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: TASTE TO REOPEN, SAYS OWNER

taste 072116 1Taste restaurant in Red Bank’s Galleria complex has been closed for the past three weeks for failure to renew its liquor license, according to borough Clerk Pam Borghi. Ken Kruse, who owns Taste, tells redbankgreen the restaurant and bar “had some issues which the accountant and state had to work out” over taxes. He said he plans to reopen the Bridge Avenue eatery next week.

Meanwhile, the adjoining Melting Pot, which Kruse also owns and which is covered by the license, remains open as a BYOB, Kruse said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TOAST RISKS HEAT OVER CARD FEES

amy russo harrigan 102715Amy Russo Harrigan, owner of Toast in Red Bank and two other locations, is now imposing a 2.5-percent surcharge on customer bills paid with credit or debit cards, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Harrigan “knows she risks irritating customers; she has the social media posts to prove it,” writes reporter Michael Diamond. “But she said the [card processing] fees prevent her from hiring and offering raises to her staff, so she’s trying to figure out a way to share the burden without raising prices.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: BON JOVI THANKS BIZ OWNERS

jovi martino fadell 062216donegoodlogoRock star Jon Bon Jovi chats with Red Bank merchants Linda Martino, center, of Lux Beauty Store, and Dorothy Ferlanti, of Pinot’s Palette, at the JBJ Soul Kitchen Wednesday evening.

Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, part-time Middletown residents, hosted a reception for business owners who donated a portion of their receipts on June 16 to a fundraiser for the nonprofit restaurant, which the couple opened in 2011 to fight food insecurity.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON: WHAT’S YOUR REAL BEEF?

whats your beef 061516 1marilyn schlossbach 061516Jersey Shore restaurant maven Marilyn Schlossbach, below, hosted a free-food-and-drink “coming out party” Wednesday night at Rumson’s What’s Your Beef, which she and partners acquired in March.

The event was held, in part, to counteract “negative chatter” among some commenters about the change in ownership to the 47-year-old River Road chophouse, Schlossbach told redbankgreen

“We just wanted people to see that we’re approachable and kind, as well as to highlight some of the new menu items,” Schlossbach said, as a full-house crowd sampled new menu items, such as beef bourguignon, mussels in garlic and white white wine, and pork and shrimp dumplings. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: BRANNIGAN’S, TEAK REACH FOR SKY

WhatsGoingOnHereteak 060116brannigan's 060816 1The better question might be “What’s going UP here?,” as two Red Bank restaurants are busy adding second floors with outdoor decks.

Teak, above, on Monmouth Street, remains open through its expansion, and hopes to debut its new space by September, says co-owner George Lyristis. Read more about Teak’s plan here.

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RED BANK: CHURN GALORE

red bank r barber 053116 1Marcos Ramirez shows customer Chris Hawkins his haircut at the newly opened Red Bank R Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Playa Bowls needs variances to open. The plan has been approved and no variances were needed, according to borough officials.]

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallKicking off its second decade of covering the endless comings and goings of Red Bank merchants, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoop on these churnings:

• The debut of  new dance studio

• One barber shop opens, and another relocates

• The departure of a “hippie shop” and plans by a tailor to replace it

• A fruit bowl business plans to open

• RiverCenter puts a bow on 2015

All that and more awaits, just around the “read more” corner… Read More »

RED BANK: STEELWORKERS TOP OFF GALLERY

 Furnari sculpture 052116 2A pickup truck carrying the mobile version of the sculpture, and the newly installed replica atop the Detour Gallery, as seen Saturday. Below, artist Sergio Furnari. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sergio furnari 052116Sure to prompt double-takes, Red Bank’s newest piece of outdoor art brings an iconic American photograph to three dimensions.

If the image looks familiar, that’s because it’s based on a famous 1932 photograph of steelworkers taking a lunch break on a steel beam 850 feet above the ground at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, then under construction. Read More »

RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE SET TO WAFT

local smoke 051816 1Steve Raab, right, with partners Loren Raab, his wife, and Eric Keating, left, outside their new restaurant Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEntering a crowded Red Bank restaurant field that seems to grow more packed each week, Local Smoke BBQ stands out.

