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Oct 24, 2010 10:03 AM

J. Michael'sUptown Tavern

This was supposed to open on Rt 35 in Ocean around August. I remember someone on here knew of the the chef. Anyone have any idea of its still going to open?

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    1. The chef is the old chef d' cuisine from Sirenna

      1. Stopped in to check out this new kid on the block sports bar on Friday night and the food looked to be typical bar grub although I did not stay to try it because of the arrogant and bad mannered bar staff. On the positive side my pint draft beers were only $2.14 each and the bar was very huge with nearly 40 seats to spread out with.

        1. I stopped by the other day for some drinks with some friends for Friday happy hour and came across a huge pub like bar. After being ignored several times by the bar staff i was about to leave when I was directed to a back bar. From there things turned around, and i had one of the best night that I have had in a long time!! The bartender ( my check says Robert? unsure of his name) was a delight! Made me a delicious cocktail that he said he infused himself in house. The back bar gave us what we wanted, a quiet place to talk and unwind from a hectic work week (something we have until this point been robbed of close to home). Content with just drinks, our bartender convinced us to try some food, hesitant ( being that it was a pub, and i am not one for diner type food ) we at first objected, but eventually gave in as he was insistent that it was not what would be expected. We caved in and were surprised with how exquisite the food really was! We had the rock shrimp dish as well as the tuna entree and both were four star! This place is a far cry from everything else i have encountered in Ocean, and i mean that in a good way. Between the great service from the witty staff member and the amazing food, everything was perfect, and i will be sure to come back. This place is a diamond in the rough! I can not wait to try everything! Will for sure be back! The atmosphere, the food, the staff, they nailed it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: dianacurtis34

            Stopped into this place several times since its opening and all i have to say i WHOA! Right now the local area around rt35 has nothing that can compete with J. Michaels. I have sat at both bars, havent sat in the dining room yet. Most bartenders are very professional, never had an empty glass and Neil even recommened at great wine to go with your pizza. The mussels are great there and the pizza was golden to a perfect crisp. The chef behind most of the meals over at Sirena is there now and he is cooking up some great dishes and the best part is your paying half the price you would up in Pier Village. Great place where you can either go with the guys for a game or take the family out for a good dinner without breaking the bank. If you had a bad disposition on the place I suggest you go back, relax and enjoy whatever your heart desires.

            Pier Village
            30 Laird St, Long Branch, NJ

            1. re: fingerbang

              They closed down a few months back. Anyone know what happened?

              1. re: bgut1

                Comment I got from a 'local' chef was that there were way too many hands in the pot (the business model changed more than a few times), a Rte. 35 location is a death knell (I live in town, yet I rarely traverse that section of the roadway as I travel up W Park or Deal Road). There should have been a large road side sign indicating J Michaels.

                Here's another slant. My wife's co worker runs Karaoke at some other local joints - approached them for a Tues nite slot (a Tuesday mind you) and were rudely handled and told flat out "NO" - this from a pub grub place that at once had designs of being a Martini bar/Steak house and a few other 'upscale dining models'.....and was joint with new decor serving PUB GRUB.

                In closing my culinary source cited "Karma (or in this case Bad Karma)' biting them in the backside. That and I'll add a very difficult time in opening up a restaurant if ever there was. Can someone bring back the Windmill to that locale?! ;-)

                1. re: JustJake

                  Thanks JustJake. I stopped in there once for a beer while awaiting my order at Tandoor E India. The place seemed nice but I never thought of it as anything more than a watering hole. As for that plaza, I never knew it once housed a Windmill. As long as they don't touch my Indian restaurant, I have no complaints (but would otherwise welcome any new restaurant) Again, I appreciate your explanation.