RED BANK: MURPHY TO RESIGN, REPORT SAYS

dupont-murphyArt Murphy, at far right, high-fives running mate Mike DuPont on their re-elections to the council in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank Council President Art Murphy plans to resign next week, according to a published report.

Murphy told Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings that he’ll make it official at next Wednesday’s council meeting, and that he won’t stand for re-election in November.

Murphy’s departure creates an opening for borough Republicans to take control of the governing body.

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RED BANK: MURPHY MOCKS POOL HALL CLIENTS

A video posted on YouTube shows Red Bank Council President Art Murphy deriding the customers of the former Lucky Break Billiards at a party. Below, Murphy and Lucky Break partner James Hertler square off at a November, 2013 council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[Update: Within 25 minutes of this article’s posting, the YouTube video had been removed, but a redbankgreen reader sent us a downloaded version, posted above.]

 

By JOHN T. WARD

hertler murphy 112513A video posted on YouTube Monday shows Red Bank Council President Art Murphy mocking the customers of a now-closed billiards hall as “hippie mother****ers dying for a ****ing quarter” who wouldn’t pay for parking, leading to the demise of the business.

“They don’t want to put the money in the meter,” Murphy insists to a group of young men surrounding him at a social event. The business, Lucky Break Billiards, would still be ****ing open” if the clientele had more money, he insists to one.

Murphy called the YouTube posting evidence of “a cynical world.” James Hertler, a Lucky Break partner who alleges local officials forced him out of business, said it shows a “command performance” by Murphy.

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RED BANK: LUCKY BREAK BILLIARDS TO REOPEN

lucky break 102113Lucky Break was closed for more than two months as the owner struggled to find a way out of red tape over BYOB rules.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lucky Break Billiards, the Red Bank pool hall that shut itself down after becoming entangled in bureaucratic red tape over beer and wine consumption, will reopen Thursday.

Hall owner James Hertler tells redbankgreen he got the green light to reopen Wednesday from Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“The gist of it was that there was no complaint” by anyone that Hertler could challenge in court, Hertler said Menna told him. “My takeaway was that we’re good to go.”

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RED BANK: LUCKY BREAK’S SHATTERED DREAM

lucky break 102913James Hertler, below, shut down Lucky Break Billiards in September, a month after police cracked down over BYOB issues. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

james hertler 101813How’s this for an auspicious start for a business?

• In early 2011, in an effort to spice up nightlife, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna spearheads a zoning law change to allow billiards parlors and other entertainment-based businesses to operate downtown.

• Several months later, former Mayor Ed McKenna, as lawyer on a lease for a planned billiards parlor, calls now-deceased police Chief Steve McCarthy to confirm that it could operate as a bring-your-own-beer and wine establishment. McKenna gets an OK, he tells his client, James Hertler, who was in McKenna’s office during the call.

• That October, Hertler goes before the zoning board and wins quick, unanimous approval of his plan for Lucky Break Billiards. Throughout its lengthy resolution of approval, the board notes that Lucky Break will be a BYOB that serves coffee and microwavable snacks and will allow its customers to bring in food from nearby restaurants.

• The following March, Hertler and partner Jeff Regen open Lucky Break at 14 West Front Street, in a space that had been vacant for four years.

• Lucky Break toughs it out for the next 18 months, building a repeat clientele largely based on private parties and edging toward profitability.

• Though it’s located amid a busy cluster of bars, there’s not a single incident requiring a police response at Lucky Break. “We worked hard to be a good neighbor,” said Hertler, a borough resident.

Yet without any change in the pattern described above, guess who abruptly finds himself accused of violating liquor laws – and out of business?

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RED BANK: RACK ‘EM UP

Jeff Regen, a partner in Lucky Break Billiards and Café, gets ready for some eight-ball. The gaming parlor, with five pool tables and a shuffleboard table, opens to the public Saturday night. Lucky Break is at 14 West Front Street in Red Bank.  (Click to enlarge)

BILLIARDS HALL, OFFICE CONVERSION OK’D

14-w-frontThough no exterior changes are planned, Lucky Break Billiards will feature 19th-century decorative touches inside, the owners say. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A billiards parlor that serves coffee and desserts to players could be open in downtown Red Bank by December, the owners say.

Borough resident James Hertler and a partner in Lucky Break Billiards racked up quick, unanimous approval from the town’s zoning board Thursday night for a use of the storefront at 14 West Front Street that’s not otherwise permitted.

Also approved: the conversion, over the objection of neighbors, of a building on Wallace Street back to the two-family residence it had been for more than a century before the same board allowed office use four years ago.

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RACK ‘EM UP: BILLIARDS MAY RETURN TO RB

14-w-frontIf approved by the zoning board, a billiards hall called Lucky Break will move into the long-vacant storefront at 14 West Front. (Click to enlarge)

[This article was updated with new info at 12:25 p.m. Thursday, September 21.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna’s push for more after-hours activities downtown appears to be gaining momentum.

The prospective tenant of a West Front Street storefront that’s been vacant for more than three years is proposing to create a pool hall there, redbankgreen has learned.

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