Johnny's Pork Roll and Coffee Too will open a storefront in Red Bank early next month.
Red Bank, are you ready for some pork roll – or Taylor ham?
Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Too will open in the former Fizz Soda Fountain space in Red Bank “the beginning of October,” says co-owner Johnny Yarusi.
“We couldn’t pass this up,” Yarusi said. “It felt so right. As soon as I walked in there, I loved it.”
Yarusi and co-owner Dan Strack had been negotiating for storefront space in Asbury Park when the owner of Fizz contacted them.
“He reached out to us – ‘I heard you guys were looking for a spot in Asbury,’ ” Yarusi recalled.
“It was very serendipitous,” Strack added.
That was just a month ago, and a deal was quickly struck. Fizz was a retro seven-stool, tin-ceilinged soda fountain that sold shakes, egg creams, sundaes, burgers and hot dogs.
Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Too, which consists of two food trucks, makes a top-shelf pork roll sandwich; it placed 11th on our list of the Jersey Shore’s 35 best boardwalk eats.
The storefront will offer the same sandwich menu as the truck. Sandwiches include the Western, with provolone and sauteed peppers and onions; the Pulled Pork Roll, with sweet BBQ and Asian lime slaw; and the PBLT, with bacon, lettuce and tomato. And The Sandwich – a classic pork roll, egg and cheese.
Soup – with pork roll, of course – and fries may be added to the menu eventually. The storefront will be open seven days a week, initially from 7 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m.
The business’ name was recently changed from Johnny’s Pork Roll Truck to Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Too to signal an emphasis on serving first-rate coffee, from Asbury Park Roastery.
Yarusi launched his food truck five years ago; he now has two trucks. One can be found at the North Eats food truck area, 7th and Boardwalk, Asbury Park.
North Jerseyans will fuss about “pork roll” being in the name, but that’s what Yarusi calls it, even if he uses Taylor ham, a brand of pork roll.
Yarusi and Strack are still hopeful they can open a storefront or stand in Asbury, in town or on the boardwalk.
The Red Bank store will include a “pork roll timeline,” tracing the breakfast staple’s history starting with the birth of John Taylor back in 1836. John Taylor’s Original Taylor Pork Roll dates to 1856.
Pork roll, Strack noted, predates Red Bank, which was formed as a town in 1870 and incorporated as a borough in 1908.