This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Jersey Shore’s premier food and beverage event: Jersey Shore Restaurant Week (JSRW). Scheduled in April and November each year, JSRW participating restaurants offer three-course dinners for $22 or $32 with three appetizer choices, three entrée choices, and three dessert choices.
“It is an opportunity for restaurants to get extra business at a slow time of year and for consumers to try new restaurants at a great price,” said Jim Flynn, founder and chairman of JSRW.
Flynn said that 86% of consumers try a new restaurant during Restaurant Week. “They dine out 50% more than a normal week.”
A Bit of History
The restaurant week concept began in NYC in 1992 by Tim Zagat and Joe Baum, during the Democratic Convention, as a lunch-only promotion. It was so successful it was expanded to include dinner and that was so successful it became a national phenomenon.
The idea came to Flynn during a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. “I was on my way up 95 and I saw a sign for New Haven Restaurant Week,” he said. “It was the first time I had seen a restaurant week outside of a major city, so I called my wife and asked her to Google Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. There was nothing. It occurred to me that the Shore should have one because we had so many great restaurants here.
“We immediately bought the URL and when I returned we formed a committee and began planning the first one, which we held in November of 2009,” Flynn said. Fifty-five restaurants participated in the first JSRW and the special events drew 50 to 60 people. “Today, nearly 100 restaurants participate, said Flynn, “and our Special Events draw 200 to 300 people.”
“We are incredibly grateful to the restaurants and consumers who have made this such a tradition at the Shore.” added Flynn.
The following restaurants were charter spots for JSRW and continue to participate.
- Harpoon Willy’s
- Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and Wharfside
- La Dolce Vita
- Langosta Lounge
- Mister C’s Beach Bistro
- Salt Creek Grille
- Shipwreck Grill
- St. Stephen’s Green Publick House
The following restaurants are new to the roster this year:
- Apple Street Kitchen, Tinton Falls
- Café Loret, Red Bank
- Cuisine on the Green, Little Egg Harbor
- La Modina, Brielle
- McLoone’s Pier House, Long Branch
- Melting Pot, Red Bank
- Modine, Asbury Park
- Nana’s Kitchen, Middletown
- Olive & Ivy, Eatontown
- Oyster Point Hotel, Red Bank
- Prime 13 Brielle,
- River Café, Brielle
- Seabase Lounge, Point Pleasant
- Stone Fired Grill, Beachwood
- Victory Tavern, Rumson
- Waterman’s Tavern, Brielle
Special Events planned for the week include the Chef’s Invitational, The Great Jersey Shore Burger Contest and Craft Beer Fest, Burgers, Bloodies and Brews and Bourbon, Bacon and Blues.