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Jul 21, 2014 02:47 PM

mccloones rum runner was just leveled

Does anyone have a clue what will be built there?

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  1. "McLoone plans to rebuild the Rum Runner on the same location." - expected Spring 2015.

    1. McLoone’s Given OK To Rebuild Sea Bright Restaurant

      By: Chris Sheldon Published: April 14, 2014

      "A loan from the Economic Development Authority will allow the restaurant to be rebuilt at a cost of between $3 million and $4 million" to rebuild Tim McCloone's

      Your tax dollars at work

      1. Zero percent interest loan for 2 years to support improvements plus "working capital needs"....this was done under the Stronger NJ Business grant from the EDA...specifically designated for small business (defined as restaurant companies having less than $7.5 million in annual revenue ) to promote job Mr. McCloone's 10 restaurants qualify as a small business seems confounding - they would have to average less than $2,000 a day in gross revenue ... just makes it harder for smaller restaurants to compete when the taxpayers are funding the big guys, especially when we lend them free money for working capital...

        1 Reply
        1. re: carlylecat

          I'm reasonably sure each of his restaurants while sharing a similar name for "branding" purposes, are in fact individual businesses. Meaning each one is a separate corporation or LLC which would mean as long as Rum Runners showed less than $7.5 million in revenue it would qualify.

        2. Can anyone honestly recommend any of the McCloone's locations? Reviews indicate they tend to be all sizzle and very little steak. Just curious ...

          28 Replies
          1. re: wgrobinson

            I don't know that any forum regular will offer or can offer one of Tim's restaurants for a meal. I know that I can't - and though I haven't eaten at all of them, I've been to 3 or 4 to KNOW that it's all sizzle. It's all faux branding.

            He's a great guy with a big heart. Does so much for the community and NJ on the whole. All I can say, maybe they also bulldozed the former chef and staff under with all of that rubble and maybe Tim will have a change in mindset as to the new new RumRunner when it comes to dining. One need only look to AMA, or Chef Mike's ABG to know that fine dining can be had right on the water.

            1. re: ParadiseWaits

              Your response is what I expected.

              I'm a 'new guy' in this area - you referred to 'AMA' and 'ABG' - can you flesh that out for the new guy?

              1. re: wgrobinson

                Well, they were referenced as 'good to very good restaurants' that sit on the water. There's a Chowhound adage/probability theorem that measures eatery quality to it's position near the water. AMA or Ama is a Ristorante right down the Avenue from McLoones at one of the beach clubs (, with ABG being the Atlantic Beach Grill (right before the entrance to Island Beach SP - a gem).

                1. re: ParadiseWaits

                  Actually I coined an adage that was specific to Seafood. The Jersey Shore Inverse Seafood Corollary postulates that the quality of an establishments seafood is inversely proportional to its proximity to the water...

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    I have been surprised that no on-water restaurant caters to year-round residents. I'd love an October place with good food that represents a decent value proposition. Seems short sighted of them - I guess they don't want my off-season business. But then I'm an engineer and not a restaurateur.

                    1. re: wgrobinson

                      There are plenty of on-water restaurants that cater to year-round residents, it's just that most of them are mediocre at best. A good many of them took a serious hit from Sandy too. It was sort of ironic that many of the restaurants that took the worst hit from Sandy, like Bay Ave. Trattoria and Drew's Bayshore Bistro were not necessarily seafood places.

                      1. re: wgrobinson

                        Robby,you're wrong in your assumption and also mixing oranges with apples here (having good restos on the water and they're not wanting your business - which couldn't be farther from the truth). There's plenty to be had. My comments on Ama & ABG were that they were excellent restaurants on the water which Tim could put together in the reincarnation of the RR. Causal places are all around - Highlands (Inlet Cafe, WindNSea, OffTheHook or even that blue haired favorite Bahrs <<<uggh). Keyport has em, where you can dine on the bay (Burlews (seafood), Nemo (Asian fusion is excellent). Hell, you can get a great deal at the Keyport Fishery (takeout only) and park yourself on a park bench/table overlooking Raritan Bay if you want to rough it. Asbury has 4 restaurants within 200' of each other with outdoor dining through November (with good Indian Summers) overlooking the ocean

                        There's also handful of places tied into marinas (River Rock in Brick and there's a few more of those places on the Metedoconk than I know as that begins to be out of the area that I like to play in). Included in those South of the Northshore, is an excellent Shipwreck Grill in Brielle.

                        So your comment as to there not being restaurants here YEAR ROUND that want your business - well, that's a bit of a broadstroke. They're out there - for you to get a burger, a grilled tuna sandwich etc to high end - be it on the Raritan Bay, Deal Lake or the ocean. Suggestion: R-E-L-A-X - most of the touristas will soon 'book' back over the Driscoll, and we can assure you that the Shore doesn't close shop like Block Island does on Columbus Day. Stick around.

                        1. re: ParadiseWaits

                          No fruit salad - what I am doing is searching for that funky place on the water where you can have a long lunch with a draft or three. Burgers grilled over driftwood on half a 55 gallon drum. I still remember a couple places in the Florida Keys that were simple heaven. Nothing fancy; staffed with folks who are happy to have you there. Nothing special - just heaven.

                          1. re: wgrobinson

                            Well in the Florida Key's or anywhere that isn't seasonal you are going to find places like that. The Jersey Shore is seasonal a restaurant geared the way you describe wouldn't be able to sustain itself during the "off season".

                            1. re: wgrobinson

                              This is why a bungalow in key west is like half a mil...nothing like it in the country or probably world. I really need to get back down there soon.

