Welcome to The Establishment
We Are Now Open 7 Days - 6/1/17
Now Open Thursdays - 4/11/17
UPDATED HOURS & NYE INFORMATION - 10/29/16
It's time to start thinking about your New Year's Eve plans! 🎉
We are now taking reservations for our 5:30, 7:30 & 9:30 seating's.
Reservations for the dining room with be required. Bar and seating in the bar area will be a first come, first serve basis....
The Establishment is offering a 4 course dinner for $50, plus tax and gratuity. Complimentary champagne toast and snacks at midnight. Menu to be posted soon.
You won't want to be anywhere else! Cheers!
NOW OPEN 7 DAYS - 6/3/2016
10/26/15This will be our last weekend open (10/30-10/31) for the season as we prepare for some exciting changes that will surely help us achieve the goal of staying open until New Years Eve next season.
Summer in Full Swing - 7/1/2015
We are now open 7 days a week.
The bar opens at 4pm daily with happy hour running from 4-6 pm. Discounted drink pricing and $5 bar bites.
The dining room opens at 5pm daily.
Martini Monday w/ $6 & $8 martinis and $1 local oysters all night long.
Industry night which offers a 20% discount to any hospitality professionals all night long. Not to be combined with any other special pricing.
Wino Wednesday offers $10 off any bottle of wine purchased.
Live music in the beer garden and $1 off all can beers.
Live music in the beer garden 6-10 and reverse happy hour from 10-12am.
Live music in the beer garden 6-10 and reverse happy hour from 10-12am.
Brunch in the beer garden from 11-3. Live music in the beer garden from 6-9:30
We are now open 7 days a week with the bar opening at 4 pm and the dining room opening at 5 pm.
Restaurant week starts on 6/21/15 and runs until 6/26/15 offering 4 courses for $30 not including tax or gratuity.
Please see the menu below for what we are offering
Now Open Mondays Starting 5/25/15
We are now open Thursday - Monday. Memorial Day weekend we startup our reverse happy hour again on Friday and Saturday from 10pm-12am in addition to our normal everyday happy hour from 4pm-6pm.
Memorial Day is our first Monday open, which brings back our Martini Monday with buck a shuck oysters!! We will be featuring South Bay Shellfish Company oysters, and yes they are only a buck this year on Mondays.
House pour martini $6 and premium $8.
Live entertainment all weekend long:
Friday - Dan The Man 6-10
Saturday - 5 Believers Duo 6-10
Sunday - Jim Butera 6-9
Now Open Sundays
We are now open Thursday - Sunday with happy hour starting at 4:00 PM. Dining room opens at 5:00 PM.
Beer Garden is set to open Friday May 8th with its fresh new look. See you there!!
Time to Open - 3/29/15
We are so excited to open back up this upcoming Thursday April 2nd. It was a long winter and we are looking forward to another great season.
We will be open Thursday through Saturday for the month of April. Easter Sunday we will be open for dinner as well.
Our happy hour now runs from 4:00 - 6:00 with special drink pricing and $5 bar bites.
New menu is posted and we can't wait for everyone to try it out.
Opening night we will be running a 20% discount on your entire check. In addition to the discount you will have chance to win a canvas print from our new local photographer (Timothy Fleming Photography) just by coming in. Come check out all of the new art work on display; each piece is available for sale.
Summer is finally Here!!! 6/25/14With the summer season in full swing we would like to let you know about all of the happenings at The Establishment.
So, you think you want to own a restaurant ???? - HA ! – 3/14/2014
It seems that it would be appropriate for the first blog entry to be a reflection of our first year of business. Wow, what a year!
Not For the Faint of Heart
First and foremost, owning a restaurant/bar business isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll never have everything the way you want it, but if by some lucky chance you get to that point - get ready for something to break!
The Beginning - A Cloud with a Silver Lining
We were already under contract when the most unexpected happened - hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey shore! The building was completely under water and due to all the damage the inside had to be gutted from floor to ceiling. This was a bit of a silver lining because the renovations gave us an opportunity to redesign the interior and upgrade the infrastructure. From lighting to flooring just about everything needed to be done.
But, there were still many undetected curveballs that showed their ugly face at the worst possible time. And working with a very limited budget meant that we needed to fix and build a lot of things on our own. While I knew how to run a restaurant, never in a million years did I think that I would also become a jack of all trades. Bottom line is, if something needs to get done and you don’t have the money to pay someone, there’s only one other option - yep, do it yourself.
