SEA BRIGHT: SNAPPY HOUR AT BEACHWALK

Bartender Erin O’Keefe makes a Long Island Ice Tea while customers, some still in beach garb, make themselves comfortable on the deck over the river. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Timing it just right, PieHole showed up for happy hour at BeachWalk’s Tiki Bar recently to find beers in hand and fishing poles in the Shrewsbury River for a snapper derby competition.

Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright has its fair share of bars, but this might be the only one where you’ll find children and adults competing for bragging rights and the prize of an overnight stay at the attached motel.
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RED BANK: COCKTAILS AT RED ROCK

The crowd at a recent happy hour at Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Picnic tables, high tops, bar stools: on warm, clear summer evenings, the seats fill up fast at Red Rock Tap + Grill in Red Bank, offering bird’s eye views of Marine Park from multiple tiers. PieHole finds a subdued after-work crowd at happy hour, which runs from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

“Happy hour is like this when it’s nice out,” bartender Jennifer Gambino tells us as she muddles lime for a Moscow Mule, the hour’s most popular cocktail, served in a proper copper mug.
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THEY’RE ALIVE! OYSTERFEST RETURNS SUNDAY

Slurping and pulling at the 2011 edition of the Oysterfest, held in Red Bank’s White Street lot. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Think you’ve never eaten anything alive before? If you’ve tried a raw oyster on the half shell, guess again – or so claim the authors of the no-doubt-definitive Wikipedia entry on the bivalve, who state emphatically that oysters must be eaten or cooked alive. They’re also chock-full of zinc, iron, and calcium, as well as Vitamin A.

Also: they go well with Guinness.

Residents of (and visitors to) the Green might keep those culinary tidbits in mind as they turn their attention to next Sunday’s Red Bank’s Guinness Oyster Festival, slated to take over the White Street lot for an afternoon full of flavor and fun.

Modeled after the 57-year-old Galway Oyster Festival, the day is a celebration of the opening of oyster season.

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