Why? In part because Steve Raab’s new place is at a highly-trafficked corner, making for a convenient stop. Partly because it has its own parking lot, without a meter in sight.

But mainly because it will be the first purely-barbecue restaurant in Red Bank proper, and is run by a pitmaster with an avid following.

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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: PAZZO FRIDGE GETS COOL WELCOME

pazzo 050216 1An illegal expansion into a breezeway beside Pazzo Restaurant drew criticism, but won planning board approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank restaurant’s request for permission to keep an already-built extension drew pointed criticism from borough planning board members Monday night.

“I hate it,” board vice chairman Dan Mancuso told an owner of Pazzo Restaurant.

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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)

RED BANK: SICKLES TO OPEN WEST SIDE STORE

anderson bldg 040616 3Sickles Market plans to lease nearly the entire first floor of the Anderson Storage building, seen here looking south on Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sickles Market, the Little Silver farm market that traces its roots back 350 years, is planning to open a second store in Red Bank’s former Anderson storage building, redbankgreen has learned.

Store owner Bob Sickles told redbankgreen on Wednesday that his company plans to lease nearly all of the 8,000-square-foot ground floor of a building that will have three upper stories of offices.

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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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CHURN: EYE CARE, BODY WAX, CLOTHES & MORE

del negro 022116A new eye care practice in Red Bank has taken space formerly occupied by an architecture firm.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this (long overdue) edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn:

• A new ophthalmology practice and eyewear store has opened on Broad Street.

• So have a body-waxing business and a women’s clothing store.

We’ve also got news on a couple of relocations within town, a couple of pending openings, and a closing — in other words, all the essential ingredients of a Churn cocktail.

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RUMSON: WHAT’S YOUR BEEF CHANGES HOOVES

what's your beef 020416Jersey Shore restaurant maven Marilyn Schlossbach and partners have acquired What’s Your Beef in Rumson. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach is used to expectations: when she opens a new place, customers come looking for out-of-the-box creativity. Whether it’s been the casual fare of Langosta Lounge or Pop’s Garage, or the fine dining of now-gone Trinity and the Pope, foodies salivate when she introduces something new.

But with her latest endeavor, Schlossbach and her partners find themselves having to tamp down expectations. Why? Because the restaurant in question — What’s Your Beef, in Rumson — isn’t new, and its devoted, carnivorous fans aren’t looking for change.

“They have a very strong customer base here of loyal people who come every week,” Schlossbach told redbankgreen. “We don’t want to scare them away.”

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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: PACKED PLANNING BOARD AGENDA

40 white st 021816 3Architectural renderings show a proposed restaurant at the former Liberty Hose firehouse, above, and a three-story storage facility on Central Avenue, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

total storage 021716Be careful: the Red Bank planning board’s plate is hot Monday night.

The agenda calls for the board to hear testimony on three high-profile plans, two of which would add to the borough’s burgeoning restaurant market.

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RED BANK: JUICING UP WEST SIDE LOFTS

west side lofts 021816The West Side Lofts, as seen from West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn keeping with its resemblance to a stack of shipping containers, Red Bank’s West Side Lofts project is packing them in.

Since opening last spring, all 90 of its residential apartments have been leased. The West Elm furniture and housewares store has opened, taking one of two anchor spots. The second anchor, Triumph Brewing Company, is expected to open its restaurant in coming months.

And to close out the leasing spree, the project’s developer is bringing in two local small businesses, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned: Freshica’s Juice Bar and Rumson Personal Fitness.

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RED BANK: ‘IDOL’ SINGER WOWS FANS

Constantine Maroulis 021916‘American Idol’ contestant-turned-mentor Constantine Maroulis set a packed house of hearts aflutter when he played a show at Taste in Red Bank Friday night.

Backed by the Rock of Ages band and fresh off an ‘Idol’ appearance the night before, Maroulis performed songs by Queen, Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams and others. NJArts.net has a write-up. (Photo by Art Petrosemolo. Click to enlarge)