Legendary Happy Hours, family owned and operated, live entertainment, and so much more – it’s no wonder that Used To Be’s has been a right of passage for locals and visitors alike for decades.
Located in the seaside town of Mantoloking, just north of Seaside Heights, Used To Be’s is an island eatery that has served generations of families. Keeping that same local vibe, Used To Be’s is now upping the ante under new management, a freshened up dining room, and new dishes that are sure to become classics.
“We’ve always been known by locals as one of the best places to hang out, eat some food, enjoy a cocktail, and listen to some local bands,” said Randi Beyrouty, Front of House Manager. “With the help of Tommy Destefano, Back of House Manager, we’ve warmed up the restaurant, creating a zen dining ambiance, introducing plenty of craft cocktails, and giving our menu a little overhaul that will make the locals happy!”
Refreshing the Menu With Updated Classics at Used To Be’s
When giving the menu a refresh, Beyrouty and Destefano along with culinary talent concentrated on bringing fresher ingredients sourced as locally as possible to the table. Some of our favorites include the Bavarian Pretzel Antipasta – confused? Us too… well, at first, but then we realized they’re genius for placing antipasta inside a freshly baked, soft pretzel.
Then there’s the Trifecta – Used to Be’s take on a three compartment dish that features the perfect amount of food. With three options: an Italian Classic (two different types of meatballs), Sea Lover (Coconut Shrimp, Pan Seared Scallops), and Land & Sea (Fried Calamari and Meatballs) – it’s a guaranteed winner.
We’re also partial to the Lobster Roll featuring fresh chunks of lobster claw and tail tossed with just the right amount of spices and mayo, delicious pastas (all available gluten free), and South of the “B” specialities (Fish Tacos anyone?) If you happen to be there on Monday nights during the summer, be sure to order the Prime Rib Special (moved from Saturday in the winter) that is Chef Chico’s pride and joy.
To finish the meal, end with a Deep Dish Cookie (just order 15-20 minutes before you want to eat it!) or a slice of Key Lime Cheesecake from Charlie’s Farm Market, Café, and Bakery located right on the island.
We could go on and on with more dishes, but you get the idea. So what’s to drink?
Craft Cocktails, Live Music, and Weekly Specials
Along with plenty of local beers and a wide selection of wines by the glass or bottle, there is also the all new weekly “Bee Specialty Cocktails.” Inspired by a customer that was “stung by the bee” thanks to drinking a bit too much the night before, these $8 craft cocktail pints rival all those fancy cocktails you’d find for double the price elsewhere. One of our favorites so far was a refreshing combination of crop organic cucumber, vodka, St. Germain, muddled mint and lime topped with a splash of club soda.
A trip to Used To Be’s wouldn’t be complete without checking out their live entertainment on the weekends along with their Legendary Happy Hour. Running seven days a week, 3-7pm, you’ll enjoy $4 well drinks, $5 Svedka and Gluten Free Stoli Drinks, and $3 domestic bottles and drafts. There’s also $5 house wines all day… every single day of the week! (Now that’s a reason to be happy!) Used To Be’s is also a great place to pick up beer, wine, and liquor to go – with competitive prices, it’ll become your package store of choice on the island.
Open 7 days a week, 11am – 2am weekdays and 11am – 3am on weekends, there’s always something going on every day of the week! Weekly specials include $10 Lunch Specials Monday through Friday 11am – 3pm, Commuter Burger and Brew for just $10 on Wednesdays, Half-Priced Appetizers all day on Thursdays.
Time to Celebrate With Used To Be’s
To celebrate the start of summer, Used To Be’s will be hosting their annual Memorial Day Weekend Bash, with not one, not two, but three nights of musical entertainment from The Characters, DJ Vitaman, and Upside. It’s a start to the summer you won’t want to miss.
Then on June 1st, they’re going to party like it’s 1999 for their 20 year birthday celebration. With live music from Frankie & the Burn and the Characters along with rollback Happy Hour pricing ($1, $2, and $3 specials from 2pm – 7pm), and a champagne toast at midnight – you’ll feel 20 years young again too!
“Locals in our beach community know us as their local watering hole,” said Beyrouty. “But no matter where you live or where you come from, you’ll become part of the Used To Be’s family too after just one visit.”
Used To Be’s Island Eatery
287 Highway 35 North