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RED BANK: WINTER WONDERLAND ON BROAD

red bank, nj, broad streetA synthetic-ice rink will be installed on Broad Street between Wallace and White streets, above. Below, an example of one of the vendor’s giant snow globes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, winter, ice rink, snow globeA stretch of downtown Red Bank will be turned into a one-day winter wonderland complete with skating on Sunday.

Dubbed ‘Winter on Broad Street,’ the plan also calls for a walk-in snowglobe families can use for selfies and a shopping bazaar featuring locally made items.

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RED BANK: PASTRIES TO FILL ‘CAKE BOSS’ SPOT

 A Staten Island-based pastry shop plans to set up shop in the former Carlo’s Bake Shop at 86 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallOne pastry shop replaces another; work to transform a century-old firehouse into an interior design shop gets underway; a boutique closes; and a gourmet lunch spot in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park pulls down the shutters for the winter.

Read all about it in this 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: TACOS, GREEK FOOD, GIFTS & MORE

90 Broad st. red bank nj tacoholicsTacoholics, which started out as a food truck, plans to open its third restaurant next month, this one at 90 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe got tacos. We got Greek food. We got a gift shop and a florist.

All the makings of a heaping autumn update to redbankgreen‘s long-running Retail Churn feature. Read on for details.

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RED BANK: SUNSHINE, OYSTERS & MELANIE

An ideal day of sunshine and early-autumn temperatures drew thousands of foodies and music lovers — including fans of folk singer Melanie, at right — to downtown Red Bank for the ninth annual Guinness Oyster Festival Sunday.

An alumnus of both Red Bank Regional and Woodstock, Melanie played a short set and signed autographs.

As usual, the roving camera of redbankgreen was there to document the merriment.  Check out our photos below to see if you or anyone you caught our eye. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: PARKING GRIPES, IDEAS ECHOED

Parking consultants Carrie Krasnow and Brian Bartholomew listen to restaurateur George Lyristis at the Red Bank Middle School Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like visitors circling the White Street lot in search of a spot, Red Bank merchants and residents took another spin at solving downtown parking issues Monday night.

In the same auditorium where a similar forum was held 14 months ago, about 50 participants showed up at the borough middle school to advocate for improvements, many of them echoes of long-standing complaints and suggestions.

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RED BANK: PORK ROLL, FRESH OFF THE TRUCK

Johnny’s Pork Roll plans to open in the space last occupied by Fizz at 8A Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs live-reported by redbankgreen, Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee truck made its debut by risking a summons for doing business where it wasn’t allowed: on the streets of Red Bank.

Now, five years later, John Yarusi’s two-truck enterprise is going legit with a brick-and-mortar stake in the borough’s downtown.

Read all about the plan, and other recent turnover activity, in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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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: RESTAURANT, BOUTIQUE IN CHURN

Jack Pongnoo in the former Readie’s space, where he’s opening a new restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSummer doldrums? Not in Red Bank, where storefront turnover continues as busily as ever.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoops on:

• a new southeast-Asian restaurant coming to Broad Street

• an update on the former Katsin’s Pharmacy space on Shrewsbury Avenue

• a new women’s clothing boutique

• the departure of a vacuum-cleaner shop, and more.

It’s all Churning right around the ‘read more’ corner…

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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: A SECOND CAREER IN OLD JEANS

Kattya Torres at her Union Special sewing machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After her job as a wireless telecom engineer vanished in a merger, a Red Bank businesswoman has found a second career in eradicating crotch rot.

Ahem: that is to say, the holes that frequently develop in the groin of old jeans some people simply cannot part with.

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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 CHURN: VEGAN TAKEOUT OPENS

 Good Karma Café’s new takeout shop, Karma 2 Go, at the West Side Lofts. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA vegan mecca opens a new takeout shop, a framing business consolidates, and a party-services business holds a moving sale…

Read all about all three Red Bank businesses in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: SWEET MUSIC ON A SULTRY NIGHT

On a sultry summer evening, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra made its second annual sunset appearance on the banks of the Navesink River in Red Bank Sunday.

But even without a cooling breeze, several thousand attendees were transported to magical places, courtesy of the orchestra’s waltzes, intermezzos, show tunes and other pieces.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos from the event, organized by Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: WORDS AND MUSIC IN THE PARK


Five thousand strong, music lovers found a few hours of respite from everyday noise when the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra played an open-air concert in Red Bank’s Marine Park last summer.

This Sunday, the NJSO returns to the park with another free show, where those in attendance will also get a chance to connect to the borough’s history via the written word.

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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: PARKING, TAXES & MORE

A consultant was hired to conduct a long-awaited parking study following the failure last year of plans to redevelop the White Street lot, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Red Bank council, these things happened:

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER KICKS IN ON PARKING

The borough council is expected to choose a consultant next week to assess parking needs in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Stalled since the November election, an effort to address parking issues in downtown Red Bank appears about to get back on track next week.

That’s when the borough council is expected to designate a parking consultant, to be paid for in part with funds from Red Bank RiverCenter.

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RED BANK: DOUBTS ON PRESERVATION LAW

Homes along Washington Street, in the borough’s designated historic district, would be affected by the ordinance, as would properties beyond the district’s borders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Does Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission need more teeth?

The borough’s planning board began chewing on that question Monday night, and seemed not to like the taste of it.

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