RED BANK: STUDENTS RETHINK MONMOUTH ST.

curtis mcdaniel red bank ,n rutgers student plans monmouth streetCurtis McDaniel discussing the concept plan he co-created, showing an eastward view along Monmouth Street. Below, developer Todd Herman comments on a student pitch. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

todd herman, red bank, nj rutgers student plans monmouth streetAssignment: come up with new design concepts to enliven the stretch of Monmouth Street between the train station and borough hall in Red Bank.

The response: lots of new apartments, rooftop bars, hidden parking decks, pockets of greenery and even an amphitheater across the street from the Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts.

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RED BANK: STATION APARTMENTS OK’D

Architect Nelson Benavides discussing plans for 170 Monmouth Street, seen in in two renderings from the west. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan to turn a five-story office building opposite the Red Bank train station into rental apartments cleared its first hurdle at the borough zoning board Thursday night.

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RED BANK: STATION APARTMENTS PLANNED

A builder’s proposal calls for converting four floors of the five-story building to apartments, plus an addition with 16 more units, directly across Monmouth Street from the borough train station. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One of Red Bank’s more prominent office buildings would be converted to apartments — and get new ones out back — under a proposal by a Jersey City-based developer, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: SUMMER SCENE AT THE STATION

luis 072516 1SUMMER-SCENESTrains didn’t look like this, or run on electricity, when the Red Bank train station was built in 1875. But while technology has evolved over the past 141 years, the station itself has maintained its Victorian charm, thanks to the efforts of preservationists and periodic refurbishment work, as in the four-year, $1.6-million facelift that concluded in 2014, when it was named for late Mayor and Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. O’Hern Sr.

In this week’s Summer Scenes photo, Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado captures the old and the new at the station, as well as the sensation of moving and staying, in beautiful light, both natural and man-made (Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A LITTLE FRANCESE

060116palumbos8Chicken Francese served with a side salad and plenty of bread at Palumbo’s in Little Silver. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON
060116palumbos5Alongside the tracks of the Little Silver train station in a handsome, stone-facade strip mall with plenty of parking, Palumbo’s Pizza is more than its name implies.

Inside the Ayers Lane restaurant, you’ll first hear quiet strains of Italian background music, setting a tranquil, family friendly atmosphere. The staff behind the counter converses in Italian too. PieHole takes this as a sign to join some other customers in the dining room and make lunch a more leisurely affair.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WHITEFISH ON BIG BAGEL

121715bagestation4A sesame-seed bagel teeming with whitefish salad, lettuce and tomato from the Bagel Station, seen below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121715bagelstation2Red Bank has seen its fair share of restaurants come and go over the years. Loyal customers wax poetic about eateries long gone.

Bagel Station on Monmouth Street, across from the train station, has managed to keep its doors open for 28 years now. Rolling with the times, the breakfast and lunch spot is as relevant as any of the newcomers to town, and more affordable than many.

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RED BANK: STATION TO BE NAMED FOR O’HERN

rb station 112514 1The Red Bank train station will be dedicated to the memory of late Mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Dan O’Hern. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

After a four-year, $1.6-million facelift, the scaffolding is down at the Red Bank train station, revealing a spiffy new Victorian-era depot.

On Friday, the station will get a new identity to go along with the new roof, restored windows and gingerbread trim.

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RED BANK: STATION WORK IN FINAL PHASE

rb station 1 050814The long-awaited restoration of the Red Bank train station, named for late mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Dan O’Hern, is on track to wrap up by late August, New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said Thursday. Included in the $1.6 million project are the replacement of the slate roof, repairs to the clapboard exterior and historically accurate restoration of windows and gingerbread trim. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RR STATION DETOUR TO BEGIN

rb rr xg 042214As reported by redbankgreen earlier this month, the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street in Red Bank will be closed to traffic for about two weeks starting Thursday morning for replacement of the NJ Transit railroad crossing. Expect detours, borough officials said. (Click to enlarge)

CHOWDA HOUSE TAKES RED BANK DOWN EAST

Chef Glenn Kovacs at work in the new Chowda House, set to open Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s been almost a year and a half since redbankgreen first reported that Mary and Roy Jennings were planning a new seafood eatery on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank.

Sine then, apparently, the couple have been battening down the hatches, as indicated by the extensive use of a shipboard motif in the dining room of the Chowda House, their new restaurant located directly opposite the train station. Even the restroom doors look like bulkhead passages to a ship’s engine room.

It’s an environment that chef Glenn Kovacs says reflects the well-thought-out details of the business, which opens Saturday.

“There’s nothing like this around here,” in terms of atmosphere or menu, says Kovacs, whose travels have landed him stints in kitchens throughout the metropolitan region.

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LITTLE SILVER: HOT COFFEE TO GO, OR STAY

Commuters will be able to text in their coffee orders for quick pickup at Rook Coffee Roasters in the borough rail station. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Since late 2010, the concession pavilion at the Little Silver Train Station has been vacant, forcing NJ Transit riders to dash to neighboring stores for coffee, only to rush back to make their train in time.

The mad scramble for a caffeine fix is over. Rook Coffee Roasters officially opened for business Saturday at the station concession stand, filling a void for commuters and passersby alike.

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LITTLE SILVER STATION GOES FOR JAVA REFILL

Rook Coffee Roasters plans to set up shop this autumn in the wood-paneled interior of the borough-owned train station. (Photos by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

After a nearly two-year vacancy, the Little Silver Train Station is about to get a fresh coffee shop. And the new tenant believes it has a business model that will help it avoid the fate of its short-lived predecessors.

