RED BANK: OLDEST FIRE COMPANY RETIRED

Relief Engine Company retains the second-floor meeting space in its longtime home on Drummond Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[CORRECTIONS: The original version of this post mistakenly identified the Relief Engine Company as the oldest firefighting unit in Red Bank. That honor belongs to the Navesink Hook and Ladder, which was established in 1872, eight years before Relief, which was the town’s second fire company. Additionally, the Drummond Place firehouse is now owned by St. James Church, not the borough, as previously reported.redbankgreen apologizes for the errors.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Making Red Bank history, one of the borough’s six volunteer fire companies is being retired from active duty.

Under a consolidation plan in the works for three years, the Relief Engine Company, stranded for the past two years without a firetruck, will become a keeper of borough firefighting history, Chief Stu Jensen announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE REDO PLANNED

The former Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank could see two nearly identical former firehouses getting makeovers in coming months.

The new owner of the former Independent Engine Company firehouse, at 32 Mechanic Street, is planning to create commercial space in the bay where firetrucks were once parked.

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RED BANK: CRAFT BREWERY LEASES FIREHOUSE

John Cocozza and partners plan to open a craft brewery called Ross Brewing Company in the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In another sign of a possible tsunami of craft beer coming to downtown Red Bank, the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street has been leased to a startup brewery, the principals said Thursday.

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RED BANK: TOP BID $392,587 FOR FIREHOUSE

RB independent engine 93 061016 1The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_02

Red Bank ‘s second firehouse auction in two years attracted four times the number of bidders as the first one, but ended at a lower top bid.

David Glassberg of Little Silver was the apparent bid winner of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court.

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RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE UP FOR SALE

RB independent engine 93 061016 2The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_02

For the second time in little more than two years, Red Bank is looking to unload a firehouse.

On Wednesday night, without discussion, the council unanimously agreed to put the home of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court, up for sealed-bid auction on August 30.

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RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

132 broad 040416The Red Lantern restaurant won clearance to open at 132 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The dizzying transformation of downtown Red Bank into a place to dine, for those who can find parking, got another boost Monday night.

The borough planning board approved a plan to convert retail space at 132 Broad Street to a restaurant, despite a shortfall of 25 parking spots.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANTS ON PLANNING AGENDA

132 broad 040416The former storefront at 132 Broad Street is the subject of a request for an Asian restaurant called Red Lantern, which needs a parking variance. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Borough planning and zoning director Glenn Carter tells us the plan for the former firehouse at 40 White Street has been amended to a proposed retail use, from an earlier request for a restaurant. The original version of this story has been changed to reflect that.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for two restaurants and a retail space the agendas of Red Bank’s planning and zoning board meetings this week.

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RED BANK: BAGEL SHOP OPENS

hot bagels 040816 2hot bagels 040816 1Mike Gambale removes fresh product from the oven at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest, a deli that opened Friday morning in a former used-car lot at Maple Avenue and Broad Street in Red Bank. The business was the subject of a last-minute, and successful bid for some minor variances needed to open earlier this week.

Gambale owns the shop with Nikos Zaires, who grew up working with his father in a Brooklyn bagel shop. “This is his recipe,” said Zaires, and the result is “a true Brooklyn bagel: kettle-cooked and baked.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

CHURN: BAGEL SHOP OK’D; NEW EATERY OPENS

zaires gambale 040416Nikos Zaires and Mike Gambale in their new shop, Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA just-about-ready-to-open bagel shop got the green light from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

But hearings on two other proposed new restaurants were rescheduled once again. And yet another eatery, this one with the word “eatery” in its name, opened on Broad Street Monday.

It’s all here in the latest serving of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: FULL MENU OF RESTAURANT CASES

hot bagels 040416Test baking is already underway at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest, at Broad Street and Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will the owners of a brand-new, ready-to-open bagel store get the OK for the walk-in refrigerator they need to operate? Will the owners of a former downtown firehouse get the green light to build a restaurant there? Will a new Asian eatery be allowed in a former mattress store?

Those three questions loom over Monday night’s Red Bank planing board agenda.

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RED BANK: SELF-STORAGE FACILITY APPROVED

total storage 021716Architect Richard Arzberger’s rendering of the proposed Total Storage facility at Central Avenue and Berry Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank-area homes and businesses could use some more elbow room, the owner of a proposed 500-unit self-storage facility told the borough planning board Monday night.

And the project would be built in the right place, board members said in giving the plan unanimous approval.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE EATERY PLAN FILED

40 white st 021816 2Architect Mike Simpson’s drawings show outdoor dining areas in front of and beside the former firehouse. Below, the building’s interior in 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Already on fire with new restaurants, Red Bank’s downtown dining market could get hotter soon.

The new owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street hope to convert the 105-year-old building into a restaurant, with two luxury apartments upstairs.

