RED BANK: WOOLY MONMOUTH CLOSING

•dori k 030211Rcsm2_010508Dori Cohen Kershner with a customer at Wooly Monmouth in 2011. Kershner announced the closing of her 10-year-old Red Bank knitting store over the weekend in a post on her website, saying the recent birth of her second child had made her realize she wanted to focus on family life. (Click to enlarge)

KNITTERS DROP A SOFT BOMB ON FAIR HAVEN

yarn-bomb1The yarn bombers at work. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In the craggy moments just after dawn Saturday, when not much was moving except bleary-eyed bakers and the  innards of a nearby traffic light, three women sat on a bench outside Fair Haven’s River Road Books, each with a somewhat mischievous smirk on her face, knitting.

The women — two from Fair Haven and the third from Middletown — were in the beginning stages of what was a well-planned sort of guerrilla art project, a stealth mission that toed a fine line between public art and vandalism. In ever-growing circles across the nation and beyond, it’s called yarn bombing, a paradoxical designation that instantly lends itself to head-scratching. Often, it involves wrapping trees and streetlamps in bright knits, without permission.

In this case, though, the matronly vandals had gotten an advance OK from the owner of the bench they were about to attack.

So imagine, as the sun itself needled through iron-gray skies, what passersby thought when they slowly shuffled into the corner bakery for coffee or turned to look from their cars at the stop light.

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ON THE GO: CIGARS, SUBS, WINE & PLUSHIES

carminesJust a year after opening, Carmine’s Sub Shop has changed owners. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Another Red Bank business bites the dust — or in this case, has been stubbed out — over rent in Red Bank. rcsm2_010508

Cigars Plus, one of the last, if not the last, places to enjoy a smoke indoors in Red Bank, is heading out of town.

Owner Frank Toscano tells redbankgreen his landlord, John Bowers, of Philip Bowers Realty, didn’t want the space filled with smoke anymore and was squeezing him on rent. Toscano will maintain his original Cigars Plus shop in Brick.

“We lost our lease,” he said. “The landlord is kicking us out. He didn’t want smoking in the shop, so I have to leave.”

More details on what’s churning in Red Bank’s downtown after the ‘Read More.’

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RIVERCENTER AND STORES ON THE MOVE

rivercenter-for-leaseRiverCenter is relocating to English Plaza in mid-March. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After six years tucked above the bustle of Broad Street in Red Bank, RiverCenter is packing up and moving one block west. rcsm2_010508

In mid-March, the independent agency that promotes the downtown and part of the West Side will make English Plaza its hub of operations. The move, to the same building that houses the Inbetween Cafe, PS Poppyseeds, Urban Dawgs, and Space Interiors,  will create more elbow room for the handful of employees and reduce the rent, said Executive Director Nancy Adams.

“We loved being here,” she said of the offices above Zebu Forno. “But it gives us more space and some separate offices for staff.”

That’s the latest move downtown. There’s more in the rundown right around the Read More corner…

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NEW ON BROAD: HIP, HUMBLE & VINTAGE

danny-weinbergHip And Humble Home co-owner Danny Weinberg inside his Broad Street store, set to open this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI rcsm2_010508

It took Danny Weinberg a matter of seconds to decide on Red Bank as the newest location for his longtime business, Hip And Humble Home.

Weinberg, a Teaneck resident, had recently closed his New York City shop and was driving through Red Bank about six weeks ago when he spotted a vacancy on Broad Street.

“I just drove down here one day, saw the ‘for lease’ sign and the price was right,” Weinberg, 48, said. “I didn’t look anywhere else.”

Six weeks later, Weinberg’s stock of unique wooden imports, mostly from Indonesia — dining tables, chairs, dressers and bed frames, among others — is packed into 58 Broad, and Weinberg is ready to tap into demand for used furniture.

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LOCALS WEIGH IN ON PARKING DECK

dscf3003The White Street municipal lot will be discussed as the site for a revamped parking area. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Earlier this week, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he would “stick his neck out” and restart talks on the possibility of a new parking deck getting built downtown, an idea that has proven highly divisive in the past.

More specifically, he talked about appointing a committee to examine alteratives to “surface parking” at the White Street municipal lot, as well as new metering technologies and green initiatives.

What that all means isn’t quite clear yet. But redbankgreen responded by sticking its notebook and camera out to ask people what they think of the suggestion.

On the official front, Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams said the borough needs to address the parking shortage while adding much-needed revenue.

“Of course, we would be supportive and work with the borough to achieve that long-awaited parking garage,” she said. “We want it to be something that would be a benefit to the business community, but also the residents.”

Responses from locals and business owners after the jump.

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