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Former Sea Bright Service Station Will Become Restaurant

SEA BRIGHT: Boondocks Fishery in Red Bank will open a second location focusing on take-out in Sea Bright, at a former gas and service station on Ocean Avenue.

The property, at 1006 Ocean Avenue near Rumson Road, had a longtime auto service station and gas station operating on it but is now vacant.

The plans, approved unanimously by Sea Bright’s Planning Board on Tuesday, would convert the property and its parking lot to accommodate a take-out restaurant with picnic-style seats for dining. What was once service bays will now house picnic tables, the back of the property will be cleaned up, and inside a counter for ordering and picking up fresh seafood dishes will accommodate customers.

The plans will not add to the footprint of the old service station and instead will convert the existing one-story building. A prep counter and kitchen will prepare sautéed and fried seafood items for take-out orders, and customers will walk up to a counter to place their order and can eat it at the outdoor tables which will seat up to 36 customers.

“You would actually walk in to the building, you have an order counter and a pickup counter," said Kelly Ryan, the owner of Boondocks Fishery. " After you pick it up you can eat it at the table, take it to the park, take it to the beach."

She said the shop would be open seasonally, April through October, and serve lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The specialty is lobster, and the menu will be very similar to the Red Bank restaurant, offering fried and sautéed seafood dishes, she said.

The building would get a new façade, landscaping and paving, and plans a July 1 opening, said Ryan.

Four parking spots would sit out front, and Ryan said presumably customers could also use the parking spots near Dunkin Donuts used by patrons there, since peak times are different between the two businesses. However, customers parking along what is actually the state Department of Transportation’s right of way are not in dedicated parking spots designed for the eatery, planning board officials said.

Each business must supply a required number of parking spots, and Boondocks will likely ask for a variance to operate with fewer than the minimum required spots, according to the planning board. Ryan and planning board officials said the layout combined with the Dunkin Donuts parking, DOT right-of-way and nearby public lots should accommodate traffic.

Ryan said the eatery will employ five people, both part-time and full-time positions.

The applicant, Boondock Fishery, LLC, has a full service restaurant on the waterfront in Red Bank. Ryan has been operating the restaurant there for six years.

The Sea Bright Planning Board plans to memorialize the resolution for the site plan at its next meeting.

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