The two restaurants are proposed to be constructed on the site of a shuttered Santander bank branch located in the Kohl’s-ShopRite shopping center on Route 70. The bank building would be demolished. According to a zoning board filing, the bank building takes up 2,850 square feet and will be replaced by one 7,422 square foot building which will house the pair of restaurants.
Shake Shack is a fast casual restaurant that serves New York style hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and its namesake milkshakes. The New York-based company operates over 350 locations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Philippines.
The Brick location would be the chain’s first in Ocean County and one of a handful in New Jersey. The nearest locations are in the Monmouth Mall, in Eatontown, and a booth at the Monmouth rest area on the Garden State Parkway.
First Watch is a chain of casual restaurants based in Bradenton, Fla. It serves breakfast and lunch platters featuring items such as avocado toast, smoked salmon eggs benedict, farm stand breakfast tacos, lemon ricotta pancakes, and a fresh juice bar. The restaurant takes its name from the first work shift aboard a ship, as First Watch restaurants are open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
There are a small number of First Watch locations in New Jersey, generally scattered around the suburbs of Philadelphia and New York City. The closest location to Brick is in Cherry Hill.
The restaurants will both feature outdoor seating, according to the board filing, and the Shake Shack location will include a drive-up window for pickup. The building will be constructed along with seven wall-mounted signs for the restaurants, as well as curbing, striping, and associated site improvements.
The building housing the restaurants would be added to another expansion of the shopping center that was approved in 2016, but not yet constructed. The 2016 approval permitted the addition of 3,757 square feet of retail space to the end cap unit at the eastern portion of the shopping center and adjacent to the Old Navy store. It also called for parking lot modifications and improvements.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment board will be tasked with approving a slew of variances, including a use variance, due to the complex nature of the improvements proposed for the shopping center and the board’s obligation to reaffirm and amend a number of previous approvals for improvements over the last several years.
The matter is scheduled to be heard at the Oct. 5, 2022 meeting of the planning board, which begins at 7 p.m. at the township municipal complex.