The Local’s New Manahawkin ‘Grab N’ Go’ Gives Fast Food Fresh Meaning

Jun 20, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

The Getty gas station on East Bay Avenue in Manahawkin seems an unlikely locale for a trendy, gourmet marketplace; the typical gas station is a sticky last resort of processed snacks, candies, neon slushies, stale coffee and malodorous restrooms. But Ship Bottom’s beloved The Local Market & Kitchen has named the humble station the hub of its newest progeny: Local Grab N’ Go. Judging from the soft opening on Monday, June 18, the results couldn’t be more pleasant or more surprising.

Local Grab N’ Go was conceived out of necessity. An expanding menu, spanking new Airstream, and newly added BlueClaws Stadium location meant that the Hughes family, owners of The Local Market & Kitchen, would need to look for additional kitchen and storage space. The gas station was discovered, and just like that, the seed of a plan sprouted roots, a trunk and branches practically overnight.

The building is painted a crisp white with The Local’s insignia stamped hugely on the storefront. Behind the polished windows are branded ceramic, tin and travel mugs along neat shelves just below a display of cold brew growlers. The inside of Grab N’ Go is a miniature replica of its Ship Bottom parent: reclaimed wood and subway backsplash. Sputters of shining, silver coffee machines. Racks of health-conscious snacks and rows of Sweet Melissa treats: flaky homemade tarts, apple turnovers, thick cookie sandwiches and buttery croissants. Pyramids of powdered crumb cake, muffins and loaves of floured, crunchy bread would tempt any patron.

The Grab N’ Go concept is intended to cater to busy workers and travelers. While the Island’s Local Market & Kitchen features a deli counter and serves prepared dinners, Grab N’ Go will serve pre-packaged sandwiches, wraps, salads and sides and even expand into exciting new territory: burgers.

The signature black bean burger will be topped with guacamole and pico de gallo. Other styles will toy with candied bacon and Havarti cheese. Also on the menu are cheesesteaks and loaded tater tots, something we haven’t yet seen from the Ship Bottom location.

The gussied-up gas station seems to have already reeled in a new net of loyal followers. “I’ve seen a lot of new faces today,” said Savannah Hughes, daughter of The Local’s owners. According to Hughes, Beach Haven West residents have responded positively to the news of Grab N’ Go, ecstatic that they no longer have to brave bridge traffic for a decent coffee.

Taking “fast food” to a healthful, fresh new level, Local Grab N’ Go presents some exciting opportunities for Manahawkin. Just up the street from Old Causeway Steak and Oyster House and Mud City Crab House, this latest addition to East Bay Avenue will be a refreshing presence in the budding commercial community. Hughes, who lends her expertise at each Local location, hopes that the surrounding area will fill with enough engaging establishments to inspire sidewalk construction and subsequent foot traffic.

She is hopeful that further progress will be made in the Manahawkin community. “Mud City and Old Causeway gave this area life over here. I’m happy and honored to be on the same street as this stuff so that we can work together at building it up.”

For more information on the latest addition to The Local Market & Kitchen family, visit the business’s social media at https://www.facebook.com/The-Local-Market-and-Kitchen-1096369313709023/.

— Sarah Hodgson

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