WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? ‘ALL IN’ IN SEA BRIGHT

Shrimp, arugula and capellini pasta at the newly opened GiGi’s New York Style Pizza and Restaurant. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Admiring the new street lights installed as part of a streetscape makeover on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright earlier this week, PieHole spied the equally new GiGi’s New York Style Pizza and Restaurant.

Located next door to Melonhead in a space that most recently housed the Black Swine restaurant, which moved to a larger spot a block away, Gigi’s turns out to be owned by familiar faces: chef Kenny Gambella and his wife, Kelly, who also own Sonny’s Sandwich Shop just down the street.

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RED BANK: PILLAR WORK PROMPTS CLOSURE

english plaza 081315english plaza 081215Work to replace the two crumbling, 1930s-era peanut-stone pillars flanking the West Front Street entrance to the English Plaza parking lot in Red Bank will result in daytime closures of that driveway beginning Tuesday, the borough announced.

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RED BANK: STREETSCAPE PROJECTS PLANNED

rb schiff lot 081315The fence and sign bordering the onetime Steinbach’s department store parking lot on Broad Street, above, will be transformed into a landscaped seating area, shown in an aerial concept drawing below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

133 broad 081215Two Red Bank parking lots are in for some dolling-up.

RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency, plans to spruce up the former Steinbach’s parking lot on Broad Street with landscaping and benches, and to replace two stone pillars at the north entrance to the English Plaza lot, officials said in a presentation to the borough council Wednesday night.

And RiverCenter is working on a streetscape plan for a portion of White Street, including the southern entrance to English Plaza, said executive director Jim Scavone.

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BASIE TO GET ‘RED CARPET’ STREET CROSSING

Authorities hope the crossing will centralize pedestrian movements to and from the theater on show nights. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s long-awaited plan to extend streetscape touches down a neglected stretch of Monmouth Street includes a mid-block crossing at the County Basie Theatre, officials say.

Depending on the cost, the project might also include a reworking of the landscaping across the street from the theater, on borough hall property, into an outdoor seating area for theater patrons and others, they said.

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RIVER ROAD GETS OVERSTIMULATED

fh-river-rdA stretch of River Road in Fair Haven, seen looking east here, will get upgrades thanks to federal stimulus money. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

How do you get more money from the federal government than you ever dreamed of, or even asked for? Tell ’em you don’t want it, apparently.

It worked for Fair Haven, which, led by anti-stimulus Republican Mayor and Congressional candidate Mike Halfacre, recently received $886,000 in stimulus funds — nearly double the borough’s original request of $480,000 for its “River Road West Streetscape” plan.

The borough was notified by the Federal Highway Administration in February it was receiving the larger-than-asked for sum, Halfacre says on his blog.

The 12th-district House candidate also defends accepting the money, despite his belief that the $787 billion stimulus package passed by President Obama last year was “pork-laden” and would be “ineffective.”

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