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“Just go for Happy Hour”

Black Whale Bar & Fish House
Ranked #2 of 93 Restaurants in Beach Haven
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed 20 August 2014

I can't speak to this place as a restaurant, but their bar Happy Hour is just fine. Drinks are half-price and most of the bar food is also less expensive. The oysters are fresh, cold and good. The steamed clams, and mussels in a white wine and garlic butter sauce, are delicious. Go...have a few beers with friends...and ignore the rest. PS: the "hard bread balls" are oyster crackers.

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1  Thank StanBoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jerseychic63, Owner at Black Whale Bar & Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

thank you for taking the time to write a review! We love our happy hour but you should definitely not ignore the rest. Everything is hand made on premise and specials are carefully thought out by our chef. You are missing out!!

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230 - 234 of 392 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2014

We called twice the same day for a reservation. I finally walked over to the restaurant to try to make a reservation in person. The hostess was at her stand, I explained to her that I keep getting the voicemail and she suddenly noticed the phone lines were lit up. She then told me that she has taken all the reservations she can handle. I look at the reservation sheet and there are only 6 names on it. Great.

She tells me to come back with my party of 7 at 5:30, there should be no wait. We arrive at 5:15 and she tells me there is a 1 1/2 hour wait. We decide to go on the porch and order drinks and appetizers until we can get a table. We order the artichokes, shrimp cocktail, fries, calamari. Mostly fried, previously frozen and overpriced. We spent $111 and decided we would rather move to another restaurant then sit through another course of it.

Cars pull up by the dozens, all of them thinking like us that they will get a promised table. Most of them leave in their cars and move on. Conversations on the porch are nothing but disappointment, cranky kids and disgust. The staff comes out frequently to chastise the masses they have just sold expensive drinks to and tell them to move from their own patio onto the porch. The porch holds about 12 people and 30 people have drinks. You are blocking the door while we make you wait for a table. Please move. You get the idea.

In some ways I get it, it's their busy season, there are not many nice restaurants on the island, they have a rapt audience. Do yourself a favor, find something else, they are not interested in customer service here.

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3  Thank Christineabella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jerseychic63, Owner at Black Whale Bar & Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Dear Christinebella, We are sorry that you had a less than pleasurable experience at the Black whale. We assure you that we strive to bring the best quality food to the table in a comfortable & enjoying atmosphere. We take a very limited number of reservations-yes only about 6 and they are on a first come first serve basis as a courtesy to our large parties. These fill up very fast but you still have the option of coming in, putting your name on the list and waiting for a table or putting your name on the list and leaving and coming back in the time frame that the hostess offers. I am not sure why you were told there would be no wait at 5:15. The restaurant fills up pretty quickly in the summer by 5 and all of our hostesses are very aware of this fact. I assure you that none of the food is previously frozen-we serve the freshest quality product hand breaded on premise. Unfortunately alcohol is only allowed on the deck outside the front door, the area on the brick pavers is not licensed and it is illegal for patrons to drink there according the NJ state alcohol & beverage commission. It is our staff's duty to tell the patron there is no drinking allowed in that area as well as keeping the entrance way clear for people to enter and exit freely. Cars pull up by the dozen and I assure you a majority have a fabulous meal. We are a small local family run business and do our best to please everyone during the busy months with customer service being a top priority! We love our vacationers!!!

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Reviewed 19 August 2014

I was very disappointed with this place. After visiting LBI numerous times and not being able to get a table here I can't understand why. This place is over crowded, not pretty, and the food it just ok. The service was terrible the place is dark and croweded. On arrival you are given these very hard bread balls which can break a tooth instead of fresh bread. I wonder how long they have been sitting around. The restaurant is very small and crowded. I barely had any place to hand my purse. The food was average and expensive. Needless to say I will pass this next time and go back to the Boat House! Don't waste your time or money.

1  Thank Newyorktravelermc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jerseychic63, Owner at Black Whale Bar & Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

We are sorry you had a less than pleasurable experience in your visit to the Black Whale. During June, July, and August the wait can be very long as we are a small family run restaurant. We have decorated with local artists and photography and the booths and other wood work are hand made. The "hard bread balls" you are referring to are oyster crackers which are meant to be dipped in cocktail sauce and enjoyed, there are many restaurants that have them on the table. We have them at 3 of our restaurants and customers would be extremely disappointed to see them go. The food is all made on premise with fresh local ingredients at competitive prices. Quite a bit of time and thought go into our menu in hopes of bringing vacationers and locals alike the best experience we can offer.

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Reviewed 16 August 2014

It is hard to find a good restaurant in Beach Haven after Sandy and this was a family favorite but no longer. This was our second visit this season both times we were very disappointed. Dinner with 1 cocktail each for 4 was over 200$. Unfortunately this is now typical on LBI and wouldn't be an issue if the food was acceptable. Black Whale has always been noisy as there is a large bar crowd mixed with the dining area in a compact space. Our table of 4 ordered the crab dip and the calamari appetizers that were so marginal in quality we only ate half of each. 2 of us had the grouper special one had the fried oysters, and one had a burger. The grouper was drowned in a heavy sauce that overpowered the flavor of the grouper and was poorly cooked and the fish was not fresh. The oysters were heavily breaded and a small serving.. We will not be back unfortunately with Tuckers taken over by Daddy-O's we will have to reassess where we dine at LBI. The guys love the Clam Bar but the wives want a traditional restaurant so we keep being disappointing.

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1  Thank John0903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2014

to the crab-cakes!!!! Also, the Ipswich Steamers are amazing. Oysters on the half shell are so good and fresh. Fish specials are also consistently good.

Thank JustBeSmooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jerseychic63, Owner at Black Whale Bar & Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review! We hope to see you again soon!!

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