Parker’s Garage: A New Bayfront Beach Haven Eatery

May 10, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

The Black Whale Restaurant Group, which owns numerous establishments in the area, announces the opening of Parker’s Garage and Oyster Saloon on the bayfront in Beach Haven. Scheduled to open on Friday, May 19, the new venture, located at the old site of The Boathouse restaurant, will combine the signature seafood the group has become famous for with a deep feeling of Beach Haven’s bygone era.

In 2016, the group acquired The Boathouse, at 116 Northwest Ave. The new establishment will serve as both restaurant and event hall, adding to the area’s wedding venue options.

“This new venture is a unique opportunity for us to expand within the Long Beach Island community, and we’re really excited to have something right on the bay,” said partner Bob Nugent. “I think our style is going to pair really well with the history of the Beach Haven maritime district. We’re really looking forward to transforming this classic into our new vision.”

Other partners are Nugent’s wife, Gina, William and Linda Burris, and Eric and Melanie Magaziner. They are also owners of Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Mud City Crab House, Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House and Ship Bottom Shellfish.

“We want to embrace the tradition of The Boathouse that Patti and Tony Baldino built, while bringing to life some of the charm of the old Dock Road historic district,” said  William Burris.

“Patti and I feel very blessed to have spent the past 22 years owning the Boathouse,” said Tony Baldino. “We’re confident that as seasoned operators, these partners will continue to serve up memorable meals and beautiful sunsets for years to come.”

The partners said the original Parker’s Garage was a Beach Haven fixture that represents a golden age on Long Beach Island. Ellis Parker, who came from a lineage of baymen, built a restaurant and boat rental facility next to the storied Beach Haven Yacht Club in 1913. Under the name Parker’s Garage, he went on to repair boat engines and become a noted decoy carver. It was a hub of activity for the fishing, sailing, bay harvesting and beach lifestyle.

The new incarnation of Parker’s Garage will focus on  the culinary tradition that the Black Whale Group has become noted for, with a focus on creative dishes and local seafood. The restaurant will have its own boat slips.

The partners will also take their relationship with Barnegat Bay to the next level on this project by investing in an oyster co-op, where a new generation of local oyster farmers will raise the shellfish that will be offloaded and served right at the Oyster Saloon. The building, which had been owned and operated successfully as The Boathouse by the Baldino family of Beach Haven since 1995, will see mostly cosmetic renovations to revive historic details and the atmosphere of Parker’s Garage. It will also remain a wedding venue for receptions of up to 180 guests.

“We’ve already used it for some private occasions,” he said. “But we’re all ready to go for May 19, and we’re excited to open a fine new establishment in Beach Haven.”

— Eric Englund

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