RED BANK: JEWELERS RETIRE, SELL BUILDING

Vance Valente at Quicksilver Handcrafted Jewelry on Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn might be titled “keeping churn to a minimum.”

Because while we’re reporting the closure of a downtown shop – due to retirement, not the economy – the change comes with a significant real estate deal aimed at keeping small shops alive.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK II ON AGENDA

red bank broad street plazaVisitors dining on (and in) Broad Street in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn effort to spark downtown business activity as the pandemic nears its second year is among the items on the Red Bank council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: HOSPITAL TO OWN GARAGE

The garage, built in 1983, became the subject of a lease-purchase deal between the town and Riverview 17 years later. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIt’s a mere formality, but Riverview Medical Center is slated to become the owner of Red Bank’s only publicly-owned parking garage Friday.

At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the borough council authorized officials to sign off on a property transfer worked out when the current council president was in middle school.

The deal adds to the nonprofit hospital’s growing portfolio of real estate.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER CHANGES RIPPED

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420RiverCenter Executive Director Laura Kirkpatrick speaks at a council session in March as Business Administrator Ziad Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard listen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna ripped a proposed overhaul of the bylaws of downtown promotion agency RiverCenter Wednesday night.

With two council members joining his critique, Menna said several of the changes would reduce council and public oversight of the agency, which he called “repugnant.”

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RED BANK: MENNA APOLOGIZES TO MURPHY

Governor Phil Murphy, right, and First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Red Bank Classic in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he apologized to Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday for an incident in which Murphy and his family were harassed by louts as they ate dinner downtown Sunday.

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RED BANK: MURPHYS HECKLED AT DINNER

red bank BROAD STREET PHIL TAMMY JOSH MURPHY 061820Governor Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy and their son Josh eating dinner at Char in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicGovernor Phil Murphy took an understanding tone Monday, less than 24 hours after he and his family were harangued by foulmouthed passersby while eating dinner in Red Bank.

Asking critics to “leave my family out of this,” Murphy also used the verbal assault as an indication that New Jerseyans need to seek common ground during “an incredibly stressful time.”

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RED BANK: ‘SNO GO FOR WINTER BROADWALK

Empty tables and idle heaters on Broadwalk on a chilly Sunday evening in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s in-street shopping and dining plaza known as ‘Broadwalk’ will go on winter hiatus at the end of November.

Borough council members informally agreed Wednesday night that the prospect of dealing with a snowstorm before winter is over makes keeping the plaza going impractical.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN SOLD

The conjoined buildings at center, above, have changed hands, along with the liquor license. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Downtown restaurant and night club, a major nightlife draw, has new owners.

The West Front Street business has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RED BANK: ‘BROADWALK’ TO GO 24/7

A view down Broad Street last Friday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s ‘Broadwalk’ experiment with in-street dining on Broad Street is going 24/7 for at least the next two months.

The change, from a four-day-a-week schedule, goes into effect Thursday, following a  surprise proposal at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

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RED BANK: PLAZA LIMITS IRK OUTSIDERS

red bank broad street plazaAbutting restaurant setups at the north end of Broad Street have created an atmosphere that’s drawing customers away from other restaurants, some owners say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIs a north-south divide developing on Broad Street in Red Bank?

Owners of some businesses located just south of the month-old Broadwalk street plaza say they’re being unfairly cut out of a boom in downtown visitors.

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RED BANK: PLAZA PLANS REWORKED

princeton parklet 2018 2.jpegA public parklet on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Red Bank officials plan to allow parklets for designated restaurant use. (Photo courtesy of Planet Princeton. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmong a series of adjustments, Red Bank’s economic reopening committee has scrapped the Sunday pedestrian plaza on Monmouth Street.

Instead, the Broad Street plaza, which has drawn large turnouts three nights a week since debuting June 18, will become a four-day affair with the addition of Sunday operations starting this weekend, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick tells redbankgreen.

At the same time, plans are in the works for “parklets,” or temporary seating structures, to be built in parking spots outside a handful of downtown restaurants, including three that participated in the aborted Monmouth Street plaza effort.

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RED BANK: LION IN WAIT… FOR A VACCINE?

A homeowner on River Road in Red Bank found an opportunity for humor in the increasingly politicized debate over masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike the similarly masked lions guarding the New York Public Library’s main branch, these porch lions appear to be less than six feet apart, and thus in compliance with Governor Phil Murphy’s order, issued Wednesday, that masks be worn when social distancing is “not practicable.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

VIRUS UPDATE: ‘MASK UP,’ MURPHY ORDERS

red bank BROAD STREET PHIL TAMMY JOSH MURPHY 061820Governor Phil Murphy donned a mask while dining with his wife, Tammy, and son, Josh, at Char in Red Bank last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNew Jerseyans must wear face coverings outdoors when social distancing is not practicable, Governor Phil Murphy ordered Wednesday.

The mandate marked the latest sign of concern about that Murphy labeled “backsliding” from earlier progress against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RED BANK: MURPHY ‘PAUSES’ INDOOR DINING

Patrons of the Dublin House in Red Bank gather at its outdoor Temple Bar on June 20. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Tapping the brakes on his economic restart effort, Governor Phil Murphy indefinitely postponed a planned resumption of indoor restaurant dining Monday.

The move is “prudent” in the face of rising COVID-19 infection rates in other states, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the pandemic.

He also cited “overcrowding, a complete disregard for social distancing, [and] very few if any face coverings” at some New Jersey bars that he did not name.

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RED BANK: PLAZAS RETURN FOR WEEK TWO

red bank broad street plazared bank broad street plazaAfter a widely praised start last week, pedestrian plaza dining and shopping on Broad Street in Red Bank returns for week two starting Thursday night.

Under the economic restart effort, Broad Street between West Front and Wallace streets is closed to vehicles from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings, and Monmouth Street between Broad and Maple Avenue is closed all day Sunday.

But after daytime sunshine, the weather forecast for Thursday evening is iffy, with evening showers possible, according to the National Weather Service.

What happens if it rains? Does the street reopen to vehicular traffic? No, and merchants make the call for themselves whether open, close or resume operations when passing summer showers threaten, as detailed by redbankgreen here.

Here’s the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: PREPPING FOR PLAZAS

With the first of two unprecedented pedestrian plazas set to debut in downtown Red Bank Thursday night, prep work was underway on Broad Street earlier this week.

Above, a crew from Powerhouse Signs, under contract with Red Bank RiverCenter, installed in-tree uplighting that owner Jim Bruno said he hoped will create a “Greenwich Village vibe” for outdoor diners and shoppers. At right, code enforcement official Frank Woods checked  a sidewalk café for its distance from the curb.  

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RED BANK: BACK IN BUSINESS, OUT FRONT

red bank bistro 061520Reopening after almost three months to the day after they were ordered shut down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank restaurants drew numerous diners to their outdoor tables Monday night.

“It’s like normal – almost,” said Charlie Lyristis, co-owner of Bistro, on Broad Street, above. At right: a note left at tables for customers of Pazzo, on West Front Street.

See additional photos as restaurants resumed with sit-down, outdoor-only service under order of Governor Phil Murphy below.

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