Private cigar club gets green light from Red Bank Zoning Board


Staff Writer

RED BANK — On June 5, the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a variance that would allow a private, members-only cigar club and restaurant to move into the vacant storefront at 22-24 W. Front St., formerly occupied by Power Center Gym.

The new club would also include a cigar store that would be open to the public and accessible via a separate entrance according to Saurabh Abrol, the owner of the proposed club.

Abrol appeared before the Zoning Board seeking a variance because the proposed use of the space — as a private club that would allow cigar smoking — did not align with the current use allowed within the zone. Planner Christie Nazzarro-Cofone explained this during her testimony at the meeting where she pointed out the club would not match the borough’s definitions of either a lounge or nightclub and thus required a variance.

The club, which will be open from 11 a.m.-4 a.m., seven days a week, will be able to serve as the host to up to 120 members at a time and require members to make a reservation before coming in and will include separate areas for dining and smoking. The smoking portion will feature multiple methods of smoke ventilation, including an EverClear system that scrubs 750 cubic feet of air per minute with activated carbon in order to neutralize the smell, so that the odor of smoke does not waft outside or disturb the residents who live in the upper floors of the building.

Additionally, since the club does not have a liquor license, it will operate on a BYOB basis where members can bring their own alcohol for their own consumption and store it in private lockers.

Abrol explained that the lack of a liquor license partially influenced his decision to make the club members-only as well as the desire to encourage an upscale, exclusive environment.

“We felt that [with] the membership concept we could really have a successful concept here in Red Bank, which is such a great town, and hopefully in the next few years, we could expand to other locations in New Jersey,” he said.

Abrol also owns the restaurant Le Malt in Woodbridge.

Contact Steven Viera at [email protected].