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RED BANK: PHARMACY CLEARED TO OPEN

WhatsGoingOnHere
A new retail space in Red Bank that’s to become home to the Shrewsbury Avenue Pharmacy has been approved for occupancy, borough Assistant Construction Official John Drucker told
redbankgreen Thursday. Read More »

RED BANK: PHARMACY ALL PHRAMED OUT

rb pharmacy 010617WhatsGoingOnHere
After a delay, construction of a building slated to house a pharmacy and four apartments on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank is back on track, according to borough Assistant Construction Official John Drucker.

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RED BANK: PHARMACY, APARTMENTS GOING UP

WhatsGoingOnHererb pharmacy 060516224-226 Shrews 040615There’s new construction underway on a narrow, vacant lot on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, where a pharmacist, Ritesh Shah, won approval last year to erect a four-unit apartment building with an independently owned drugstore on the ground floor. An architect’s rendering is at right.

Shah was not immediately available for comment on the estimated completion date of the project, which is next door to Lino’s Mexican Café. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WEST SIDE TO GET PHARMACY

224-226 Shrews 040615The facade of the approved proposed three-story structure, shown above in an architect’s sketch, replaced an earlier version, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

224-245 shrews 031615Three weeks after it was panned by planning board members for sticking out like a sore thumb, a pharmacy proposed for Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank won approval Monday night.

The yet-to-be-named, independently owned pharmacy, which its owner said will sell medical products only, got the go-ahead after a redesign that replaced a proposed contemporary facade with with a more traditional one.

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RED BANK: PHARMACY BUILDING PANNED

224-245 shrews 031615The proposed three-story structure, shown above in an architect’s rendering, would be built on a vacant lot between a two-story apartment building and a restaurant on Shrewsbury Avenue, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

224-226 shrewsbury 031015A plan for a small, independently owned pharmacy that doesn’t sell junk food got a warm welcome from the Red Bank Planning Board Monday night.

But the building it would come packaged in, and its impact on area parking, got a chillier reception.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE PHARMACY PLANNED

224-226 shrewsbury 031015Rcsm2_010508On the agenda for Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Planning Board: a three-story structure with a ground-floor drugstore and four apartments above to be built on a vacant lot next door to Lino’s Mexican Café on Shrewsbury Avenue. Developer Asha Realty LLC of Freehold needs variances for the number of floors and shortfalls in both frontage and parking. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: LIGHT SWITCH MAY SLOW FLOW

rb drs p int 090114A switchover to new traffic signals at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank could cause traffic delays Tuesday. Police Chief Darren McConnell said the work, under the auspices of Monmouth County, is expected to begin after the morning rush. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes if possible. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIRE RIPS THROUGH RESIDENCE

Below, property owner Lee Jasper Rogers talks with Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fire tore through a Red Bank home and filled a street-level office with smoke Sunday afternoon.

Attorney Lee Jasper Rogers tells redbankgreen he was working in his office at 298 Shrewsbury Avenue when “I heard a popping sound, and when I went into the next room, all I could see was black smoke.”

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ONE HOT HOT DOG TRUCK

12:00 p.m.: Going by the thermostat in George Laboussis’ hand, the temperature inside the G&G Hot Dog Truck in Red Bank had already edged past 95 degrees by noontime – and that was with the air conditioner running.

Laboussis has been manning the truck for the past three months with his wife, Dimi, for his father-in-law, Gus Tangalos, who’s owned the Shrewsbury Avenue institution-on-wheels for 40 years and is recovering from a triple bypass operation. (Click to enlarge)

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EX INDICTED IN RED BANK WOMAN’S DEATH

By JOHN T. WARD

An Eatontown man was indicted Wednesday for the alleged murder of his ex-wife, a Red Bank woman whose body was found six weeks after she disappeared last spring, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced.

Oscar Prior-Ramirez, 32, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, 26, who vanished after working her shift at Siena Grill on Shrewsbury Avenue last May 12.

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WATER MAIN FIX SLATED FOR SEPTEMBER

sbury-hydrantWork on an old water main below Shrewsbury Avenue is expected to begin after Labor Day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An overdue upgrade to boost water pressure to homes and businesses along Shrewsbury Avenue is expected to start in September, says Red Bank Engineer Christine Ballard.

