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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove downtown Main Avenue’ Category

Outside the shop called “Mermaid Haberdashery” 5/26/18 Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to Seymour.

 

A new shop opened where the Chamber of Horrors used to be.  It’s called Mermaid, and we did not actually walk inside.  If you do, please let us know what their shtick is.    At least the outdoors of the shop suggests that this business may have a pulse and an impulse to liven up our downtown.

But don’t fall for the mermaid’s siren call. She will lead you down the path of pilgrims to heretofore unknown pleasures in this little camp town…doo dah, doo dah.

Paul @Blogfinger.

 

BLOSSOM DEARIE:   “SAY YOU LOVE ME.”

 

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Shoreline dancers. 2015 July 4 parade in Ocean Grove, NJ Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net©  Click to Seymour.

There were women volunteers at our hospital, and we called them “pink ladies” because of their smocks. But this variety of pink ladies are having a great time dancing  in the Ocean Grove Independence Day Parade.

Next month Main Avenue will be invaded by another month-long pinkification campaign promoting “wellness” for women.  But these Main Avenue dancers are a  home-grown reminder for girls and women to stay healthy.   Watch for them this July 4.

SAMUEL WRIGHT  “Kiss the Girl.”  A Disney song:

 

And,  while we are discussing kissing, here is JESSICA MOLASKEY with “A Kiss to Build a Dream On:”

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Paul Goldfinger ©. July 4 parade in Ocean Grove.  Wesley Lake swan boats.  Main Avenue. 2016. Blogfinger.net

BRIAN WILSON:  From  Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

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March 1, 2018. 60 Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo ©

 

60 Main Avenue Ocean Grove . March 1, 2018. Blogfinger photo ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD. Editor @Blogfinger.net

Things couldn’t be bleaker—in fact, let’s rename Main Avenue in Ocean Grove  “Bleaker Street”  It’s March one, 2018, and most of the downtown is closed to traffic due to ongoing water-main work.  But that will be temporary, however the continuing downward slide of the Main Avenue businesses continues.

Favorite Things is up for sale.  Recently abandoned businesses at the brick pizza building have “for rent ” signs out including the shops that used to house the Pet Boutique, DJ’s grocery,  and DJ’s Pizza Shoppe.  April Cornell will move to Spring Lake this spring.  Sea View Sweets  at 56 Main Ave. has also  closed.

The word is that significantly higher rents at #60 Main Avenue, in the brick building owned by Asbury Park-NYC Sackman Enterprises, has forced those businesses out. Evidently this elite developer  believes that OG will be the next Asbury Park, and the prices reflect that.  Imagine, it is cheaper to rent a shop in Spring Lake than in OG.

Favorite Things, a fine shop, is still open among a bunch of core successful operations including Sea Grass, Nagles, the Emporium, Comfort Zone, Trading Company, Gifts by Tina, Purple Zebra,  OG Hardware, Cheese on Main, and Gingerbreads.  The OG bakery seems to be doing well and offers a nice selection of coffee drinks. As you all know, we have no actual coffee shop in town—a worrisome situation.

Some businesses are not listed here among the “core successful” retail operations because they are new and unproven and have yet to establish a demonstrable track record. Any business could have success here, but it needs the means to get through the winters and to stay in town for the long term.

The Chamber of Commerce has never spoken of a retail master plan for shops in the Grove, and maybe that would be desirable to help guide investors and produce a theme that would define our commercial district.

As for the realtors in town, we spoke to one prominent realtor who is very optimistic about Ocean Grove’s future and he believes that all those empty stores will be rented. Currently we are in a “down turn” in the down town, but he sees this as a temporary situation,  and he points to the fired-up real estate housing market in OG as indicative of  good things to come.

Osteria at #50 Main Avenue (R) has just opened. Next door is a yoga/meditation/aroma therapy shop. Blogfinger photo.

A new Italian restaurant has recently opened at  #50 Main Avenue  (the new white building—-suite #4).  It is called Osteria Procaccini.

After you look at their website and read the menu, you may jump up and down and yell, “WOW!”   It probably will be a big hit here, but, it  might attract even more tourists  (remember when Moonstruck was on Main Ave?) and, of course, the new building at #50 Main offers ZERO new parking.

Hopefully the Osteria will be a source of added light where more light is needed.  Preliminary reports say that the food there is  good  if not “a bit pricey.”

