Busy deli shuts its doors after decades in business

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ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -

A community institution in Atlantic Highlands served up lunch for the last time on Saturday.

The Red Store in the Navesink section of town shut its doors for good after nearly 60 years in business. Customers crowded the space early in the morning to get their final fill of pork roll sandwiches, coffee and homemade potato salad from the corner deli.

Storeowner Pat Vergange says the family-run atmosphere was the secret to the deli's success.

“I think there's a big gap in the world now, because people are not pulling together, working these kind of stores like this, as they used to," he says.

The family opened the deli in 1959, and it housed a post office until 1972.

A new owner bought the Red Store and will renovate the interior before a grand reopening, which is planned for June.

Vergange says he plans to attend the grand reopening, and that the new owner may keep Red Store in the name of the new business.

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