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HOBOKEN, NJ-Zebu Forno, a Red Bank-based operator of European-style bakery and café stores, is set to open its third unit. The chain’s Teaneck-based franchisee, Gallucci Associates, has signed a lease for 2,500 sf of ground-floor space at Ivy Realty’s 5 Marineview Plaza office building at River and First streets. Terms were not released.

The local store will add to an operation that includes the original unit in Downtown Red Bank that opened in 2001 and a second unit that opened at the Commons at Holmdel, Holmdel, earlier this year. Both of the existing stores are in the 3,000-sf range.

“The Hoboken store will reflect our ability to adapt our format to smaller urban spaces,” says Andrew Gennusa, president of Zebu Forno. “Our intent here is to create a space that mirrors the look and feel of our Red Bank location. Urban sites are an important part of our strategy to build a regional chain of 15 to 20 locations in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania over the next five years, and we will re-tool our prototype when necessary.”

Zebu Forno rolled out that expansion strategy in June, and in September announced a franchise agreement with Gallucci to find a location in the Hoboken-Jersey City area. For now, that franchise agreement involves just the local store, but Gennusa and Jeff Gallucci say they hope to explore opportunities for additional locations. Gallucci will operate the unit through its Suzon Dining Services entity.

Zebu Forno is targeting a Q1 opening here. Five Marineview Plaza is a five-story office building totaling about 120,000 sf, owned by the Montvale-based Ivy Realty. The café will join Citibank and Subway on the building’s ground floor.

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