RED BANK: SEAFOOD RESTAURANT SET TO OPEN

catch 121014 3catch 121014 2Continuing the rapid transformation of Red Bank into a dining mecca, the paper comes off the windows at 9 Broad Street as the seafood restaurant Catch opens Thursday night. At right: a calamari appetizer prepared in the kitchen of chef and partner Domenick Rizzo for a friends-and-family run-through Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ALE HOUSE OPENS; CATCH IS NEXT

120614 robinsons1The Robinson Ale House on Broad Street had a soft opening last week.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

retail churn smallRestaurant tycoon Tim McLoone’s new venture, the Robinson Ale House, opened quietly in downtown Red Bank last Friday.

Coming eight months after McLoone took over the lease and liquor license of the longtime Broad Street eatery Murphy Style Grille, the soft opening kicks off a big week of restaurant debuts downtown.

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WHATS FOR LUNCH: SOUP’S ON

090114 cjmcloones1The oversized Reuben lunch platter with  fries, above, and French onion soup, below, from CJ McLoone’s.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090114 cjmcloones2The calendar flips to September, and just like that, thoughts of bathing suits and salads are gone, replaced by hankerings for sweaters, coats and heartier lunches.

A soup-and-sandwich pairing is a favorite for many who want a little more than just a quick bite, and to this soup lover, it doesn’t matter that it’s still hot outside: September is the start of soup season.

CJ McLoone’s on Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls offers a soup of the day, oversized burgers, and many typical sandwich options.

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RED BANK: McLOONE GRABS DOWNTOWN SPOT

26 Broad 030212Tim McLoone, below, plans to open a yet-to-be-named burger restaurant in the former Murphy Style Grille on Broad Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

timmclooneBy his own admission, and as his wife gently reminds him, Tim McCloone did not give it a lot of thought six weeks ago when he embarked on a plan to open a restaurant in downtown Red Bank.

Among other locations, he’s already got eateries on the boardwalks in Long Branch and Asbury Park; recently took over CJ Montana’s in Tinton Falls, rebranding it as CJ McLoone’s; and is readying new places in Hoboken and Hillsborough.

Oh, and last week, he landed approvals to rebuild McLoone’s Rum Runner, his flagship Sea Bright restaurant, which was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

So where does his plan to open a restaurant in the Broad Street space long held by Murphy Style Grille fit in strategically?

“I’m not thinking strategically, or I would not do this,” McLoone told redbankgreen with a laugh Tuesday, one day after he signed a lease for the space. “I’m devoid of strategy.”

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RBR KIDS TO SHOWCASE WITH THE SHIRLS

sundayshowcaseThe Performing Art Students at Red Bank Regional High School join special guests Tim McLoone and the Shirleys this Sunday for an afternoon of singing, dancing and laughs.

When Red Bank Regional High School presents its Sunday Showcase concert on February 27, the spotlighted performers will include Sarah Trufolo of Little Silver, who along with her fellow dancers will be “performing in the audience, rallying the crowd to boogie with them.”

They’ll include senior Reid Henderson of Avon (who will deliver a comic monologue), and junior Ari Bellar of Little Silver (who will join the RBR choral students for a medley of songs by Journey). And they’ll include another favorite son of Little Silver — one Tim McLoone.

Did someone say Tim McLoone? The sixtysomething rennaissance guy, running entrepeneur, restaurateur and on-time conductor of the Holiday Express? Surely they can’t be serious.

Well, they are serious — and yes, you may call him Shirley.

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‘TIS THE SEASON

As in years past, Tim McLoone’s rolling, feel-good music extravaganza, Holiday Express, kicked off the Christmas season in Red Bank Friday night with a concert for several thousand visitors who braved a post-Thanksgiving chill.

redbankgreen was all over Broad Street to capture it in pixels, as per usual. Here’s a hundred angles on the merriment.

(To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.)

DOWNTOWN READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP

otannenbaum

Unadorned, but not for long, this year’s holiday tree awaits its big moment in the courtyard of the Dublin House restaurant on Monmouth Street earlier this week.

One of the biggest, and certainly the jolliest, events of the year returns to Red Bank for its 16th edition Friday evening.

We’re talking about the hard-to-name series of mini-spectacles that begin with a Santa Claus-accompanied train ride into town, gather steam with a parade down Monmouth Street, go all sparkly with downtown tree lighting and culminate with the chummiest R&B-inflected outdoor holiday singalong money can buy.

And it’s all free.

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