The downtown needs an injection of life.  It needs quality businesses and it needs to retain stores like April Cornell. Their leaving is a big loss for the downtown in terms of the vision for OG’s shops and for the town in general.

RUBY BRAFF AND DICK HYMAN   “High Society” from their album America the Beautiful.

 

 

 

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Main Avenue. Starting from far left:  Pet Boutique, April Cornell, DJ’s Market, and  DJ’s Delights  (a restaurant.)  Blogfinger photo. Dec 4, 2017

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

A few weeks ago we heard that the Pet Boutique on Main Avenue would close, but that is all the facts which were then available. But now, some reliable sources have provided more information about three adjacent stores which will close.

The  common thread for all these stores has to do with the landlord who owns #60 Main Avenue, the location of all three businesses: Pet Boutique, April Cornell, and DJ’s Market (groceries.)

Evidently the rents are being raised   “significantly.” In addition, some months ago, there was flooding in the building damaging the ceilings of these shops, resulting in temporary interior  framing being installed to prevent collapse.  And the owner is evidently expecting the tenants to help pay for repairs.

The owner of #60 Main is Sackman Enterprises, aka Linus Holding Co. This is an established real estate company based in NYC and surrounding states including 6 properties in Asbury Park

One year ago we wrote about the owner’s plans for this building. The links are below:

Main Avenue project June 2016

 

58-60 Main Avenue plans 2016 BF post

 

In the case of the Pet Boutique,”there are some other elements including the desire of the shop owner to retire. That store  will close on Dec. 31 and it will be missed by the pet owners in town.

DJ,s will close its grocery store, but the adjacent DJ,s restaurant on the corner  (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) will stay open.

April Cornell, probably the most famous and unique shop in town, is reluctantly planning to leave the Grove and move to larger quarters in Spring Lake. Evidently they were unable to find a suitable replacement location in town.

The manager of April Cornell asked that we make it clear that the business is not closing—-just changing its location, and that won’t happen until April, 2018.

The new white building at #50-54 Main Avenue may not have any store vacancies.   We do know that a high-end pizza business will open there next year, but right now there is a perfume store and a Christmas shop.  And the Comfort Zone has temporary quarters in that  building pending renovation of their space eastward down the block.

The Emporium’s Beach shop is currently closed pending renovations.

There is a for sale sign outside “Favorite Things,” but they are open for business.

We have reported in the past on the theme of the Main Avenue shops:  Are they to be for tourists or for residents?  Some businesses serve both constituencies.  We have already lost a doctor, a pharmacy, a barber shop, a dry cleaners/tailors, a fine grocery store, a news stand, a flower shop, a toy store, a newspaper printing shop, a butcher shop, a popular restaurant (Moonstruck), and a video store.

We have had increased parking and tourist congestion downtown as well as in other parts of the Grove, and that speaks to the fundamental question of what kind of town will we have here?  What is the town’s future and what will happen to its historic theme?

Who will win:  residents who make this their home or the commercial interests?

Here is a link discussing the business community on Main Avenue:

 

BERNADETTE PETERS AND MANDY PATINKIN   from Sunday in the Park with George  by Stephen Sondheim:

“Stop worrying if your vision
Is new
Let others make that decision-
They usually do
You keep moving on…”

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 #50 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove, NJ Blogfinger photo. 6/16/17 ©  Yvonne’s restaurant never returned.

When the developers of this property posed for a recent photo in the Coaster, they grinned at the camera, but there was no mention of what sorts of tenants would occupy this sore thumb of a building. Yvonne’s restaurant never came back after the fire. So our town is now down one eatery.  Why has no other restaurateur appeared?   Could it be the loss of alfresco dining space in front?

TEDDY THOMPSON.   From the film Brokeback Mountain.

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# 58-60 Main Ave. June 19, 2016. Blogfinger photo.

# 58-60 Main Ave. June 19, 2016. Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   and Jack Bredin, Blogfinger Reporter/Researcher

When Blogfinger took an interest in the North End, the zoning changes had already taken place, leaving us with the task of researching, exposing and defining the situation and sharing our  information with the Ocean Grove public.

When Mary’s Place on Main Avenue was conceived, a highly dubious zoning decision was made in 2014 by a single Neptune Township official that allowed two lots to be merged and a “community residence and shelter” placed instead of two single family homes. No variances were required. We came upon that situation after the fact.

Kevin Chambers sought a legal remedy for the zoning decision at #50 Main Avenue, and we have reported on his efforts.   We learned about that late as well, but now we are following that situation, unlike the OGHOA which pays no attention to such issues, and they ought to do so.

