RED BANK: GARMANY LOSES COVID-19 LAWSUIT

Garmany sued its insurer over pandemic-related losses. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUpscale Red Bank clothing retailer Garmany lost a federal lawsuit Thursday in which it sought insurance reimbursements for pandemic-related losses.

Those losses, it argued, were caused by Governor Phil Murphy’s shutdown of the state’s economy a year ago, and not the COVID-19 virus itself.

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RED BANK: VIEWS SPLIT ON MUMFORD PLAN

A rendering of the building, dubbed The Parker, proposed for Shrewsbury Avenue at River Street. (Image by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for four stories of new retail and apartments on Shrewsbury Avenue got mixed reviews at Thursday’s meeting of the Red Bank zoning board.

It’s “huge,” said a board member and one resident. It’s a welcome replacement to the two vacant homes now on the site, said two other commenters.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & STORES PROPOSED

Two houses on Shrewsbury Avenue at River Street would be demolished to make way for the project, dubbed The Parker at Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for new stores topped by three floors of apartments is slated for review by the Red Bank zoning board this week.

Developer Roger Mumford‘s plan would transform half a block of Shrewsbury Avenue, but first needs multiple variances.

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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: ‘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: ‘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: 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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ON THE GREEN: RESTAURANTS REOPEN

little silver edie's 061520After a nearly three-month shutdown except for takeout, restaurants on the Greater Red Bank Green began reopening as sit-down, outdoor-only eateries Monday.

Even with the weather a bit on the cool side, “it’s nice to get of the hospital,” said a Riverview Medical Center employee sharing lunch with colleagues at Robinson Ale House in Red Bank, above. Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANTS HUSTLE TO REOPEN

red bank danny murphy 061120Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse, with the safety guide he prepared for his employees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their industry battered over the past three months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s restaurateurs are now scrambling for a toehold on recovery.

With partial reopenings slated to begin Monday, they’re training staff in a host of new hygiene procedures. At the same time, some are also racing to shift operations into two new shopping and dining plazas being created downtown.

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RED BANK: PICKUP PARKING ZONES SET

red bank pickup parking 051820Downtown shoppers will be able to park in designated spots for quick pickups from restaurants and retail stores throughout town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

With merchants starting to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank officials unveiled a temporary parking plan Monday aimed at helping them regain an economic toehold.

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RED BANK: TAKEOUT, ANYONE?

red bank good karma 031520Good Karma Café on East Front Street doing takeout-only business Sunday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

You need to eat, and restaurants, facing dire prospects during the COVID-19 pandemic, need customers more than ever before.

Downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter has compiled a list of borough eateries showing which are open for takeout business and which offer delivery.

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RED BANK: SHELL GETS SHOP OK ON THIRD TRY

red bank shell stationThe car wash at left is to be replaced by a convenience store. (April, 2019 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a favorable zoning change last year, Red Bank’s lone Shell station won approval to add a convenience store Monday night.

A neighbor called the proposal “lipstick on a pig.” The planning board’s chairman called it “a better pig.”

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