Catching up on some more retail turnover in the past few weeks, one of the longest tenured stories on East Cherry Street closed. Big Belly Deli opened in spring 2005 but it looks like the owner has some bigger issues to worry about now.
In case you hadn’t seen this story over the weekend from The Star-Ledger/nj.com, the owner of the deli and another man were accused by police of driving around the Rutgers University campus, shooting deer without hunting permits, and bringing the carcasses back to the deli — oh, and they allegedly were intoxicated too. “Authorities have not determined if the deer meat…allegedly brought into the store was sold to customers,” according to the story.
A “Business For Sale” sign was in the window a couple of weeks ago while the deli had closed in February. I’d heard some rumblings about the reason behind the closing but hadn’t been able to confirm that to post about it.
A newcomer to East Cherry Street appears to be Pet Essentials. Stenciled signage in the window at 43 E. Cherry St. indicates a place called Pet Essentials will be taking up space there. It’s essentially been vacant since the Rahway Art Hive moved down the block to Main Street last summer. The flier in the window seems to indicate an April opening for the pet supply store.
Speaking of The Art Hive, I’ve been told Jim McKeon, the man behind the Art Hive, is on hiatus traveling for the spring and closed up the art gallery and co-op studio last month.
A story last month in The New York Times takes a look at continued redevelopment efforts in Asbury Park (Asbury Park’s Boardwalk Revival Moves Inward).
Some key takeaways:
* “Recent development projects and a growing restaurant scene have helped potential investors see the town as one that was ‘moving forward,’ and that its creative history had attracted a passionate crew.”
* Market-rate rents for street-level retail spaces range from $12 to $15 a square foot.
* “A soft economy and a lack of parking and pedestrian traffic had kept business from truly booming.”