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Barnacle Bill's, Rumson NJ change of format/policy please read and share your opinion.........

Since I know there are a lot of Monmouth County contributors to this board I am copy pasting this from Barnacle Bill’s facebook page which they posted on Sunday. Even if you’re not from the area the post is self explanatory…..there are a lot of opinions / comments posted on facebook regarding this decision I thought it is an interesting topic to bring over here. What are your personal thoughts regarding this decision?

"To all our loyal customers: Due to increased reports of peanut allergies as well as a number of slip-and-fall claims we have decided to remove the peanuts from the bar and dining room. We are committed to maintaining the casual, family-friendly atmosphere that you all enjoy! We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you all soon for some great food and music on the Navesink!! Cheers!"

Your thoughts...........

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  1. It was just a matter of time. Perhaps now that the peanut eating customer base will be forced to eat their nuts at home I will be able to get a seat at the bar. The lawyers win another one.

    1. If future complaints and litigation are the catalyst for the policy change....then it's certainly understandable. I would further add that if if were based on food cost cutting motivation...then equally understandable.....however, it it were the latter, then it's a business decision they will have to live with if they find the peanuts were actually a way of drawing in repeat customers and the realize a drop off in sales from their former loyal customers.

      1. I gotta be honest, the nostalgia evoked by the peanuts on the floor was just as important as the rare burgers in getting me to go there several times over the years. Last couple of times I was in the area and felt like bar food, however, I went to Val's - it's much cooler. At bottom, I s'pose, I'll just say farewell to an era when peanut shells on the floor was fun and parents didn't bring their kids to a bar and complain about the fact that they did things the way they do them in a bar.

        1. Slip and fall claims....wonderful. God I love lawyers.

          Anyway, as sad as this is to see a long standing tradition go, it won't hurt their business. That place has a cult like following and when I am in the mood for a nice medium rare cheddar burger, I will still go have one. You almost always have to wait for a table there, or a bar seat. They are doing something right.

          6 Replies
          1. re: corvette johnny

            yep, they are. It doesn't work for me but folks love it.

            1. re: corvette johnny

              I haven't been to BB's in many years....and when I was there it was simply to partake in some of their liquid beverages not their food. If memory serves me correctly I might have been a slip and fall victim there on one occasion however I won’t blame it on the peanut shells but rather my own two left (and slightly intoxicated) feet.

              Since I have never eaten there I cannot compare however I have to admit the guilty pleasure of the “cheddar cheese” sauce/topping at the Pour House. I’m not a big burger guy….but I’ll get that sauce on a grilled chicken with sautéed onions…..oh baby that’s good eating right there. Can anyone compare the two?

              Here is one for the Rumson locals and visitors to the area…Murphy’s (speak-easy) who has been?

              1. re: jrvedivici

                BB's burger is pretty much the same as the other "grilled behind the bar" burgers in the area - Pour House, Harpoon Willys (Brielle), Frankie's (Point Pleasant), etc. It's the same basic grind, thick patties, hard rolls, and cooked before your eyes so you smell it too.

                Honestly, the place has done three things right. First, the aforementioned burger. Second, the loose attitude about the peanuts on the floor. Third, being in a place where they are surrounded by more money than anyone needs or knows what to do with. Two of those three things remain.

                1. re: MGZ

                  You have just brought up a few memories/questions for me. Frankies was an old stand by in Point....but two or three doors down was Europa South? Portuguese place...I haven't been there in years but it use to be very good.

                  Also across the water from Harpoon Willies was Peterson's for years.....we would go there by boat for dock and dine as a kid.....now it's some rock bar? What happened just from the sign on it I wouldn't stop in.

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    I haven't been to Europa in years myself. It's one of those "we should go there one night" places that you never actually wind up going to.

                    Yeah, Peterson's eventually became River Rock with one alternate iteration in between. Haven't been there in a couple years either.

                  2. re: MGZ

                    Pricing is one key factor. A decent cheese burger is like 7.95 I think, or something like that. And the decor is cool. Where else around here do they have old nautical decor around here (to the extent of barnacles?) It is definitely laid back, casual and a unique spot...and on the water which is kind of cool if you haven't grown up on that river your entire life like a lot of people have.

                    One other key factor is parking. They have a huge parking lot. I hate going to a place and having to drive around for 5 minutes trying to find a spot...one pet peeve of mine.

