Posts by: chefs

Patio Palooza 2017 to Benefit Mary’s Place by the Sea

- - Press

patio-palooza-2017The Wharfside Patio Bar, located in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, will be hosting their annual Patio Palooza on September 13th, 2017 from 4pm to 10pm. Patio Palooza is an event held each year in September celebrating the end of the summer season with live music and entertainment from more than 20 local bands. Patio Palooza is also a fundraiser, typically supporting a local cause dear to the performers.

This year, Chefs International is proud to benefit Mary’s Place by the Sea, a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer. We couldn’t be happier to support such an amazing organization. See everyone on September 13th!

Exclusive First-Look at the Highly Anticipated Marina Grille

- - Press

marina-grilleAfter months of construction, Belmar’s newest entertainment center is just about set to open this spring at the the Belmar Marina. News 12’s Jim Murdoch got an exclusive look at the highly anticipated Marina Grille.

Exclusive First Look
The Marina Grille will join 9th Ave Pier, making the Belmar Marina a can’t miss summer hotspot for years to come!

Introducing Prime Rib Night at Anchor Tavern

- - Uncategorized

It’s the deal of all deals! Every Thursday Anchor Tavern will be slow roasting prime rib over oak wood to create the most succulent prime rib dinner special around. Come and enjoy 12 ounces of rich, smoky prime rib paired with 2 house made side dishes for only $20. Arrive early & bring your appetite because once we run out, you’ll have to wait a whole week to get your hands on it again. Visit for more information!

9th Ave Pier in Belmar Featured on Lou’s Toughest Jobs

- - Uncategorized

In the past, Lou’s Toughest Jobs has taken Lou Russo from 94.3 The Point on some treacherous journeys. In this segment, 9th Ave Pier presented Lou with a different sort of challenge. Lets just say braving the high waters of the Point Pleasant inlet wasn’t required in this job. This time, all that was required was the ability to keep a beat. Lou ended up joining The Mike Dalton Band on stage in the singing of some Jersey Shore classics. Check it out!

Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and Wharfside on Lou’s Toughest Jobs

- - Point Pleasant Lobster Shanty

The latest addition of Lou’s Toughest Jobs took Lou Russo from 94.3 The Point to the high seas of the Point Pleasant inlet. Here is where Lou ventured out with Captain Rich and his deckhand, Livingston, to show you just how fresh the lobster served at Jack Baker’s Wharfside Restaurant and Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty are.

You won’t find fresher lobster anywhere at the Jersey Shore. Check out the video and take it from Lou himself.

Lou’s Toughest Jobs takes on Anchor Tavern

- - Anchor Tavern

Lou Russo, from 94.3 The Point, was recently put to work at our Anchor Tavern restaurant in Belmar as part of the “Lou’s Toughest Jobs” series. Check out what happened when Lou got behind the bar at Anchor Tavern at 713 Main St. in Belmar!

Here is what Lou had to say

“We started the the series because someone questioned what might happen if I ever really had to work at a tough job for a living, and I decided to find out. For the most recent edition, Anchor Tavern in Belmar asked me to work for them, and I quickly accepted. I was so happy to hear I was working at Anchor Tavern. It’s an awesome place to eat, catch a game, enjoy happy hour and hang out with friends. The people at Anchor are also very brave, since they wanted me to be their happy hour bartender.”

Rocking out to raise money, 5th Annual “Patio Palooza” returns with All Star Cast!

- - Community

The 5th Annual Patio Palooza is being held Wednesday, September 17th at the Wharfside Patio Bar in Point Pleasant from 5-10 PM. The end of summer bash brings all the bands that rocked the patio bar stage – all for a good cause. This year, all proceeds from the event will go towards the St. Gregory’s Pantry of Point Pleasant, which is housed in St. Mary’s by the Sea, and is a community based, nonprofit emergency food bank, that serves the greater Point Pleasant area. Read More

Hurricane Sandy and the Hard Lessons It Taught 3 Seafood Businesses

- - Community

Editor’s Note: One year after Hurricane Sandy laid waste to countless businesses and homes across the eastern seaboard, we take a look back at those dramatic few days. For more, check out all of our Sandy Anniversarycoverage.

One year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast, countless homes and businesses are still recovering.

After several days — and for some, several months — without power, heat and water, many business owners needed to face yet another hurdle: dealing with insurance companies to get their operations back up and running. And though some have fared better than others, their pain and losses are no less diminished.

On the anniversary of the devastating (and costly) hurricane, we’re still learning of the superstorm’s lasting impact on the communities left in its wake. Here are the striking recovery stories of three New York City-based entrepreneurs whose companies were devastated by Sandy:

The Lobster Place

Hurricane Sandy and the Hard Lessons It Taught 3 Seafood Businesses
Not being able to access his store in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market or service customers elsewhere in the city led to hundreds of thousands in lost inventory. But after a three-month renovation, the shop is back and bigger than ever.

