A landmark locale a couple of blocks from the Atlantic Highlands waterfront and its famous municipal marina will be transformed into The Atlantic House, a restaurant and biergarten emphasizing local brews, spirits and ingredients.
The guiding lights behind the conversion from the barbecue spot known as Memphis Pig Out to the all-new place framed as “a gathering place for locals” are Rich Crocker, his mother, Marilyn Crocker; sister Kathryn Lange; wife, Cherie Crocker, and longtime family friend, Lyana Medric.
All live in the greater Atlantic Highlands area. Crocker is also a partner in the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten, Asbury Park.
Last week, the group won approvals from the borough’s planning board, Crocker says, to proceed with renovations that will pave the way for changes to the existing structure at 67 First Avenue.
These include creating a rooftop bar, complete with sliding window panels “so you can feel the fresh air,” Crocker adds, as well as additional windows along a now brick-covered side of the building, which will be “blown out” to make “the inside bright and visible.”
“It will have a nautical theme,” Crocker notes, “and we’re going to expose beautiful beams” on the main level.
Of course, given Crocker’s pedigree and experience at Asbury Festhalle, The Atlantic House will do craft beer—and do it in style.
“We’ll have at least 10 taps,” he says. “We want to build relationships with local brewers—and definitely want to talk with Carton”—Atlantic Highlands’ acclaimed brewery located a few blocks south on First Avenue.
Crocker wants The Atlantic House to be “local, local, local” in every way and, to that end, he plans to work with area distilleries, farmers and purveyors to “make this the local spot.”
Indeed, Crocker says his family’s primary goal is to make The Atlantic House “a place where people can come for happy hour, maybe before or after dinner,” and, of course, to dine from the planned “American-European menu with lots of share plates.”
No chef has been hired yet to oversee the kitchen, Crocker says. But he has a chef in mind to consult and help shape the food service end of the operation.
Crocker hopes to get started on the renovations this winter and be open in time for Fourth of July, 2018.
Note: A week from today is Thanksgiving, but there will be an Openings column that day. Frankly, there’s too much going on in the Openings world to miss a Thursday post. We hope you take a minute or two while your turkey’s in the oven on the holiday to visit Table Hopping and keep up with the restaurant scene in New Jersey. We are thankful you are part of the TH Family.
—Cheers, AC, editor, Table Hopping