              2. I agree with everyone's comments that it's sad to see the peanuts go, but I doubt their business will suffer. I've always gone there specifically for the burgers, because it is hard to find a place that will cook a burger medium-rare. Unfortunately, I only find myself going there after I visit someone at Riverview Medical Center. For some reason, seeing a sick person in a hospital bed at RMC prompts a craving for a BBs cheddar burger in me?

                7 Replies
                1. re: cke25

                  In this part of New Jersey, there are plenty of places that will cook me a rare or medium rare burger. I noted three upthread. Moreover, right across the street from Riverview is The Globe where they will cook a solid burger however you like it. Pretty sure that Murphy's and Dublin House also have no hesitation in preparing ground beef to any doneness.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Thanks for the tip MGZ. I will give those places a try.

                    1. re: cke25

                      If I may warn.....I don't know when the last time MGZ was at Murphy's but sadly the place has been for sale for awhile and the owner a great guy....but in his 80's has really let the place go. Food quality (Not that is was ever fine dining) is even down for it. I would stay away at this point, sad to say.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Actually, jrv, I haven't been to Murphy's in a year or so and then it was only for a beer & a burger. Even then I didn't think it was the best in town, but it was cheap and cooked rare. Thanks for the heads up.

                        cke - if you try any of those places, please note that the Pour House's burger is probably the most similar to BB's. The Globe probably gets my nod for the best in Red Bank proper.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          The Harborside has a really good burger now but they just don't cook it right. Its still good but I need to walk back into the kitchen next time and plead with them to cook it rare. The roll is just top notch and better than anything around here....I love it.

                          The poorhouse huh? I haven't been there in ages but might need to stop in to check out this cheddar burger.

                          1. re: corvette johnny

                            Twin Lights Taphouse in Highlands gets my nod for best burger - and yes they'll do rare.

                            1. re: drubenero

                              nice....mark is a super cool dude. That guys has forgotten more about beer than I know LOL.

                              I have to try that soon. thanks for the tip.

                2. That's sad! I remember Charlie Browns (?) in the Eatontown Mall that had the same peanut thing (eons ago). Used to love that too!

                  Our local Charlie Browns still has a basket of peanuts in the corner of the bar. Hope those don't go away...

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: jbsiegel

                    Charlie Browns? Are you sure.........your not thinking of Ground Round or one of those? There hasn't been a Charlie Browns in the Eatontown (Monmouth) Mall in 20/25 years. There was one in Woodbridge Center but that closed during the re-organization of two years ago. Do you mind me asking where your local Charlie Browns is? Since the new corporate entity took over they have been serving home made chips at their locations......I'm not aware of any that has peanuts. (Prior to the new owners they had an oriental mix they served which contained nuts....but never shelled peanuts like Barnacle Bills).

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      You're completely right - Ground Round - that's it!

                      I'm in Westfield. I guess it's not technically a Charlie Browns. It's The Office (same company). It was Jolly Trolley for a LONG time before becoming The Office.

                      1. re: jbsiegel

                        Hahahahaha.....ok that makes much more sense now. Thank you for clarifying. Ground Round went out probably 15 years ago.....Charlie Browns is still hanging in there though. The Office is owned by the same parent company as Charlie Browns...the closest to West Field I think was the Scotch Plains location on Rt. 28....not sure if they survived the downsizing or not.

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          Funny You mention The Ground Round I heard they just opened one at the old Brewster's in Bradley Beach its part of the bowling ally.

                          1. re: irishk

                            According to their website, there's also one in East WIndsor.

                            Fond memories of that place as a kid/teenager. There was one in Springfield, NJ, that we'd go to a lot.

                            *EDIT* Oooops! Make that:

                            Coming Soon!
                            East Windsor
                            529 Route 130 North
                            East Windsor, NJ 08512

                          2. re: jrvedivici

                            The one in Scotch Plains burned down (kitchen fire) a couple of years ago. They rebuilt, and it appears to be thriving. To be honest...not quite sure WHO goes there, but the parking lot is ALWAYS crowded. I went once, and that was just plenty. Something about sitting at a bar with carpet on the floor just doesn't do it for me. (Carpet is fine in an upscale "lounge", but seems out of place in a "bar"!)

                          3. re: jbsiegel

                            The former Charley Browns in Tinton Falls is slated to reopen in a few weeks as a place called Moose's Tavern. The property as well as the website seems to be coming along in fits and starts...