On Wednesday, the borough council awarded a $524,206 contract to a Long Branch company to replace the outdated four-inch water main beneath the bustling corridor with an eight-inch line.

“We’ll start work probably after Labor Day,” Ballard said.

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CALENDAR CONFLICT SPURS EVENTS REVIEW

boynton-councilFreddie Boynton and members of the Celestial Lodge had a beef to air about a block party. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It hadn’t happened in Council President Art Murphy’s seven years sitting on the Special Events Committee, and Mayor Pasquale Menna said he’s never seen it in his two decades in Red Bank government.

But a clogged calendar and miscommunication between two West Side groups is pushing the council to tighten up its processes to grant special event requests.

It came to a head Wednesday night, when members of the two groups locked horns over rights for coveted street space next month, and prompted the council, hat in hand, to ask each for a little help.

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NO DECISION ON MEXICAN MARKET PLAN

juan-torresJuan Torres, owner of Juanito’s restaurant, testifies about his proposal for a large grocery on Red Bank’s West Side Thursday night. (Click to enlarge)

A plan for a supersized bodega on Shrewsbury Avenue didn’t make it to the checkout register Thursday night.

A hearing by Red Bank’s zoning board ended with more testimony, and objections, expected when the matter resumes on August 4.

Juan Torres, who owns Juanito’s restaurant, Juanito’s Bakery and El Guero grocery – all on the borough’s West Side – is seeking board approval for what would be the borough’s largest ethnic food store.

But first he’s got to clear hurdles related to the store’s size, parking issues and pedestrian safety, as well as the resistance of at least one other bodega owner.

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MEXICAN MARKET PLANNED ON SHREWSBURY

197-shrewsbury-ave

Juan Torres is looking to move his Juanito’s brand to Shrewsbury Avenue, formerly the home of Red Bank Furniture Emporium. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI rcsm2_010508

There’s an appetizing item on the Red Bank Zoning Board‘s plate tomorrow night: Mexican.

The mini-empire of authentically Mexican eateries and retail food outlets, Juanito’s, is looking to spread into a space at a recently shuttered Shrewsbury Avenue furniture store.

Juan Torres, who owns Juanito’s Restaurant, Juanito’s Grocery and El Guero Grocery, is seeking the board’s approval for a short list of variances to open up Juanito’s Market at 197 Shrewsbury Avenue.

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AUTOPSY: MURDER VICTIM WAS ASPHYXIATED

siena-grillViridiana Beltran-Gomez was last seen at her job at Siena Grill before her body was found last week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A missing Red Bank mother whose body was discovered last week died by asphyxiation, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The results of 26-year-old Viridiana Beltran-Gomez‘s autopsy, conducted Sunday, were made available yesterday, four days after her body was discovered off the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen, First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.

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BOATHOUSE STALLED BY HYDRANT ISSUE

foundationGeoff Johnson’s unfinished Boathouse at Red Bank, and a rendering of what it’s to look like, below. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

boathouse-elev060711

While the Red Bank government is working to show that the town is “open for business,” a West Side property owner is among those who say the door still isn’t open wide enough.

“I would have to agree with everyone who’s ever said Red Bank is difficult to do business with,” said Geoff Johnson, who has approved plans to build a kayak and canoe rental and boat club on the banks of the Swimming River, at the north end of Shrewsbury Avenue.

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COUNCIL DIGS IN AGAINST PROPOSED GARDEN

rbpl-garden-siteAdvocates are pushing the council to allow a community garden on borough-owned property to the right of the library, above. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The green thumbs had their rakes and hoes out in force Wednesday night.

An already lengthy Red Bank council meeting carried on about 45 minutes more as elected officials and proponents of a community garden clashed on the proposed location for the first of what the group hopes will to be up to four community-tended gardens throughout town.

Advocates want the start-up site at borough-owned property adjoining the public library site. But officials say it’s the last available piece of public land on the Navesink River, and don’t want to exclude people by turning it into an area of specific interest.

And so a back-and-forth that started in March continued Wednesday, with still no place to plant a seed decided upon.

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AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR RED BANK WOMAN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

052011aAuthorities have confirmed that Thursday’s “police operation” in the area of the Upper Navesink River in Red Bank was part of an on-going investigation for a Bank Street woman who went missing last week.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said it had launched an investigation, along with Red Bank and Eatontown police, into the whereabouts of 26-year-old Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, right.