Rook Coffee Roasters announced a plan last Thursday to open its fourth retail store in the borough-owned station’s concession space this fall. Bagels, sandwiches and various baked goods will be for sale in addition to coffee, each cup of which is individually brewed to order, according to co-owner Holly Migliaccio.

Rook’s owners believe the keys to survival at the station lie in making the stand a draw to non-commuting locals and using wireless technology to expedite individual orders.

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NEW RESTAURANT COMING TO STATION?

78-bridge-2-121311The exterior of 78 Bridge Avenue, and below, an interior view showing the rear carriage-house doors. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

78-bridge-3-121311

In recent years, it’s been an ironware store, a teahouse and a teahouse-plus – a place, that is, where one might buy and consume food along with hot beverages, but no cooking could occur.

All have failed. But the building’s owners believe the former home of two editions of NovelTeas, located across Bridge Avenue from the Red Bank train station, is ready for a full-fledged restaurant.

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O’HERN, AZZOLINA GET NAME HONORS

ohern-stationThe Red Bank train station and the Route 36 Highlands-Sea Bright bridge, below, have new names. (Click to enlarge)

azzolina-bridge1

Two prominent pieces of public infrastructure – one, some 140 years old, the other brand-new – have officially been renamed for Red Bank-area leaders.

Governor Chris Christie has signed bills naming the century-old Red Bank rail station for the late borough mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Daniel O’Hern and dubbing a new bridge across the Shrewsbury River for the late  Joe Azzolina, the longtime state Assemblyman from Middletown.

State Senator Jennifer Beck, who pushed for both, announced the changes Monday.

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MARKING CHANUKAH, OUTDOORS AND IN

menorah

congregation-2More than a dozen of the faithful marked the Jewish celebration of Chanukah with a menorah lighting and songs Saturday night at the Red Bank train station.

On Sunday, members of Congregation Beth Shalom on Maple Avenue gathered for a Chanukah celebration with a menorah lighting, kids’ crafts and activities, including Dreidel spinning games, and traditional holiday fare such as latkes and chocolate coins. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

congregation

HONORS FOR O’HERN & AZZOLINA ADVANCE

oherndaniel2Legislation that would name the Red Bank train station for late mayor and state Supreme Court justice Daniel O’Hern, right, will move to the full state Senate after clearing its Transportation Committee Monday.

Ditto for another bill that would put the name of the longtime Middletown legislator Joe Azzolina on the Highlands-Sea Bright replacement bridge now under construction at the mouth of the Shrewsbury River.

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RESTROOM? FOUR-YEAR WAIT, IF EVER

rb-station-1-051410A NJ Transit rendering shows the station in what officials say were its original colors. (Click to enlarge)

Where’s the restroom?

Lou and Chris Mustillo, owners of the Red Bank’s Walt Street Pub, say they get that question upwards of two dozen times a day from commuters hurrying into their establishment across Monmouth Street from the Red Bank train station, which doesn’t have a public washroom.

So last Friday night, when New Jersey Transit unveiled a station restoration plan that may take four years and consume up to $2 million in taxpayer money, the Mustillos pressed officials with the same question they and their bartenders hear all too often: where’s the bathroom?

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HANDLIN HANDLIN’ PROBLEMS ON THE RAILS

amy-h-handlinBy TOM HESTER

Are you up to dealing with the state government first thing in the morning?

Well, if you need its help, 13th-district Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and her aides will try to provide it at the Middletown train station next Tuesday morning.

Handlin, a Middletown Republican, says her on-site ‘Help Desks’ are for residents having difficulty with state agencies or with questions regarding state government.

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LITTLE SILVER STATION LOT TO GET UPGRADES

ls-station-lotThe lot is owned by NJ Transit but operated by the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fifteen years without repairs have taken a toll on the Little Silver train station parking lot, but the borough has started the process to bring the large commuter space up to snuff.

It could be a long process, though, as bids for all the needed repairs have exceeded the amount the borough is willing or able to spend.

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FIVE YEARS LATE, BASIE BUST GETS PROPS

img_3409100209NAACP Red Bank chapter president Rev. Henry P. Davis leads a convocation prayer at the event. (Click to enlarge)

A bust of native son William ‘Count’ Basie stood, without any official public acknowledgment, inside the Red Bank train station for so long that Dr. Gene Cheslock, was growing frustrated.

The bronze bust had been commissioned by Cheslock and fellow Little Silver resident Ray Brennan to commemorate the 2004 centennial of the bandleader’s birth. But that milestone past without a ceremony coming together to formally unveil the likeness.

“I was going to mount a campaign: ‘Free the Count,'” Cheslock told redbankgreen with a laugh last Friday, when he finally got his wish.
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PRESERVATIONISTS DEMAND STATION FIXES

img_083120090809
station-decay-080909
Peeling paint and rotting wood at the Red Bank train station have preservationists worried about “demolition by neglect.” (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission has gone on the offensive against New Jersey Transit, owner of the borough train station, for what it calls apparently “intentional” lack of maintenance.

The agency’s failure to replace a failing asphalt shingle roof or do basic painting on the circa 1875 structure constitutes “demolition by neglect,” leaving the building in “such a deteriorated state that Transit will insist they have no other option other than to demolish the structure,” the commission says in a letter presented to the borough council Monday night.

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