                            1. re: equal_Mark

                              Yes I noticed the new signage recently while passing that location. Please excuse me if I'm not excited about a "steakhouse" that seems to share their mascot with Wally's World!

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                Anyone want to lay odds on whether they will be offering a "Mooseburger?" :-p

                              2. re: equal_Mark

                                Why would you put up a website like that? Couldn't they find some 14 yr old to finish it?

                                1. re: Mr. Bingley

                                  Doesn't anyone realize that there is a world wide shortage of peanuts? the price is double in last 6 months. Thats why they are getting rid of the peanuts.

                                  1. re: NJDolfan

                                    I haven't heard this but I find it hard to believe that is the reason. This place is famous for their peanuts and I think they would simply raise the price on draft beer or something else to compensate for higher peanut prices. It can't be THAT expensive to provide peanuts each day.

                                    remember ground round used to weigh kids and charge a penny per pound?

                                  2. re: Mr. Bingley

                                    Better off not having a website at all than one that announces that you have no idea what you're doing.

                                    Hope they cook better than they fill in templates! :)

                                    1. re: MarlboroMan

                                      My wife got off work late and I was hungry Saturday night. I head to Barnacles and get there after 9:30. The place is PACKED at that hour and I got lucky with an open bar table. Anyway, the lack of peanuts doesn't seem to be having an effect on business...good to see them still busy as ever.

                          4. We went on Sunday, and I have to say...it has been almost a year since I was last there. I could care less about the peanuts. They made a mess anyway, but I just wanted to post ans say my hamburger was not so great as it once was. My husband and mother both agreed. Somrthing was off. It did not have that "greatness" it once had with us.

                            Does anyone else feel this way? We were disappointed. No juiciness to the burger at all. Granted, it is just a burger, but I left not wanting to come back.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Angelina

                              DH and I went on Friday night. Rough week for both of us and we wanted someplace homey to decompress and catch up. We shared the homemade shrimp/vegetable dumplings, newly added to the menu. Really enjoyed them and the dipping sauce. DH can't go to Barnacle's and not order a burger, and I can't not order the grilled coho. For the first time in many years, the coho was not on the menu. Even our server was surprised. I ordered grilled mahi mahi instead. It was succulent - perfectly cooked and seasoned. We went to BB for the comfort vibe but ended up commenting on the quality and value of our meal.

                              We shared the other half of the burger and fish the next day for lunch. Burger was juicy and delicious (even nuked!) and the fish was so pleasant! (I am not a fan of leftover fish.)

                              About the lack of peanuts: The plus for me, being diabetic, was being able to eat some protein while waiting for a table. I will miss that. The peanuts were also beneficial when we brought friends with hungry kids. The other diners did not seem to miss the peanuts. The peanut station removal opened up that area a bit in a nice way. I'm torn...

                              1. re: Angelina

                                I would have to say this is the farthest thing from what I experience. It is the one place around rumson/middletown/red bank area that can make a decent burger and actually serve it rare. They cook my perfectly every time : ) ...cheddar sauce just tops it off.

                                PS, if you like fried food I am a big fan of the zucchini with horseradish sauce.

                              2. They also got rid of dock and dine so they no longer cater to all the boaters in the area. Sad. Myself and all my boating community friends will take business to the other "boater friendly" restaurants in the area

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Sven1

                                  Really? They had only had room for two boats, which was rarely available. They never claimed to "allow" dock and dine. The end of the pier was simply available to those who wanted to dine at Barnacle Bills. I assumed it was an arrangement with the marina owners.

                                  Sadly, the "boater friendly" restaurants are slim pickins in the area...at least for waterfront establishments that I'm interested in dining at.

                                  1. re: fershore

                                    what options are left? You have molly pitcher, oysterpoint, wind and sea and maybe inlet cafe. Oh and that place that is over in seabright that changes names monthly. (right near the Quay)

                                    Yeah barnacles never pushed any "dock and dine" and I have been going there for decades. You just show up and they accomodate you. Sad that it's gone but they will survive

                                    1. re: corvette johnny

                                      Also the Salk Creek Grill next door has a big dock solely for boaters (though no docking is allowed if they have a wedding ceremony due to picture taking I can only assume). Bahrs Landing a few miles away in the Highlands is another. There was only two spots and I guess there was an issue with the marina that is likely not associated with the restaurant. Too bad they couldn't of made a deal or something. I pumped many $$ into barnacle bills with my fishing buddies over the years docked at Bills. It was always tough to get one of the two spots on a weekend.