs of movement at the yet-to-open Chipotle Mexican Grill

all here in beautiful Red Bank, New Jersey.

Read More »

RED BANK: LONG-VACANT BUILDING SOLD

67 broad 031415After a seven-year vacancy, 67 Broad Street has a new owner, who says he hopes to have a tenant in by summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508A gaping, long-term and somewhat mysterious vacancy in the heart of downtown Red Bank appears to be nearing an end.

Jeweler Joe Romanowski, who owns two stores on Broad Street, has purchased the building at 67 Broad, next door to his Poor Cat Designs boutique, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN: GIVING FUTURE CHEFS A BOOST

032114 recipe for success correctChefs from more than 30 local restaurants impressed guests at last year’s “Recipe for Success” at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Chefs representing more than 30 Red Bank-area restaurants will be cooking to impress the gourmet-minded for a good cause again this year.

Now an annual event at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown, the Joseph Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation fundraiser will host restaurants, wine and spirit merchants and hundreds of discerning palates with a taste-tempting exposition on Monday, March 23.

Read More »

RED BANK: PLANNERS SPAR OVER FACADES

joe romanowski 111513 2A plan by Joe Romanowski to remove the vestibule of his new Goldtinker store on Broad Street won approval. So did Tommy’s Coal-Fired Pizza’s request to permanently enclose seasonal seating area at the Galleria, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tommy's 042114The  Red Bank planning board approved a restaurant expansion, a downtown facade change and the renovation of what Mayor Pasquale Menna called a “cancerous eyesore” Monday night.

Along the way were some unusual flashes of passion among board members.

Read More »

RED BANK: GOLDTINKER CONSOLIDATING HERE

romanowski bush 2 111513Goldtinker founder Joe Romanowski, left, outside his new building last week with developer Tony Busch.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Deal is done. Rumson, too.

After decades of operating jewelry stores in Deal and Rumson, Goldtinker founder Joe Romanowski is starting over in Red Bank.

He’s shutting down his shop in Deal, where he’s operated for 42 years. The town is “dead” in the off-season, he says. There’s not even a place to get a quick hamburger. His partner in the 32-year-old store on West River Road in Rumson, Penny Viau, is retiring.

Then there’s Romanowski’s Poor Cat Designs store, which he opened last year at 65 Broad Street to appeal to those with funkier tastes. It’s booming, he  tells redbankgreen’s Retail Churn.

So when his friends the Winters family closed their Firehouse Specialty Shop and Jersey Shore Apparel stores at 24 Broad Street and put the building up for sale earlier this year, Romanowski bought it, paying $1.3 million.

Read More »

CHURN: POOR CAT CURLS UP ON BROAD STREET

A display in the window of the newly opened Poor Cat Designs. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Rcsm2_010508The story of Poor Cat Designs begins with a soggy kitten Joe Romanowksi found sitting on his doorstep in the rain on the eve of his sister’s death about five years ago.

Unable to find the cat’s owner, Romanowski decided to keep him, naming him Felix. Every morning as he left for work, the cat would look at him sadly, and Romanowski would tell him, “You poor cat.”

During that time, Romanowski was developing a new jewelry line. Suddenly, he tells redbankgreen, a light bulb went off in his head, telling him to name the line “Poor Cat,” in homage to both his sister and his adopted feline.

Now, Poor Cat has found a home in Red Bank.

Read More »