Ian MacGregor is the CEO of The Lobster Place, a seafood supply company with a storefront in Manhattan’s tony Chelsea Market. The operation is the largest seafood market in the northeast, with a wholesale operation in the Bronx that caters to hundreds of fine restaurants, hotels and caterers in the metropolitan area. Sandy hit both operations in different ways.

Its retail storefront in Chelsea Market didn’t have storm-related damage to the structure itself, but was closed for about 10 days thanks it its location, which was effectively on lock down while the power and transit systems went down after the storm. Without electricity, MacGregor says about $100,000 worth of perishable inventory spoiled. Plus, people weren’t shopping.

And while The Lobster Place’s warehouse uptown also didn’t suffer a direct hit from the storm, it might as well have been shut down, as it couldn’t supply many of its clients, area restaurants and hotels shuttered by the storm. In total, The Lobster Place’s losses mounted to about $250,000. The insurance company paid out only a fraction of this loss, forcing MacGregor to reevaluate the future of his businesses.

“Never assume your insurance policy is a panacea for a big disaster,” says MacGregor, whose parents founded the company on the Upper West Side in 1974. “It’s really important to take the time to fully understand how your insurance dollars are mitigating risk.”

Despite its losses, The Lobster Place still managed to bounce back. In January, the Chelsea Market shop underwent a major three-month renovation adding 4,000 feet to its footprint. And within the last few months, MacGregor’s company opened Cull & Pistol, a sit-down seafood restaurant, also in Chelsea Market.

“Our emphasis remains to provide a product we can stand behind to both retail and commercial customers, to treat our vendors fairly and to value and recognize the contributions of our employees,” he says. “Natural disasters don’t change that.”

The Water Club

Hurricane Sandy and the Hard Lessons It Taught 3 Seafood Businesses

The Water Club just reopened for business this month. The restaurant has been rebuilt “fireproof, waterproof, bacteria proof,” says owner Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe.

With names like The Water Club and The River Café, one would think dealing with the elements would be commonplace. But Sandy wasn’t an average storm.

The New York City dining institutions — one based on the edge of Manhattan’s waterfront and the other just under the Brooklyn Bridge — were founded by the same entrepreneur, Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe. He has long claimed to feel at home on the water and saw enormous success with both restaurants.

But since the storm surges caused water to both restaurants to flood, he has since been humbled. After a year of renovations, The Water Club only just reopened this month, while The River Café remains closed and may reopen by the year’s end. Industry veteran and lifelong New Yorker O’Keeffe notes that lessons learned from Sandy were tough ones.

“Don’t underestimate the power of a storm,” says O’Keeffe. “We were ready but this was a very hard storm, so even though we thought we were prepared, Hurricane Sandy became the new normal. For someone like me who’s been [living] on the water my whole life, Sandy’s high tide surpassed anything I’d seen.”

How will he stave off destruction from future storms? “We have kept our business model the same but learned to approach the physicality of our restaurants differently,” he says. “We worked everything to be hurricane- proof for the future… Everything is fireproof, waterproof, bacteria proof. If another storm hits we hope to hose everything off and open up again.”

Chefs International

Hurricane Sandy and the Hard Lessons It Taught 3 Seafood Businesses

After months of renovating, Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty reopened in May, just before the busy season. Employees showed up to work after Sandy — not to wait tables or cook — but to gut the place.

With seven restaurants along New Jersey’s coastline and three additional locations in Florida, Chefs International knows a thing or two about natural disasters. Still, Sandy was like nothing Bob Cooper, the president of Chefs International, had ever seen before.

While each of the company’s restaurants lined Sandy’s path, the most significantly damaged stores are located in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. and Belmar, N.J. Not even the corporate headquarters, also in Point Pleasant Beach, was left unscathed.

Over four feet of water flooded one of the company’s star restaurants: Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and adjoiningSunset Ballroom. The location lost inventory, property and equipment. And even the lobster tanks were totaled after the storm.

Coupled with the losses among local employees — homes, cars, their children’s bikes and toys, all washed away — and the impact hit even harder. “Every employee made themselves available regardless of what happened to them personally,” says Cooper’s assistant and longtime Chefs’ employee, Suzanne Kremp. “Most people who could show up to work did. But not to serve customers: They were there to rip out dry wall, tear up carpets, count destroyed inventory, take photos, scrub bathrooms, kitchens. It was an amazing effort on everyone’s behalf.”

Within six weeks, the company managed to refurbish the Sunset Ballroom, while the Lobster Shanty’s dining room reopened for business in May — just in time for the busy season.

“Our business was seriously impacted by the consequences of the storm,” says Kremp. “However, our job is to ensure we get things back in order as quickly as possible and to let everyone know that the Jersey Shore is, and will always be, a beautiful and fun family destination.”

Article By: Cindy Augustine