Two bars may lose their liquor licenses Reddy’s and Hooligan’s currently operating with temporary licenses

Staff Writer

By carolyn O

Two bars may lose their liquor licenses
Reddy’s and Hooligan’s currently operating with temporary licenses

FILE PHOTO  Reddy’s, above, on Ocean Avenue, and Hooligan’s, on Broadway, are currently operating with temporary liquor licenses pending a hearing on Tuesday in Long Branch.FILE PHOTO Reddy’s, above, on Ocean Avenue, and Hooligan’s, on Broadway, are currently operating with temporary liquor licenses pending a hearing on Tuesday in Long Branch.

LONG BRANCH — Reddy’s West End Bar and Grill and Hooligan’s Bar and Restaurant remain open — for now.

Both establishments’ liquor licenses were set to expire, and both have unpaid fines and public safety code enforcement issues. At last week’s City Council meeting, both were granted temporary license extensions until July 10.

"Since both proprietors didn’t have counsel available, we thought it would only be fair to grant a temporary renewal," said James Aaron, city attorney, and a partner in the Ocean Township law firm Ansell, Zaro, Grimm and Aaron.

According to Lou Napoletano, director of public safety, Hooligan’s has a lot to do before getting a full renewal.

On June 16, a Saturday, Napoletano said he witnessed hundreds of kids inside and outside Hooligan’s, which is on Broadway across from city hall, for a battle of the bands concert.

"Upon entering the establishment, we arrested two 20-year-olds for underage drinking," he said. In addition, two bartenders received summonses for not being in possession of their ABC cards.

The bar was shutdown for approximately an hour during which Napoletano said more IDs were checked, resulting in a head count of 170 patrons of all ages inside with an additional 100 people outside. The bar was cited for two counts of serving alcohol to people under the legal drinking age.

But according to Richard Carrano, the operator of the bar, he was never given a summons. He said that the shutdown has hurt his business.

"The promoter I use was afraid that we would get shutdown again and canceled a concert," he said.

Carrano also explained that the city is suing him for approximately $279,000 relating to unpaid fines for not having a certificate of occupancy for the two apartments above the bar. "I don’t understand why I would get fined, I haven’t had tenants in those apartments for two years," he said.

Fire Official Kevin Hayes paints another picture. In April 1999 Hooligan’s was cited for 16 fire code violations. Some of the violations included wires hanging from sprinklers and the overuse of extension cords. "We are concerned that the public is safe," said Hayes. He noted that several of the violations that led to the summonses have been corrected, but were disregarded for such an extended period of time that the fines added up.

Penalties were assessed from March 2000 to June 2001, adding up to $250,000. "We could have charged him for each violation but instead we lumped them together, which gave him a break," said Hayes.

Carrano maintains that he has always run a clean, safe environment and takes precautions to make certain that those entering are of age. "This is my fourth year in business," he said. "I am here seven days a week and 18 hours a day to ensure everything is run properly. I think the authorities went overboard in their actions."

He said he intends to fight what he feels is unjust treatment and has hired an attorney, Tom General, to fight for his liquor license.

As for Reddy’s West End Bar and Grill, on Ocean Avenue, its nightclub was shutdown for not having a sprinkler system, underage drinking and exceeding its safe crowd capacity. The mayor and council will hear a report on whether or not the bar has complied with safety and fire code ordinances at the next meeting.

"So far, 99 percent of the required sprinkler system is complete," according to Hayes.

Reddy’s needs to have a sprinkler system hooked up to the alarm system. Bill Dowd, a Red Bank attorney, will be representing Reddy’s in the hearing on the other matters.

A third bar, Club La Isla, located just off Third Avenue behind J.J. Newberry’s, was renewed after complying with several conditions. According to police Lt. Patrick Joyce, the bar has been the site of fights, robberies and other misconduct, and has been a real problem in the last year.

The club has installed surveillance cameras and has agreed to deposit $4,000 into a revolving fund which would pay for off-duty officers to maintain security there.

According to Aaron, these conditions must remain for the duration of the license or until the proprietors can show proof that the surveillance equipment is curbing the disturbance complaints.

Politicians gearing up for bocce tournament Both sides ‘talking trash’ as day of competition approaches

Staff Writer

By nicole c. vaccaro

Politicians gearing up for bocce tournament
Both sides ‘talking trash’ as day of competition approaches

WEST LONG BRANCH — The coveted Windmill Cup is on the line once again. Despite rumors to the contrary, Mayor Paul Zambrano and his team have been invited back to this year’s Put Put Bocce Tournament in West End to take on their worthy adversaries in Long Branch.

Now in its fourth year, the tournament has sparked some real fierce competition and a "whole lotta talk‚" between participants and residents in both towns. In fact, much of this talk runs much deeper than just a rivalry between the governing bodies — it’s a family rivalry.

The tournament is an opportunity for Zambrano, captain of the West Long Branch team, to take on his cousin and Long Branch’s City Council president, John "Faz‚" Zambrano.

