COOL INSIDE: SUMMER FLOATS AWAY

TOAST_082816A Root Beer Float from Toast City Diner. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

toast 082716Is it really over already? No! Say it isn’t so!

As the summer of 2016 fades into history, it is with great reluctance that PieHole‘s Cool Inside series closes out (sniff!) with a simple classic: a root beer float.

It’s the 15th entry in the series that has served up everything from a waffle bowl to an egg cream, with lots of variety in between. Each was carefully selected to deliver maximum mouthfuls of flavor and bone-cooling effect on a hot summer’s day.

But remember, dear reader: summer doesn’t actually end until September 22. So if you missed any of our stops, there’s a complete list at the bottom of this article to help you keep cool in the interim —and beyond. Because really, if you think about it, does summer actually have to end?

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RED BANK: TOAST RISKS HEAT OVER CARD FEES

amy russo harrigan 102715Amy Russo Harrigan, owner of Toast in Red Bank and two other locations, is now imposing a 2.5-percent surcharge on customer bills paid with credit or debit cards, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Harrigan “knows she risks irritating customers; she has the social media posts to prove it,” writes reporter Michael Diamond. “But she said the [card processing] fees prevent her from hiring and offering raises to her staff, so she’s trying to figure out a way to share the burden without raising prices.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: CHURN GALORE

red bank r barber 053116 1Marcos Ramirez shows customer Chris Hawkins his haircut at the newly opened Red Bank R Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Playa Bowls needs variances to open. The plan has been approved and no variances were needed, according to borough officials.]

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallKicking off its second decade of covering the endless comings and goings of Red Bank merchants, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoop on these churnings:

• The debut of  new dance studio

• One barber shop opens, and another relocates

• The departure of a “hippie shop” and plans by a tailor to replace it

• A fruit bowl business plans to open

• RiverCenter puts a bow on 2015

All that and more awaits, just around the “read more” corner… Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TOAST TOSSED SALAD

110515toastsaladA Chopped Greek salad with grilled shrimp, above, and a plate of hash and eggs, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

103115toast1Peace, Love and Pancakes: How can you go wrong with a slogan like that?

The newest foodie haven in Red Bank, Toast is slinging all three, along with hash and other comfort foods, in a glossy retro-American-meets-Scandinavian style luncheonette in the former home of the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street.
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RED BANK: AT HOME WITH TOAST & TARRAGON

amy russo harrigan 102715Amy Russo Harrigan in the newly opened Toast, housed in the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street. Below, an ad for the original Palace Diner that appeared in the Red Bank Register in 1945. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

palace diner ad 1945From outside, the neon-and-stainless-steel trimmed building at 45 Monmouth Street in Red Bank still looks like the classic diner it was for most of the past 70 years. The sign over the front door even proclaims “City Diner” under the new name.

But to the chagrin of some hardcore nostalgics, and to the delight others, Toast, which opened earlier this month, is not a mere rebranding of the Broadway Diner, which occupied the railcar-style building for 18 years.

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RED BANK: TOAST POPS UP

toast 101615 2toast 101615 1The widely anticipated revival of the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street in Red Bank as Toast restaurant was completed with a quiet opening Friday afternoon, moments after borough officials issued a certificate of occupancy.

Toast owner Amy Russo, whose late father was a partner in the 24-hour-a-day diner and closed it down 15 months ago, has maintained the stainless-steel exterior and classic look of the interior, though with ample decor changes. The menu, however, is new, as are the hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m, except for Saturday, October 17, when it opens at 8 a.m, an employee told redbankgreen.

[UPDATE: Owner Amy Russo Harrigan informs redbankgreen that Toast will open for friends and family on Saturday, be closed Sunday, and open for “business as usual” Monday morning.] (Click to enlarge)

ON THE GREEN: SLOW ROAST AT TOAST

toast curb 072815HOT-TOPIC_01With temperatures headed toward the high 80s, John Cushing of Bayonne rolled on with his work Tuesday, painting curbs outside the Toast restaurant under construction in the former Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday was the first of at least seven consecutive days in which peak daytime temperatures were expected to be close to 90 degrees. (Click to enlarge)

CHURN: 10TH AVE. NEARS OPENING DATE

10th ave 071415 1Signage is now up at 10th Ave. Burrito on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the restaurantization of Red Bank in full swing, this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up a groaning board of food news.

• The long wait for 10th Ave. Burrito Company is nearly over.

Sicilia Ristorante on Broad Street has a new owner, and he’s planning to split the business in two, sort of.

Details, and some assorted table scraps, are just around the corner.
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RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”
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