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RED BANK: PORK ROLL, ASIAN EATS & BREWS

red bank johnny's pork roll john yarusiJohn Yarusi in the newly opened Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s ever-changing dining scene continued its rotisserie spin in recent days with three restaurant openings.

Read all about them in edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: NEW RIVERCENTER VISION & HQ

scavone menna red bank, nj,RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center executive director Margaret Mass at the office’s opening last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank RiverCenter embarked on a new mission last week.

The manager of the town’s special improvement district nailed down a fresh set of priorities that calls for greater emphasis on leveraging the town’s Navesink River waterfront as a draw for visitors and investors.

It also opened its new offices to Broad Street.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER ‘VISION’ SHARPENS

Bill Fontana speaking at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After four months of public meetings, Red Bank RiverCenter‘s effort to redefine its vision began coming into focus Monday night.

Topping a list of six priorities that the downtown promotion agency should focus on is a “reimagined, redeveloped and reinvigorated riverfront,” a consultant told several dozen business owners and borough residents at the Two River Theater.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN ‘VISION’ GAINS FOCUS

Consultant Bill Fontana onstage at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Downtown Red Bank is safe, clean and friendly, but it’s got problems with parking, store vacancies and its mix of operating businesses.

Those observations, while perhaps glaringly evident to many, were among the findings of a recent survey conducted for business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter and revealed Monday night.

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RED BANK: ‘CAKE BOSS’ BAKERY CLOSES

Carlo’s Bake Shop posted a small notice of closing on its door Tuesday or early Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five years after it was opened by television baking star Buddy Valastro, Carlo’s Bake Shop in Red Bank has closed, redbankgreen has learned.

The unannounced shutdown comes just four months after a new investor in the business said there was no plan to leave town.

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RED BANK: TWO EATERIES AND A ‘WILD EYE’

The Melting Pot features induction heating elements in tabletops to keep the pot contents melted. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A long-closed Red Bank restaurant re-opens, a new one headed by a pair of vaunted chefs announces its debut, and a new retail shop arrives with an intriguing pitch…

All in the latest edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER REBOOT BEGINS

Attendees filling out questionnaires at the RiverCenter strategy session at the Oyster Point Hotel Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid intensifying competition regionally for business investment and shoppers, Red Bank RiverCenter kicked off a four-month effort to redefine its vision for the downtown Monday night.

About 70 people, most of them merchants, gathered in a ballroom at the Oyster Point Hotel to hear from a consultant on how to determine “what you want this place to look like in 10 years,” as he put it.

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RED BANK: RETHINKING RIVERCENTER’S JOB

The downtown promotion agency RiverCenter kicks off a mission review next week, and is seeking public input, its officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Through his Monmouth Street store, the Cheese Cave, Steve Catania has been doing business in Red Bank for seven years. And for much of that time, he’s been involved in efforts to advance the interests of downtown retailers like himself.

But if you ask them, most probably couldn’t tell you what Red Bank RiverCenter‘s job really is, says Catania. And that’s a problem, given that it’s supposed to be their advocate.

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RED BANK: GLOBAL MUSIC SPICES FOOD FEST

Metalachi is scheduled to end its current East Coast tour in Red Bank Sunday. (Photo by Dave Burke. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Metalachi, billing itself as ‘the World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band,’ is scheduled to help spice up the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest Sunday.

The band’s sonic and visual mashup adds a new dimension to the event, slated to take place under sunny skies in the borough’s White Street parking lot.

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RED BANK: CARLO’S STAYING PUT; PHO LE OUT

Carlo’s Bake Shop has a new partner, Mike DeStafano, who says the business isn’t going anywhere. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, there’s something a little different: news about a Red Bank business that’s neither freshly opened nor closing — Carlo’s Bake Shop, owned by TV ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro.

Plus, as usual, a few lines about businesses that have closed, as well as news about an Indian restaurant coming downtown.

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RED BANK: TRIUMPH TO OPEN… ‘SOON’

Triumph Brewing won approval to add outdoor dining on the Edmund Wilson Boulevard side of the building, facing the Two River Theater. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s been a couple of years, literally, in development, and yet the only person who can say when Red Bank’s Triumph Brewing Company might open has been steadfastly mum.

Well, finally, there’s some news.

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RED BANK: ANIMA OPENS, CAFÉ REBRANDS

Women’s clothing store Anima has opened in the former home of a Duxiana bedding shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe’ve got a new women’s boutique, a new gym and a new name for a restaurant in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: CUBAN, TWO POKE EATERIES SLATED

A poke restaurant plans to open at 26 Monmouth Street by February 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn comes bearing food: two restaurants offering Hawaiian poke, and a third with a menu of Cuban dishes, plan to open in downtown Red Bank in coming months.

