Posts Tagged ‘Main Avenue report in Ocean Grove’

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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OG Florest. Sign says that a new shop will open there in May. Moe Demby photo, BF staff. 4/3/16

OG Florist. Sign says that a new shop will open there in May. Moe Demby photo, BF staff. 4/3/16

DUKE ELLINGTON  “At a Dixie Roadside Diner.”    Maybe a sensible eatery or even, gosh, a real coffee shop?  Remember, we can’t eat a T shirt.

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Mary's Place Dec. 15, 2015.

  1.  Mary’s Place (above) has been evolving.  Is that a historic color?   Note the height relative to the house next door to the right.   This has been described as a single family house with many bedrooms while others think of it as too large and “out of place.”
  2.  The Pizza Shoppe at Main Ave. and Pilgrim Pathway is under new management.  They will sell whole large pies, sandwiches, pizza slices and other varied menu options. But they have closed weekdays during the winter because “business is too slow.”  I guess we can’t think of this as a business to serve those who live in the Grove. The tourists are #1.  Meanwhile Nagles on Main Avenue stays open year round.
    Nagle's open year round. Great atmosphere inside, and it is ready to go with year round ice cream. All photos by Blogfinger.net ©

    NAGLE’S. Nagle’s open year round. Great atmosphere inside, and it is ready to go with year round ice cream. All photos by Blogfinger.net ©

    3.  Jesus on Main .   Find Him and his entourage in Firemen’s Park (Main Avenue at Delaware and New Jersey and Mt. Hermon Way.) And if you are  hungry you can go to Cheeses on Main.

    Creche in Firemen's Park

4.  Excavation at 50 Main Avenue continues:

Looking forward to rebuilding at 50 Main Avenue.

Looking forward to rebuilding at 50 Main Avenue. Will they continue with framing?   There is a law suit about this project.


33 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove

5. The story of J:   The purple house at 33 Main Avenue (above).  Some people love the colors while others hate them.  We spoke to J. Cortese about this restoration project which he designed, color consulted and construction managed. J. uses historic colors, but he also enjoys the unexpected, changing over recently to darker “rich” colors in the Grove.  He says that all his colors are approved and chosen from historic color charts. He thinks that darker colors are “more historic” than the typical Victorian pastel colors of the San Francisco “Painted Ladies.”

This house underwent a complete porch restoration with removal of old stucco, revealing clapboard beneath. It was a “vernacular” Victorian that was enlarged into a four square colonial revival  around 1900. J’s palette consists of two shades of green and two shades of “raisin” one of which (the darker) is “beetroot.”  The contractor is Sawbucks.

6. How about a roll in the hay?  We could have hay rides on Main Avenue this time of year.  Did you ever go on a winter hay ride?  I did in high school. It was fun, but the horse was expelling steam back into the wagon.  All the couples burrowed down into the hay, but my date  decided that everyone should sing.  So here is Sutton Foster singing “Roll in the hay” from Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein.

7. Some stores were closed on Tuesday even though it is Christmas shopping time. But one of the favorite stores in town, April Cornell, was open for shoppers. We also noticed that the Emporium and Comfort Zone were open as was the OG  Flower Shop.  We did not do a complete survey.

Note 12/19: Favorite Things reports that they are open 7 days per week, May through December.

It ain’t exactly Main Avenue, it is Grant Avenue in San Francisco from Flower Drum Song.  (Original London cast )

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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