RED BANK: FREE CHRISTMAS EATS

church dinner Continuing a tradition of nearly 30 years, the First Baptist Church, above, offers a Christmas Day dinner. JR’s Burgers, below, will offer free meals on Christmas Eve. (Click to enlarge)

jrs burgersAt least two Red Bank operations will be feeding those in need of a hot meal for Christmas.

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, from 6 to 8 p.m., JR’s Burgers on West Front Street will be giving out free burgers, sodas and fries.

Read More »

RED BANK: JR.’S SIZZLES AFTER HOURS

The after-hours crowd packs Jr.’s on a recent Saturday night.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Without fanfare, but with a fair amount of merriment, a new late-night eatery debuted on the Red Bank scene last month and has been packing them in on weekends.

Jrs., the first expansion of the popular Jr.’s West End burger place owned by Mike DeSimone, opened a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit, becoming the fourth downtown eatery  to keep late hours, staying open until 4 a.m. every day.

With a number of bars just steps away, the tiny West Front Street restaurant immediately attracted a colorful crowd at closing time.

Read More »

LATE-NIGHT BURGERS COMING TO RED BANK

Jr.’s owner Mike DeSimone put together a group of investors to buy the yellow building in the background so he could expand his West End-based hamburger business there. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It may have one of the ugliest facades in Red Bank. But when Mike DeSimone looked at 17 West Front Street, he saw this:

• A bustling corner with an Urban Outfitters right next door.

• Four bars within a couple of hundred feet disgorging revelers who just might want a gourmet-quality burger to cap off the night.

• A nearby hospital with hundreds of employees working around the clock.

• A northern beachhead for his highly successful Jr’s West End, the Long Branch late-night restaurant he launched five years ago.

In fact, DeSimone liked the location so much that he persuaded a group of friends to buy the former home of Zuleyka’s Kitchen so his business could lease out the ground floor space.

He even plans to live upstairs.

Read More »