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RED BANK: CAR SHOW DRAWS A CROWD

071215carsho31071215carsho49Beach day or not, the 13th annual Doc Holiday Classic Car Show, hosted in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot by the Liberty Hose fire company as a scholarship fundraiser, was a big draw in Sunday. redbankgreen cruised the circuit, camera at the ready. Click the “read more” and check out dozens more snapshots of gleaming grills and smiling faces. (Photos by Susan Ericson)

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RED BANK: LAUTERWASSER TO BE FD CHIEF

rbfd chiefs 120214 1Chief-elect Joe Lauterwasser, right arrives at the First Aid building Tuesday night with his prospective first deputy, Chris Soden, left, and second deputy Pete DeFazio, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03If there’s one constant that defines the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, it’s family.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when the 143-year-old department’s annual election night celebration was dominated by names and faces that would have been familiar to attendees generations ago.

“We’re based on tradition,” said ex-chief George Lauterwasser (2002) as he awaited the arrival of the chief-elect, his 30-year-old son, Joe, at the First Aid building on Spring Street with dozens of other volunteers. “We keep it up with the kids. We’re old school.”

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RED BANK: WHAT SHOULD GO HERE?

40 WHITE 092314 1Restaurant? Bakery? Something else? The owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse are looking for the perfect match for the vacant structure. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Everybody’s got an opinion. But does anyone have a solid, workable idea for the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse’s second act?

The owners of the 103-year building at 40 White Street in Red Bank are open to suggestions, says John Morgan, who along with his brother and father, both named Michael, bought the two-story, red brick structure from the borough earlier this year for $400,000.

“This is such a unique building that you want something that’s going to fit its persona,” Morgan told redbankgreen on a recent tour of the property. And the family is committed to “local.,” he said. “We don’t want somebody from New York to come in.”

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RED BANK: A BITTERSWEET RETURN

Sunday’s Doc Holiday Car Show in Red Bank’s White Street lot was bittersweet for the members of the host Liberty Hose fire company, who lost their century-old firehouse in a sale by the borough earlier this year. Fifty-year member Herk Forgione said the company was “very, very sad” to lose its home. But the volunteer firefighters were glad to be back for a few hours Sunday, overseeing an annual fundraising show that attracted some 280 gleaming classics and lots of families. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE SOLD, USE UNKNOWN

morgans 042914With his brother, Michael, looking on, John Morgan gives borough Administrator Stanley Sickels a deposit for the firehouse purchase. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 070612Red Bank’s former Liberty Hose Company firehouse may soon have the second owner in its 103-year history.

Brothers Michael and John Morgan, owners of several prominent downtown properties, acquired the two-story, red brick structure at an auction that drew no other bidders or onlookers other than redbankgreen Tuesday morning.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE AUCTION FIZZLES

rb liberty auction 032514No bidders emerged at Tuesday’s auction, conducted by attorney Sean Byrnes, left, and Administrator Stanley Sickels. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01A discontinued Red Bank firehouse failed to spark interest at the minimum bid when it went on the block Tuesday morning.

The auction of the former home of the Liberty Hose Company, vacated late last year over needed upgrades that the borough says it cannot afford, was over in five minutes, as no voice bids or sealed bids were made.

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RED BANK: KICKING TIRES AT THE FIREHOUSE

rb liberty 2 031314rb liberty 1 031314Red Bank Administrator Stanley Sickels, at right, leads prospective bidders on a tour of the former Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon in advance of an auction the property scheduled for scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m. Minimum bid is $475,000; bidding requirements are here, and the building is being sold “as-in,” Sickels said. For 103 years, the building was home to the Liberty Hose Company, which now shares space with the first aid squad on Spring Street.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE AUCTION RESCHEDULED

liberty hose 070612HOT-TOPIC_01The auction of a former firehouse on White Street in Red Bank has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m. The original March 18 sale date was changed to meet public notice requirements, borough officials said. Minimum bid is $475,000; bidding requirements are here. For 103 years, the building was home to the Liberty Hose Company, which now shares space with the first aid squad on Spring Street.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: WANNA BUY A FIREHOUSE?

liberty hose 120513 1The former firehouse, on White Street was home to the Liberty Hose Company for 103 years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Here’s a once-in-a-century real estate opportunity: a Red Bank firehouse is going up on the auction block.

The former home of the Liberty Hose Company, vacated late last year over needed upgrades that the borough says it cannot afford, is to be auctioned off on March 18.

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RED BANK: CHIEF FACES PERIOD OF CHANGE

tommy welsh 120313Tommy Welsh arrives at the Westside Hose Company following his election as Red Bank fire chief last week. Below, the borough-owned Liberty Hose firehouse is in the process of being vacated because it needs upgrades the town cannot afford. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 120513 2A new, million-dollar ladder truck, firehouse consolidation and pervasive manpowwer issues are on the table as Red Bank’s next fire chief takes the helm on January 1.

For chief-elect Tommy Welsh, it’s the second time around as head of of the all-volunteer department, having served as chief in 1996. This time, however, the department is on the apron to some of its biggest changes in a generation.

“We’re in the middle of some history here,” he told redbankgreen at a party to celebrate his election last week.

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RED BANK: CAR SHOW GLEAMS ON WHITE

A couple of Corvairs, a fleet of Corvettes and acres of chrome were among the 328 cars gleaming under the hot summer sun in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot Sunday. The occasion? The 11th annual Doc Holiday Classic Car Show, hosted by the Liberty Hose fire company as a scholarship fundraiser. redbankgreen was there, cameras at the ready. (Click to enlarge)