RED BANK: CATCH TO TAKE GOTHAM SPACE

Catch will relocate from its present spot at 9 Broad Street to the home of Gotham, five doors away, and will be replaced by a Mexican restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has a plateful of news from the Red Bank food scene, with two food-related businesses closing, one moving and another opening.

Also: pet acupuncture.

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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: 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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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BURGERS, FRIES & A VIEW

081216barnacles5Attentive diners can keep a watchful eye on the burgers as they’re grilled at the end of the bar. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?In the shadow of Rumson’s 75-year-old Navesink-River-spanning Oceanic Bridge, Barnacle Bill’s is packed on a Friday afternoon.

“You know it used to be on the pier?” an octogenarian customer who’s been coming to the Rumson perennial asks PieHole.

We do, and locals know also that the waterfront restaurant is the place to go when you’re craving a burger — and that it’s open for lunch from Friday through Sunday only.

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SEA BRIGHT: JERSEY GIRL’S SHORE FOOD TOUR

deb smith 033016 3Deborah Smith, author of “The Jersey Shore Cookbook,” outside Ama in Sea Bright last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels mediumThe flavors of the Jersey shore really burst into fullness in the summer, helping to draw millions of visitors to our sun-splashed sands.

Somehow, though, it seems no one had thought to ask the most iconic beachfront restaurants for their top recipes, with the idea of sharing them in book form.

It took a Jersey Girl from Red Bank with an insatiable palate to finally tie it all together.  Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: FAMILIAR FACES AT FISHERY

021915 LS seafood Paul DiomedesPaul Diomede holds a freshly filleted halibut in the new Little Silver Seafood Market, which includes an area for meal related groceries.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

021915 LSseafoodIf the new owners of the former Ray’s Seafood in Little Silver look familiar, it is because they are also the owners of the still-new Sea Bright Fish Company on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright.

Members of the Diomede family – Paul, his sons Paul and Justin, and daughter, Kim Cognata – plan to split their time between the two locations. And by April, they hope to reopen the adjoining seafood restaurant they acquired in December with the market in the Markham Place shopping center.

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RHODE BANK: STUFFIES FOR THE SUPER BOWL

chowdahousePieHole checks in with Rhode Island’s embassy in Red Bank, the Chowda House, to speak with chef Glenn Kovacs about stuffies. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels smallDespite being the smallest of the six states that make up New England, the breadth of unique, hyperlocal culinary contributions from Rhode Island make it a great place to look for inspiration for Super Bowl Sunday’s menu items.

The foods that are sure to make a Rhode Islanders’ mouth water that you’ve probably never heard of include hot wieners, the spinach pie and pizza strips, all polished off with a coffee milk.

But with a nod to the Patriots’ presence in the big game, the one Rhode Island food we’ve got our eyes on for this Super Bowl is the stuffed quahog, aka stuffie.

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RED BANK: SEAFOOD RESTAURANT SET TO OPEN

catch 121014 3catch 121014 2Continuing the rapid transformation of Red Bank into a dining mecca, the paper comes off the windows at 9 Broad Street as the seafood restaurant Catch opens Thursday night. At right: a calamari appetizer prepared in the kitchen of chef and partner Domenick Rizzo for a friends-and-family run-through Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ALE HOUSE OPENS; CATCH IS NEXT

120614 robinsons1The Robinson Ale House on Broad Street had a soft opening last week.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

retail churn smallRestaurant tycoon Tim McLoone’s new venture, the Robinson Ale House, opened quietly in downtown Red Bank last Friday.

Coming eight months after McLoone took over the lease and liquor license of the longtime Broad Street eatery Murphy Style Grille, the soft opening kicks off a big week of restaurant debuts downtown.

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FAIR HAVEN: FINE DINING, FAIR-STYLE

082214-fhfair steamersSteamers and pitchers of beer dominate the tables at the Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair. Below, volunteers Raquel Falotico and Christina Schrank. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

082214 fh fair aux1It’s time for the first seating in the dining tent at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, and the members of the all-volunteer fire department’s Auxiliary are once again organized and ready for the challenge.