                              I would also like a spot like this but it just doesn't exist here.

                              Finding a spot that even cooks with wood in NJ is pretty hard, let alone a spot on the water. I don't know of a single restaurant on/near the water cooking with wood/charcoal.

                              1. re: corvette johnny

                                Gaiters is for sale. Someone needs to buy that property and level the place. Imagine the roof top restaurant they could build there? That is a pretty cool location in my eyes with the ocean,sandy hook, shrewsbury river, bridge, twin lights and NYC skyline surrounding you.

                                Anyone want to get a petition going to have Mr McCloone hire drew as a chef? ; )

                                1. re: corvette johnny

                                  Last place I knew that cooked with wood on open grills was the old Pearl of the Sea (Later to become Pearl of Lisbon) when it was located in a old chicken & rib stand next to the defunct water-slide opposite the Long Branch pier like 15-20 years ago. Was a total dive, with dozens of Portuguese menu items scribbled on chalk boards, and was always packed. Often there were 2 or 3 police cars parked out front as they were regular lunch time clientele. Amazing seafood dishes and grilled meats at equally amazing low prices...

                                  1. re: equal_Mark

                                    I remember it well Mark. They all have gone the way of the dinosaur. That the shore has been 'gentrified', 'suburbanized', and 'vanillized' is without question.

                                    Robbie, you're a couple of decades too late. Not being smug. It's just the reality and landscape of all of the oceanfront.

                                    You can still have your choice of 'views' on the water at literally dozens of spots having a burger and beerz for the afternoon if you'd like. It's just not being cooked over charcoals in 55 gallon drum. I mean, I remember the Clearwater being but a handful of bungalows, bonfires and partying on the beach with virtually no one bothering you. Then again, Richard Millhouse was in the WH too.

                                    Sometimes nostalgia is just an abdication of reality.

                                    PS: Any truth to the Chuckling Oyster also being leveled this past week?

                          2. re: ParadiseWaits

                            Jr you are right.

                            paradise do you have any good ama recommendations? I have never been there.

                            It is a shame we have a lot of beach front and not too many decent water front places that impress hounds.

                            Although the location isn't great I will throw a vote in for costa Verde as a good place with fair prices. An order of garlic shrimp, chorizo, some mariscada....a great combo with the loaf of bread they serve. Sit in the bar area for lower of my top budget seafood spots. And yes, chorizo isn't seafood but for like 7 bucks this is a good dish to throw in the mix. They also have good clams, mussells, lobsters, decent paella. Etc

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Their mussels, pastas and believe it or not, their Florentine steak are to die for. Original chef left, new chef is excellent as well. Best bread in NJ!!

                              1. re: sockster

                                Their garlic shrimp are top notch also. They are one of the hidden gem's of the Central Jersey area. The bar crowd can be a bit of a mix from time to time, but sit in the dining room and you are fine. I didn't know there are different bar/dining room pricing, I'm generally always at the bar. 100% accurate about the bread!! Soak that in the garlic shrimp sauce....oh yeah buddy!! (Just don't go home to the significant other expecting to make out that night!!!)

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Help me out here. Wtf restaurant we talking about here (forgive my French; it's my second language and I'm into a 2nd pitcher of margaritas), but again, who are we talking about? McLoones?

                                  Post edit: Oh wait. Now I got it. Costa Verde

                                  1. re: ParadiseWaits

                                    Noooooooooooo CorvetteJohnny switched gears about 3 above yours bringing Costa Verde (Sayreville) into the conversation. Sockster and I then responded to the Costa Verde reference. Have a margarita for me!!

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      yeah Jr knows I like to change gears!

                                      Yes, costa verde is good stuff. I have to try that florentine steak out.

                                      As mentioned above, I like the chorizo, garlic shrimp, and mariscada trio. It is the best 3 bread dunking combination around! Something about that combo gets the job done...not to say that I wont mix it up or throw some clams in the mix.

                                      Mark, I wish I was around to experience that seaside gem you spoke of....sounds right up my alley

                                      1. re: corvette johnny

                                        What is the mariscada trio? Is that the paella in the red sauce? I'm always a sucker for the vallencia with the rice. Which by the way I've gotten twice at Mediterranean Chateau on 79 in Morganville/Matawan and have found it sub-par both times. Certainly worth the extra 10-15 minute drive to Costa Verde.

                                        How about the menu items at Fernandes? I would love to try their Paella Vellencia there but I can't pull myself away from the meats. lol

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          Hi JR, the "trio" is just a term I use for ordering two apps and the mariscada...not an actual menu item.

                                          And yes, I agree it is way to hard to get off the rodizio at Fernandes but their regular dishes are very good too. They have whole snappers, stuff lobsters, "combination" platters with all types of broiled seafood....good stuff! My sister always get this surf and turf dish served with a tile and a fire under it. You can basically cook it up yourself with some drawn butter. That is a pretty cool dish but I like other cuts over filet.

                                          Mark, I think you would like Costa Verde. Sit in the bar area and they have a wide range of apps under 10 bucks. A few of those with a loaf of bread and you will be sleeping that off out in the parking lot LOL

                                          Two of my favorites are the chorizo (extra crispy) and garlic shrimp. Clams casino are good too. I see a lot of locals eating the lamb chops. I have to try those soon. see here...


                                          1. re: corvette johnny

                                            Nice that have so many lunch options to the dinner entrees also.....

                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                        This thread is pretty hard to follow. I'm not sure jrv, but I'm pretty sure sockster is referring to AMA, as he always says they have the best bread, and the chef recently left.

                                    1. re: equal_Mark


                                      South Amboy it appears not Sayreville as I reported above.