RED BANK: EPOXY, SOAP & GOLD TUB IN CHURN

The former Anima space at 37 Broad is getting a new tenant, while the facade of the now-vacant storefront next door (at left) is getting a makeover. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEpoxy-and-wood tables; “occult” bath products; and news about two downtown restaurants get the spotlight in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON AGENDA, AND NOT

red bank saxum 176 riverside aveA rendering of Saxum Real Estate’s approved but not-yet-built plan for 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA controversial plan to job out Red Bank’s in-house animal control service is expected to be tabled Wednesday night.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the semimonthly meeting of the mayor and council.

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RED BANK: ‘GOOD LIFE’ CHURNS INTO TOWN

Melvin and Anita Pierce outside their healthy-eating restaurant at 60 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSweethearts since high school, a Shrewsbury couple has staked a claim in downtown Red Bank with their first-ever business venture.

Read all about them and other news in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: KIRKPATRICK QUITS RIVERCENTER

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420Laura Kirkpatrick addressing the Red Bank council in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time in just 17 months, the downtown promotion organization Red Bank RiverCenter is losing its executive director.

After just one, pandemic-filled year, Laura Kirkpatrick has resigned as operational head of the agency that manages the borough’s special improvement district, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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RED BANK: COOKIES, SOAP, TATS, GOLF & MORE

Sweet Bee Bakeshop has taken over the space vacated by Sugarush cupcakes at 37 East Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAn established, and local, wholesale cookie baker is making the move to storefront retail in Red Bank as soon as next week.

Also in the works downtown: an ‘occult’ soap shop, a tattoo parlor and a ‘golf lounge.’ Read all about ’em this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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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: SKATE SHOP ROLLS INTO TOWN

Feet First opens on Monmouth Street, having skated across the Navesink from Middletown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: a skateboard shop rolls into downtown Red Bank, a comic book shop relocates, and the pandemic economy claims another handful of stores.

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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: TRAP DOOR PLANS TO BUST OPEN

Trap Door Escape has signed a lease to expand into the former home of Hobbymasters. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe former Hobbymasters building in  Red Bank will become the site of America’s largest “escape room” entertainment facility if its new tenant has his way.

Read all about his plans, and other downtown comings and goings, in this pandemic-year-ending-edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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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: LOW-KEY TREE LIGHTING

Red Bank’s official Christmas tree, a blue spruce donated by the Jennings family of Little Silver, was installed in Riverside Gardens Park over the past weekend. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lighting of the tree will be a low-key affair.

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RED BANK: THAI FOOD & CLOTHING CHURN IN

Mos Neammanee owns Rice Box with his brother, Khomsun. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallOne step back and two steps forward for Red Bank’s central business district?

A Thai restaurant and a clothing boutique open next door to one another downtown, while a Broad Street business quietly calls it quits. Read all about them in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: PIZZERIA & JUICE BAR CHURN IN

Another pizza restaurant plans to take the vacant former home of Pacini’s at 177 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Commercial real estate activity may be down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Red Bank continuues to attract small shops that want in on whatever action is happening.retail churn smallx

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got word on a new pizzeria and a juice bar signing leases, and the sale of a giant building in the heart of downtown.

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RED BANK: BREAD-BASED CAFÉ TO OPEN

michele ellis great harvest 102020 2Michele Ellis in her new restaurant on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith restaurants struggling through historically poor conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it might seem absolutely nuts to start a new one.

But the owner of a bread-based eatery that plans to open in Red Bank this week says key lessons of the past eight months are, well, baked into her plan.

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RED BANK: GYM PLANNED FOR CORNER SITE

The former home of Atlantic Glass on Maple Avenue is getting a tenant after a long vacancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA high-visibility Red Bank building gets a makeover for use as a gym; movie screenings return to White Street; and an insurance agency takes over a storefront.

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

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RED BANK: COVID-19 CLAIMS TWO BUSINESSES

Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips at Via45 Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt was a day of mixed emotions for the owners of two Red Bank businesses as they closed up shop Monday.

At Via45, restaurateurs Lauren Phillips and Claudette Herring ended an 11-year run on Broad Street. Around the corner on Monmouth Street, Marissa Clifford oversaw the final children’s birthday party at Paint A Tee.

This 400th installment of Retail Churn has the details on those latest economic victims of the pandemic and other changes in the downtown mix.

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RED BANK: FOOD FESTS OUT, CONCERTS IN

weeklings red bank njThe Weeklings, who’ve performed at past food festivals in town, will get a starring slot at a concert in Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe sun has set on the possibility that downtown Red Bank will host one or maybe even two food festivals this autumn.

Instead, business promotion agency RiverCenter has put six outdoor concerts on the district’s dance card – but you’ll have to pay to attend.

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RED BANK: EX-GYMNAST BRINGS THE JUICE

Daniel Ardelan puts the finishing touches on the window sign at GoodVibe Nutrition Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallLying in bed in her New York City apartment on July 16, Irina Popa-Erwin had an insight: she had to open a store selling healthy beverages.

On Wednesday, five weeks later, she and two partners will open their business in Red Bank, a town they had never visited before they went on a mad search for a place to set up shop.

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