It turns out that public officials in Neptune Township, the CMA, and developers have gotten used to doing what they please regarding land use, regardless of local zoning laws and regardless of State laws such as RSIS parking rules for new construction,  and without taking an interest in public opinion on such matters.

But the saga of # 58-60 Main Avenue is a bit different. Here we have the opportunity to study the process as it is occurring.   Two days ago we posted a letter from an anonymous Ocean Grover that alerted us  to what is going on at # 58-60 Main Avenue regarding planned changes to the property.    If it weren’t for that person, we would not have found out about the situation. Definitely the OGHOA wouldn’t have told us, because they don’t do their duty as watchdogs.  No one is watching such events on behalf of the public——except Blogfinger and a few individuals.

Today we went to the Municipal Building and spoke to Kristie Armour, the Administrative officer for the Planning/Zoning Board of adjustment.

We learned that yesterday, June 20, 2016, a lawyer named Andrew J. Karas, from Fox Rothschild LLP, Attorneys at Law in Roseland, submitted a large box to the Neptune Township Planning Board regarding #58-60 Main Avenue.   That box contained an application for a site plan for that property.

Blogfinger will not have access to the application until Ms. Armour’s office processes it, but we have filed a request for access to government records  (aka OPRA request—Open Public Records Act,)  and we should have more information for our readers next week.

It seems that our information from our informant was mostly accurate. The building is two stories, with stores below and apartments above. It is in a mixed use zone called HD-B-1 which does permit a maximum of 3 stories, and the developer evidently wants to add a third story for condominiums, and we suspect that he will want condos on the second floor as well.

But there are some issues having to do with density and parking (or lack thereof). Ms. Armour tells us that her office will determine which board will handle this application, and it may be the Zoning Board of Adjustment rather than the Planning Board.   And there will be other issues as well such as why a high profile real estate firm would take on this project without knowing for sure that  the condo customers will have guaranteed parking on Main Avenue.  And have they determined that the  OGHOA parking plan provides  cover for such ambitions ?

Does that sound crazy?  Well, take a look at the OGHOA Parking Plan. It says that permit parking should be provided “for tax paying residents.”   Really?   Do you think that they want each condo owner to have a permit?  Will they support a reserved space on Main Avenue for each of those new  condos at # 58-60?  We’ll find out sooner or later.

Stay tuned to Blogfinger. We want the public to know how their Neptune Township government actually functions  and we will have more to say about that and about our OG Homeowners Association which has failed to monitor and protect our town from projects that will damage our lifestyles and property values in the Grove.

GEORGE HARRISON  “All Those Years Ago.”

“I’m talking all about how to give
They don’t act with much honesty
But you point the way to the truth when you say
All you need is love.”

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While a press mob was besieging Nagle's, and the Gov was inside, this diner was not distracted.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  6/10/16  Ocean Grove, NJ.

While a press mob was besieging Nagle’s, and Gov. Christie was inside, this diner was not distracted.  Paul Goldfinger photo. © 6/10/16 Ocean Grove, NJ.

PUPPINI SISTERS:

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Ocean Grove Flower Shop on Main Avenue will not be in bloom this spring,  Jean Bredin photo, Blogfinger staff. March 30, 2016. ©

Ocean Grove Flower Shop on Main Avenue will not be in bloom this spring, Jean Bredin photo, Blogfinger staff. March 30, 2016. ©

By Jean Bredin  (Around the Grove with Jean)

A favorite Rite of Passage in Ocean Grove has always been the profusion of colorful plants lined up welcoming Spring. You would forget about the cold, the snow, the grayness, the bleakness. The corner resembled the Paris flower markets. It was a destination. A place where you could be inspired.

Sadly, we will just have to imagine what it once was, and wonder if we will ever see it again.

JOAN BAEZ

 

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"Well…obviously we had snow here today in The Grove….and I can assure you that as of mid-afternoon, that no deliveries have been made form The Purple Zebra Boutique at 76 Main Avenue."  By Bob Bowné  ©

“Well…obviously we had snow here today in The Grove….and I can assure you that as of mid-afternoon, that no deliveries have been made form The Purple Zebra Boutique at 76 Main Avenue.” By Bob Bowné ©

DONALD O’CONNOR and CAROLE RICHARDS.   This song is from the movie version of  Call Me Madam. The composer is Irving Berlin.

 

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