"There was talk at the beginning of this year that Long Branch didn’t want to take us on," the West Long Branch mayor said. "Now they say they want to, but it’s obvious that they’re worried we’ll keep the trophy for another year."

While Faz admits that West Long Branch was almost not invited back, he contends that it had nothing to do with fear. "The tournament’s organizer, Sal Caliendo, was the one who wasn’t sure about extending them another invitation. He said that West Long Branch just wasn’t giving us enough of a challenge to even bother showing up‚" he said.

There also was some talk earlier in the year about Long Branch facing another opponent, which prompted West Long Branch Councilman William Boglioli to ask Borough Clerk Lori Cole to send a letter extending a formal challenge to Long Branch.

"I didn’t see any letter. Maybe they still don’t know our address. But Boglioli did complain to me about it and so I called Sal and convinced him to let us play West Long Branch again‚" Faz said. "I told Sal that we’d beat them bad‚ keep competition going strong for next year.

"But I’m not one to talk. I’ll let my play do the talking‚" Faz said.

His cousin agrees.

"This just goes to show you that you can’t duck from the competition no matter how hard you try‚" Zambrano said. "We’re going into this thing ready to win, and the trophy will remain in West Long Branch where it belongs."

The tournament is the best two out of three matches, which West Long Branch won back to back last year. Teams usually consist of four players, or five with one alternating member.

West Long Branch won the first year’s tournament, Long Branch the second, and West Long Branch the third.

"I made a little side bet last year and played lefty, but that won’t happen this year," Faz said. "And as far as Boglioli thinking it’ll be a cinch for them to win, I’ll just say that we have a few surprises up our sleeve."

The tournament will begin at 6 p.m. July 20. All are invited to attend.

Borough’s new building could be ready soon

Staff Writer

By nicole c. vaccaro

WEST LONG BRANCH — Architectural renderings for new borough offices have been approved, save a few late changes. All that remains is for the project to go to bid and then a move-in date can be set, according to Councilman Joe Delisa.

As of Jan. 18, 2000, the borough has been the official owner of 965 Broadway, better known as the old Assembly of God Church, located just west of the Locust Avenue intersection. Once renovations are completed, said Delisa, it will serve as the borough’s new municipal building.

"The location is ideal and the space is large," Borough Attorney Greg Baxter said. "Right now we are cramped for space with everybody sharing offices. And that doesn’t even address the storage area for our records."

Originally designed as a golf course clubhouse, the current municipal building is just not big enough to house the borough’s growing needs.

The back section of the L-shaped church building is already set up for individual office spaces. Architect Andrew Trocchia was hired by the borough to configure the new space, Baxter said.

A playground already exists toward the back of the facility and there also is ample open space, which may be transformed into a baseball field for the community’s kids, he added.

The new municipal building will also offer more parking spaces and easier access in the shape of a horseshoe entrance and exit.

Borough officials began looking for a larger space in 1998. "When word got out of the church’s availability, we jumped on it," Baxter said.

Though the borough was up against other bids, one even a bit higher, the church decided to give the building to West Long Branch for $625,000. "I think that the church felt we’d be a good fit and our closing was handled on very friendly terms," Baxter added. In fact, the church’s owners were allowed to remain in the building even after closing so as to have enough time to settle into their new Long Branch location.

"We are very excited about the move and are just waiting for the architect’s go-ahead to issue bids," Delisa said.

All interior renovations will be done prior to the move. Exterior renovations will be done separately, he added.

"The building is in good shape and we are in no rush to touch the outside."

No date has been set for the borough council to go out to bid.

Valerie Fund holds 25th annual sports dinner

The Valerie Fund, Maplewood, recently held its 25th annual Celebrity Sports Dinner at the Sheraton Meadowlands. Local sports figures attended to support the nonprofit organization, and helped raise more than $200,000. The Valerie Fund treats more than 4,000 children with cancer and blood disorders. The local fund center is The Children’s Center at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch.

Bayshore Republican Conference formed

Nine local Republican organizations have come together to form the Bayshore Republican Conference (BRC) to share political information and resources, increase membership among local clubs, and create a unified voice in discussing needs unique to the region.

The municipal chairman and club presidents from Aberdeen, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan, Middletown and Union Beach comprise the voting membership of the Bayshore Conference.

Bob Hyer, Keyport’s Republican Club president, will serve as BRC president.

Mary Foley, Keansburg Republican municipal chairwoman, will serve as vice president and treasurer; and Adam Puharic, Aberdeen GOP municipal chairman, will serve as secretary.

"The mission of the Bayshore Republican Conference is to raise the voice, increase the reach and build the strength of the bayshore communities for the common purpose of electing qualified Republican leaders," said Hyer.

The Bayshore Conference will meet on the third Monday of each month at rotating sites among the nine bayshore towns.

For more information, contact Bob Hyer at (732) 264-8628.