Visitors this summer to Pier Village may see something in Long Branch unlike any other Shore town: a raft of new restaurants and other eateries opening their doors in a concentrated business area.
Amid the completion in the past year of more than 1,700 new condo or apartment units along Ocean Boulevard, restaurants and retailers are filling out the expanded ground-floor retail space of Pier Village. That means lots of opportunities to dine while people watching along Long Branch’s promenade—or simply enjoying the ocean view.
Here are seven new Pier Village dining options:
- Salt Steakhouse: Across the street from his wildly successful take-out kosher restaurant LBK Grill, David Mizrahi has opened the largest kosher restaurant on the Jersey Shore. The upscale steakhouse is sure to draw crowds with its handsome bar and upscale interior. According to Mizrahi, the menu is a fusion of steakhouse, Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine with steaks, fish, sushi, sashimi and wood-fired flatbreads.
- Hummus Republic: At its first East Coast location, this California specialty chain offers the latest fresh alternative to fried, high-calorie boardwalk fare. Although there is indoor seating to enjoy the authentic Mediterranean cooking, many patrons build their own wraps, bowls or pitas and take them to the outdoor seating area or the beach. Hummus Republic offers vegan and gluten-free sauces and meals. Falafel is made from scratch daily.
- The Robinson Ale House: A rare mid-price, full-service Shore alternative with meatloaf, pork chops and crab cakes for adults and chicken tenders for children. With an established name (thanks to sister restaurants in Asbury Park and Red Bank), a prime location across from the Gazebo, and a large bar strategically located near the front door, the Robinson Ale House should do a strong business year-round.
- Kahuna Burgers: A handmade burger on a King’s Hawaiian bun with crunchy coconut, bacon and hula sauce sounds like just the thing for a hot summer day. Non-burger options include house-made pulled pork with pineapple slaw, Hawaiian dry rubbed mahi-mahi, and grilled ham and pineapple. Round out the meal with surfer fries (bacon, green onions, hula sauce) and a toasted coconut or piña colada shake.
- Mr. Wish: This fresh fruit tea company from Taiwan makes its first foray to the Jersey Shore at Pier Village. It offers dozens of tea-based drinks—from diced peach tea with fresh pulp to red bean pudding milk tea—plus sparkling drinks and smoothies.
- The Baked Bear: One peek inside the door and the sweet tooth starts to tingle. Treats include gooey butter cake and blue Cookie Monster cookies, but the Baked Bear specializes in custom ice cream sandwiches composed of handmade ice cream and assorted toppings stuffed between fresh cookies. The sandwiches can be quickly warmed in a panini press to give the cookies a fresh-from-the-oven taste while the ice cream stays cool.
- Boardwalk Coffee: Although not new to Pier Village this summer, the coffee shop formerly known as Buzz Bait has been rebranded as Boardwalk Coffee and now proudly offers a full array of Starbucks Coffee drinks.
Pier Village also has some new retail entries this summer, including Land of Laces—offering quality children’s shoes—and Makers + Shakers, a pop-up store from the Asbury Park Bazaar with more than a half dozen vendors featuring crafts, housewares and lifestyle products.
By the end of July, the Salt Nation Surf Shop (formerly known as Sundaze) is due to expand into an adjacent space. In addition to an array of beach clothing from name brands such as Billabong, O’Neil and Hurley, the shop hopes to add surf boards to its stock of beach essentials, which includes boogie boards, chairs and towels.Click here to leave a comment