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CHOPSTICKS, WATER PIPES, SCISSORS & MORE

phole-2Vietnamese eatery Pho Le opened on Broad Street last week. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rcsm2_010508Middle Broad Street in Red Bank appears to be pulling itself from a retail malaise. It wasn’t all that long ago that for every business in the area, one or two storefronts were empty.

More recently, though, there’s been an infusion of new businesses — and diversity — on the blocks between Monmouth Street and Harding Road, with the addition of two new pizzerias, a gourmet Chinese sit-down, a beauty boutique and two upscale consignment shops.

The latest to join the mix is one-of-a-kind. At 90 Broad, Vietnamese restaurant Pho Le set out the chopsticks and noodle bowls late last month.

More info on the recent churning below.

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MENNA PLANS RESIDENT MEETINGS

pasquale-menna-2-102110Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Red Bank council members take the dais for their regular meeting tomorrow night, they’ll likely start out discussing a potential new law banning vehicle-idling and expanding private contracts for water and sewer connections.

Snooze, right?

But what’s notable about these topics is not necessarily their substance, but their source. They wouldn’t have made it onto the council’s dance card had it not been for taxpayers’ input, be it by way of stopping an elected official on the street or sitting through a council meeting waiting for the regular order of business to wrap up and get to the public comment portion — an often intimidating forum typically taken advantage of by meeting regulars.

So sticking with a credo of an open government with an open door, Mayor Pasquale Menna said he wants more input and more ideas from the borough’s stakeholders. On Saturday, he plans to launch a series of informal meetings aimed at generating just that.

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TROUBLED WATER LINE SET FOR UPGRADE

shrews-hydrantThe replacement of the Shrewsbury Avenue main is to be timed with the replacement of Hubbards Bridge on West Front Street. (Click to enlarge)

Homes and businesses serviced by an antiquated water supply line on Red Bank’s West Side are finally going to get the water pressure they’ve been demanding for years, borough officials say.

A replacement of the existing four-inch main running beneath Shrewsbury Avenue with an eight-incher is on the drawing board and about to get financing.

The completion of the project, however, is months away.

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SNOW ADDED TO TOP PED SAFETY CONCERNS

snow-sidewalkIt doesn’t do much good if snow blocks access to a shoveled sidewalk, residents say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The list of concerns related to pedestrian safety are well-documented. Red Bank needs more traffic lights, better signage, sidewalk improves and more, residents say.

But now, with snow packed into blocks of ice at the end of sidewalks throughout town, fears are heightened that something bad is going to happen.

That concern, along with the usual gripes, were aired at Wednesday night’s monthly West Side Community Group meeting with police and Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“It’s not that the sidewalks are not shoveled. It’s just that the curbing is blocked with snow,” said Carl Colmorgen, a school crossing guard. “The crosswalks are there, but you can’t get to them because of the snow.”

But the problem is going to take time to resolve, officials said.

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TINTON FALLS McDONALD’S ROBBED

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI just_in1

Tinton Falls police are searching for a suspect they say robbed the McDonald’s on Shrewsbury Avenue late Tuesday afternoon.

The male suspect, of whom police didn’t have a full description, entered the fast food chain at about 5:57p, placed an order — then reached over the counter and took money from the register, said Lieutenant David Scrivanic

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FOR HISTORY BUFFS, A FANTASTIC SIGN

oakleyFantastic Signs owner John Oakley with his daughter, Charlotte, and some of his sign collection. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s a weekday afternoon, and John Oakley is casually sipping a glass of water watching his two children, Charlotte and Luke, bouncing on an area carpet in his Shrewsbury Avenue showroom. There’s a jump-rope contest coming up, and the kids need practice.

On the wall behind them, there’s a large, white Dorn’s Photography sign. To the right, a red neon “DINER” sign, taken from the old Rex Diner, casts a forceful electric light over the room.

This is the Oakley family’s home away from home, a workshop where Oakley and his wife, Erin, design and fabricate signs; where his kids hang out and play with the family dog, Frank; and where the couple’s collection of roadside Americana dominates the building.

But Oakley’s business, Fantastic Signs, is as much a museum as it is a workspace and den, with fragments of local history that might otherwise be lost to the scrap heap tacked to just about every bit of wall space available.

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