A note to anyone that may be purchasing a restaurant after a salt water flood. If you check the equipment and all is good, just wait a month and then check it again. You will be shocked what a month will do. Yes, believe it or not, after thinking everything was in good working order, many pieces of refrigeration and kitchen equipment were in fact ruined. Salt water is right up there with battery acid - it will cut a hole right through metal !
Getting Ready to Open
Luckily we have a lot of friends that are in the construction industry that helped and gave us sound advice to get us ready for opening. But, the challenges continued - just when we thought we were in the final stages of completing the floor, we had a contractor butcher the top coat of our concrete floor that was supposed to get acid stained and sealed. With our opening date to close to wait for a solution, we had to lay a floating floor just a week before opening !
Open for Business !
With the paint barely dry we had our soft opening and it was quite a success! We got rave reviews from everyone who attended - which was our ultimate goal. The following weekend was Easter and we had a good showing for that as well. We were off to a good start.
However, the weeks following our opening started to get a bit rough. Without a marketing budget we struggled to get our name out there. But, it was word of mouth that got us rolling ! And, we were fortunate that during Restaurant Week we got a lot of new faces in the door.
In this business, there are always ups and downs - with every upside there seems to be a downside. On the first Monday of Restaurant Week, we were a bit short staffed since I had no idea what to expect. I needed an extra server so I hopped on the floor and during the rush I realized that one of our dining rooms was rather warm. After looking at the thermostat, it was clear that the air conditioner wasn’t big enough to keep the room cool when filled to capacity. You guessed it – we need a new unit! The last thing we needed was for people to choose our restaurant, spend their hard earned money, and then be uncomfortable while they ate!
With the pressure of Restaurant Week behind us, we received a call from Craig Laban (Philadelphia Inquirer’s food review specialist) letting us know that he had been in during Restaurant Week and was doing a review on us. Yikes! The anticipation leading up to the release of the article had us all in a state of anxiety! When the review was finally released, I found a lot of positive points from it. Craig Laban is known for calling it as he sees/tastes it and it was a relief knowing that he actually enjoyed our food and what we were doing. He also gave some constructive criticism that helped me.
Speaking of reviews the ones that count the most are from our customers that have posted on Facebook, Trip Advisor and Yelp (although Yelp seems to have filtered out ten of our 5 star reviews!) We received outstanding feedback and we were actually ranked #1 on Trip Advisor by last year’s end. Not too shabby for our first year!
Speaking of reviews, I would like to address comments we have received on our décor, or lack of it. We appreciate everyone’s opinion - whether good or bad - and it has been a challenge to open a restaurant on a limited budget. When there is no more money in the budget, what do you do to decorate? We were fortunate to have a local artist that agreed to display her work and in turn we tried to help her sell it. If it weren’t for that we would have had a bunch of blank walls. Just this past week we finally got some vintage photos hung up in our bar area ! Little by little . . .
End of Our First Year
After Irish weekend we still had some great weekends and it was a pleasure knowing that our customers liked our food, drinks and service enough to keep on coming in until we closed in December. We finished the year with a bang, and no I don’t mean the frozen waterline running to our soda system and ice machine. Unbelievably, a day before we closed we had no soda gun, but luckily the ice machine was full and it got us through our last two days!
It was a great first season for us and we lived to see another year, which is quite the task at hand in this industry. Not to mention it’s even harder at the shore when you literally have 3-4 months max to make your money for the year. It was bittersweet to close for a couple of months, but it was a much needed break!
While we were closed this past Winter, I couldn’t wait to get back open. I was constantly thinking about the upcoming year and what we could do to improve and make The Establishment even better than our first rookie season. I would say that it is going to take between 5-7 years to do everything that is planned in my head, but a deep breath and a constant reminder of the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” keeps me going and motivated. What will tomorrow bring? - you just never know. Do you want to know the first present I received when opening the building for year 2? Well, it was a broken sewer pipe, HA!
A Dream Come True
In closing, I’d like to share that owning The Establishment has been a dream fulfilled and the great success of our first year is just the beginning. While this business isn’t for the faint of heart - and yes my gray hair is multiplying by the day - I love what I do ! So, if you ever want to own a restaurant/bar business, get ready to grin it and bear it, and reserve your energy to overcome many obstacles that will come your way. But, as the saying goes : “Do what you love and love what you do”!