BRICK-Brick Township Mayor John Ducey and the township council want to be in the restaurant business. The township will be leasing land at the Trader’s Cove site to Chefs International, owners of the Lobster Shanty, Escondido, Moore’s Tavern, Baker’s Water Street and many other successful shore area restaurants for $75,000 per year. The town unveiled renderings for the restaurant last spring.
But, last month, the township awarded a liquor license to a potential competitor right across the street. Ducey was ok with that.
The town awarded a $611,000 plenary liquor license to Barnegat Bayside Services, LLC, of Branchburg, also the same owner of the Barnegat Bay Marina south of Trader’s Cove, Barnegat Bay Marina.
“This is exciting news, there’s been a lot of questions about what’s going on at the old Winters’ property, has there been any plans submitted, but the answer is still no,” Ducey said. “There’s been plans for the Marina and for the gas station and boat slips.”
“Before they went further with anything they would need a liquor license in order to serve liquor there,” Ducey said. “If they want to do some type of restaurant, bar, banquet center, whatever it is they eventually do.”
Ducey hinted that the license was made available in the hopes that the Marina would get the winning bid.
Resident Vic Fanelli questioned the sale of the liquor license.
“Isn’t that going to be in competition with Trader’s Cove and vice versa?” Fanelli asked.
“Before they bought the property they came down and did a tour,” Ducey said. “We let them know right away, we’re going to build a restaurant here, it’s been in the plans since the beginning, they were like, ‘no, that’d be great, it’s going to bring more people to the area’.”
Ducey said the two businesses would be an enhancement and improve the Mantoloking Road gateway area. Ducey did not say whether or not the Chefs International had been consulted prior to the sale or how the new restaurant could affect the township’s project.