It’s 6 p.m., and already there are more people in line for dinner than there are tables and seats. But they patiently wait their turn, some holding plastic cups of beer while chatting with neighbors, many with small children eager to hit the rides. A long line of baby strollers stands parked between the cashier and takeout window.

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SEA BRIGHT: FISH EATERY NOW OPEN

sb fish co 063014The impressive comeback of the hurricane-damaged three-story building at 1054 Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright continues with the soft opening of last Thursday of Sea Bright Fish Company, a restaurant and fish market owned by four members of the Diomede family. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: PUTTING A BUILDING BACK IN BIZ

christina galinos 052014Christina Galinas outside the Ocean Avenue building she brought back to life. Below, Katy Fraggos, who’s opening a dance-based workout studio on the third floor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

katy fraggos 052014 2There’s been no shortage of notable comebacks from Hurricane Sandy in Sea Bright, starting with the front-end loaders that tackled six feet of sand on Ocean Avenue a day after the storm.

The recovery marked a milestone six weeks later with the lightning-fast reopening of Bain’s Hardware, which like every other store and restaurant in this oceanfront town was knocked offline by Sandy. And since then, more than a dozen businesses, some of them new, have added to the downtown’s revival.

Nineteen months later, the saga continues, with the reopening in coming weeks of a three-story building that has lined up two tenants brand new to town: a seafood restaurant and a fitness studio.

BONUS: SEE THE PHOTO TOUR OF A BLOCK IN RECOVERY AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Where_022014

Though the above photo may appear to have been taken indoors, Where Have I Seen This hasn’t abandoned its principles. The tableau is visible to a passerby.

Do you know where the shot was taken? If so, or you’d like to guess. please send an email to wherehaveiseenthis@redbankgreen.com.

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RED BANK: SCENES FROM OYSTERFEST

The first afternoon of autumn 2013 was sun-splashed and spirited at the White Street parking lot Sunday, when the fourth annual Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival brought bands, libations, great food and thousands of visitors to the heart of town. Were you there? Check out our slideshow to see if redbankgreen caught you in mid-slurp. (Mouse-over photo to pause.)

COUNCIL NEWS: PARKING, LIBRARIAN, BUDGET

The valet station on Broad Street in October. Under an approval granted by local officials, another will be added outside the soon-to-open Char Steakhouse. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Items from Wednesday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Mayor and Council:

More downtown parking spaces are being set aside for valet service with the anticipated arrival of Char Steakhouse.

The town has a new head librarian.

And the cost of providing health insurance to borough employees is rising, but at a slower pace than last year.

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LANDLORDS TO WET FEET AS RESTAURATEURS

The space most recently home to two incarnations of NovelTeas will open as a seafood restaurant in May, the owners say. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Longtime West Side property owners Mary and Roy Jennings have decided they want to be in the restaurant business.

They’re moving ahead with a plan to create a seafood restaurant at 78 Bridge Avenue, opposite the Red Bank train station, by early May.

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BOONDOCKS REVIVES WATERFRONT DINING

boondocks1Scenes from a recent Tuesday night at Boondocks. That’s owner Kelly Ryan at upper left with Mike Harper and Megan Prenderville. At upper right is chef Chris Kelber; lower right, the blackened grouper platter. (Click to enlarge)

Think of it as waterfront access for the rest of us.

Anyone familiar with Red Bank’s northern edge knows that river access is at premium. Hotels, private residences and marinas hog most of the Navesink River shoreline. It’s inaccessible to all but the most adventurous from Riverside Gardens Park. And while one might drop a baited line or crab pot from the pier at Marine Park, there’s no getting one’s feet wet — never mind that the pier and promenade are completely off-limits now for a planned reconstruction.

Hell, there’s even a battle raging over how much access the public should have to about 50 feet of frontage at the foot of Maple Avenue.

So it’s no small thrill to find that, after a two-year interval, waterfront dining is back on the Navesink here. And for many patrons of the new Boondocks restaurant, it’s a double thrill to discover that the simple seafood menu is done with panache.

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