Around Red Bank

Long time Red Bank landmark Ballew Jewelers is going out of business. They were known for decades as Reussilles which is a great name for a jeweler, vaguely aristocratic and classy. a couple of years ago they changed their name to something that sounds like an old Bob & Ray routine (Wally Ballou). Anyhow, they’re going out of business, which sucks because they’ve been around forever and everyone who works there is cool. It’s their going out of business sale that has me a bit perplexed. The sale seems to be run by guys who would do a Dollar Store going out of business sale. First they have a bunch of quasi homeless people walking around the streets with big black t-shirts emblazoned with the words BALLEW JEWELERS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS UP TO 80% OFF. I’m happy these people have some work but I can’t afford expensive jewelry even at 80% off and I don’t know if some affluent person tooling around in an Escalade is going to notice. Unless this is what they’re going for,(imaginary cell-phone call)”Hey, I just ran over some homeless guy and he was wearing a shirt saying that Ballew Jewelers was having a going out of business sale. After I ditch the body I’ll check it out.”. Then there’s the Santa that’s outside the store. He doesn’t have a white beard, just an unkempt chin beard and he doesn’t have a bell, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but he mimes having a bell. The bell miming doesn’t look so much like he’s ringing an imaginary bell as shaking a fist at people which is a bit off putting. As performance art their going out of business sale is a success.

  1. finally! a bit of the old red bank rears it’s head. this is something that would have happened 15 years ago, when the town was dodgy and dirty. these days most businesses just disappear without a trace, they exit gracefully, heads hung in shame, while their business neighbors hold their collective heads up high and look down their noses with derision at their failed neighbor. i applaud ballew for having no shame, making a spectacle and having not a shred of grace or dignity. fuck it. bring back the girl who would stand on the sidewalk with her lame kareoke mic amp, busting out military cadence rap songs. red bank needs more street performers! make it a three ring circus. none of it will pay the over inflated rents on these store fronts. it’s still a grand illusion, smoke and mirror tactics and the consumers are like crows attracted to shiny metal. whether it’s crumpled tin or platinum, they don’t know the difference. sorry….i digress.three cheers! hurrah hurrah hurrah!

    • fishbreath
    • December 23rd, 2010

    another strange “Red-Bank-during-recession” thing;
    “hmmm, no one has any disposable income, I know, lets buy a jewelry business!” what the @#*!!?
    another empty million dollar store front.

    • Klutch
    • December 23rd, 2010

    I had my ears pierced at Reussille’s when I was 14. You know these days you go to some shady kiosk in a mall (making Spencer’s look like a top-rate body modification center) and they use a gun that quickly and fairly painlessly shoots the earring of choice through your lobe and sends you on your merry way with a pair of gold studs and a tiny bottle of alcohol, $20 lighter.

    At Reussille’s in 1973 it cost nearly $50 to have a “specialist” with a different sort of “gun” shoot a tiny solid gold tube (with one end sharpened to razor thin-ness) through your earlobe where it remained lodged until the solid-gold studs you chose (never priced UNDER $30 alone)could be inserted into the tube, and then the tube was pulled with pliers back through the earlobe, leaving the stud remaining with a curly-cue holder securing it in place. All the while your lobe is throbbing in agony and gushing blood, explaining at last why the specialist started the whole procedure by draping your shoulders with thick toweling and a plastic bag.

    That was quality mutilation.

      • Cheryl
      • January 17th, 2011

      Reading this made the saliva rush to my throat and I got a severe head throbbing I have not felt since 1973……when I got my ears pierced. I did not get it done in Red Bank, but the same method was used. Like a metal hole puncher you use on paper, only it had a pointy puncher. You could hear(and absolutely feel) it tear though the flesh as they hand squeezed it to slowly try to rip through. Instant headache and agonizing ear pain. The worst part was that I had TWO ears…… had to be held down by my sister and the ear piercing assistant to get the second one pierced. Yeah, I still marvel at the simplicity when I go to the mall and see people get the gun shot in the ear, hand over the $20 and painlessly go about their day. I don’t think I made it to school the next day from the pain and swelling, impending infection notwithstanding. The good old days! Were we barbarians??? 🙂

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