Also in this report: a pilates gym takes a portion of a long-empty former drugstore, and a pop-up holiday shop… pops up for the holiday season downtown.

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RED BANK: A TOAST FOR THE ‘BIG-FOOD’ HOST

He’s a product of Little Silver schools who, at age 14, started small as he embarked on what’s turned out to be a career in food: as dishwasher at Danny’s Pizza in his hometown. He went on to gigs as busboy at 2 Senza; barista at No Ordinary Joe’s Café; bartender at the Downtown; and other restaurant jobs in Red Bank, Manhattan and Brooklyn too numerous to list. 

Now, Casey Webb, a 1994 graduate (football, wrestling) of Red Bank Regional who’s also cultivated a sideline as an actor, has landed a big gig, as host of the popular Travel Channel’ show ‘Man v. Food.’

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RED BANK: AVOIDING THE CRUSH ON THE PATIO

Twilight on the back patio of Jamian’s Food and Drink finds bartender Rick Norman juicing oranges and pouring drinks. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Just down Monmouth Street in Red Bank from the Count Basie Theatre, Jamian’s Food and Drink  is packed before a show. Ticketholders dash in for a quick bite and something from the bar, and waitresses here know how to hustle, ensuring everyone gets in and out quickly.

Known for its varied live music scene, wall of locally produced artwork and surfer roots, it can be a little noisy and crowded inside. But out back, on Jamian’s patio, the vibe changes. Twinkling lights and background rock and roll make it easier to hold a conversation. This is where you’ll find a more relaxed scene. It’s also a good place to watch a game projected onto a big white wall.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT OPENS; DECK WON’T

“Upscale” 26 West on the Navesink opened Monday night in a building previously occupied by a string of nightclubs and Mexican restaurants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank got a new, upscale seafood restaurant Monday, even as its owners were a few blocks away, at borough hall, getting approval for an expansion.

But not the approval they originally sought.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT PLAN STILL IN FLUX

A rendering shows the proposed roof deck on the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company building, as seen from Union Street. (Rendering by Michael Unger. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After two planning board hearings, a proposal to convert the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company space in Red Bank to an upscale seafood restaurant remained undecided Monday night.

Still at issue: the impact of a planned roof deck on residences in the condo building next door.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT DECK PLAN SCRAPPED

26-w-front-elevation-011117A rendering of the remodeled former 10th Ave. Burrito Company building. An open-air deck proposed in January would now be enclosed under a revised plan. (Rendering by Cahill Studio. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The proposed conversion of the former 10th Ave. Burrito Company in Red Bank to an upscale seafood restaurant will have to wait at least two more weeks to move ahead.

The borough planning board scheduled a second hearing on the project Monday night after the West Front Street establishment’s new owner agreed to scrap plans for a second-floor deck.

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RED BANK: BOWLING FOR FOOD DOLLARS

The scene at the newly opened Playa Bowls last Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has news on three downtown eateries: one that’s doing gangbuster business, one that got a recent makeover, and one that’s calling it quits.

Details follow…

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RED BANK: FOOTWEAR, FRUIT BOWLS, FACIALS

The Doc Shoppe, which moved to Red Bank from Fair Haven in 2014, plans to close at the end of March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s last-remaining shoe store is closing.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn includes news on the departure of the Doc Shoppe; the opening of an exotic-fruit bar and café; and plans by a high-end beauty products retailer to open downtown. Read More »

RED BANK: ADIOS, CANTINA; SEAFOOD COMING

26-w-front-011117-1A makeover into a seafood restaurant with a roof deck is proposed for the site of Caliente Cantina, a short-lived restaurant at 26 West Front Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Yet another Red Bank restaurant and bar is hoping to join the rooftop dining trend, and this one has a widescreen view of the Navesink River.

The plan to convert 26 West Front Street to a seafood restaurant follows the recent closing at that address of Caliente Cantina, itself a successor to the short-lived 10th Ave. Burrito.

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RED BANK: JAMIAN’S, LADY K PLANS OK’D

jamians-elevation-110816-2The facade of Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street would nearly double in length with the addition of two storefronts to the right of the existing one, seen below. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

81 monmouth 080216A popular Red Bank bar/restaurant and a yet-to-open bakery won approval for expansion plans from the borough planning board Monday night.

Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street plans to expand by taking over the next-door spots formerly rented by Art’s Barber Shop, which closed this summer after nearly 50 years in business, and a space leased by a cellphone vendor.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT SAFETY ASSESSED

Get queasy at the very thought of restaurant inspection records? You might want to avoid this report by NJ.com, which looked at the most recent Monmouth County Regional Health Commission violation reports on all 194 Red Bank restaurants and food stores.

The good news?

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